Vedic Village Review #47
January 20, 2016. Adventures in New Jaipur, Prabhupadanuga Farm in Fiji
It has already been three months since our last newsletter; how time flies! New Jaipur is doing well; all is progressing nicely here. Naturally there are always some difficulties in this material world, but by keeping Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna in the center, the devotees are able to transcend and thrive in spiritual life.
Storm: A few weeks ago the first cyclone of the season named Ula passed by Fiji, missing us. An advance spinoff storm hit us one evening with strong winds until midnight, when
it fizzled out. The next day we found many bananas and papayas toppled, 15 or so fruit trees at various angles (some down flat), broken branches from the big trees, and several Thaukoro trees down over the road. One was at least 2 feet in diameter halfway up its trunk, which blocked our exit. The alternate route out of the farm was difficult due to a leaning lemon tree, and a tree totally wrapped in inch thick vines had fallen across the entrance at the main road. We squeezed around them with the Toyota pickup and spent days cleaning up the mess.
Some trees were pulled up straight with a heavy boat rope pulled by the farm truck. All were secured with hardwood stakes and left-over electric wire from Hawaii that is not used in Fiji. Hopefully they will make new roots and become more steady in their future service. We are hoping for no more falldowns, staying upright in their devotional service of providing fruits.
Summer: January has brought the hot and humid summer weather of the southern hemisphere. All the devotees complain a bit, but it’s nowhere like Vrindaban in July… Regular rains are here again, but no huge rains that flood the rivers over their banks (yet). There is more sunshine now than there was in the drier season. The children want to go swimming in the river almost every day, and everyone heads for the shade when outdoors.
New arrivals: Bhakta Samuel (19) came as a guest from Germany for six weeks. It was his first time in a temple, doing service in a daily schedule, studying intensely, chanting sixteen rounds. He shaved up, was enthusiastic in kirtans and at prasadam time, and did a lot of weed pulling with headphones and Prabhupada’s lectures. He said the experience was wonderful and very good for his getting more fixed up at Prabhupada’s feet. Now he is living with Mathurapati das in Germany, and they distribute books in the big city every day, which he enjoys much.
Another family has arrived in New Jaipur, coming from Canada. Due to lengthy, onerous security checks, they missed their flight, but managed to arrive only a day later than intended, which allowed us to connect their stove, kitchen drains, and finish the house cleanup. They came with the maximum allowable luggage per person, including their family deities, washtubs, clothes, pots, almost everything essential for a household except for the furniture. The tailgate on the pickup had to be let down and many ropes used to secure a stacked tower of 16 huge cargo boxes plus endless carry-ons.
Ramananda Raya and Jaya Radhe, Keshava (13), Bhima (10), Premanjali (6), and Prahlad (4) prabhus are now settled in and planning their vegetable garden project. Prime Fiji garden time starts in March-April, which is early fall in our zone- that’s the South Seas for ya! The children of four families are now very focused on new friends and new activities, and they are the most energetic and enthusiastic devotees in the kirtans. It is such a wonder and pleasure to see and nurture the little prabhus as they chant, play, sing, and dance. They are our future. They have come from unknown higher places just to follow Srila Prabhupada.
Little washing machines: Jaya Radhe was determined to try natural living without a clothes washing machine. She devised a system of three tubs, three water taps, two special
washing plungers, and two deluxe mop squeezers, all set up on an outside covered laundry slab. There is the plunging in the soap tub, then the rinsing in the second and third tubs, and the wringing of the clothes, and finally hanging out on the long line in the natural purifying Fiji sunshine. And it works! One small step for mankind, the elimination of electrical, automatic washing machines. This is pioneering in self-sufficiency and returning to a simpler way of living.
Cows: There are no confirmed pregnancies yet, but hopefully soon… Meanwhile, the older and very big Lakshmi and Tungi like to chase and harass the young and petite Rukmini and Chandrika, the two white Zebu-Brahmans. This results in torn hides and damaged fences, so now we keep them in separate paddocks. None are milking now so we have returned to buying fresh milk from a neighbor twice a week, totaling 5-6 gallons a week.
COUNCIL FOR INITIATIONS
We are not aware of any official polls or studies on the matter, but as a best guess, there are probably ten times as many committed Vaishnavas that were formerly associated with ISKCON that now reside outside of ISKCON, than reside in ISKCON. Of those, perhaps half accept and practice some sort of variation of the “Srila Prabhupada is the diksha guru” principle. Increasingly, new devotees are becoming associated with the Hare Krishna Movement outside of the original ISKCON, which is now a weakened and corrupted, deviated branch of the Chaitanya tree (many claim it is already severed and near death). Gradually more and more Vaishnavas are discovering and realizing that there is spiritual life and a future outside of ISKCON, preaching and influencing the conditioned souls. Thus we are witnessing a dramatic increase in sincere souls who aspire for diksha initiation from Srila Prabhupada directly via the officiating priest system that Prabhupada himself instituted prior to his physical departure.
The most significant organizations which are facilititating initiations by Srila Prabhupada, conducting preaching to and training of prospective devotees is ISKCON Bangalore, Hare Krishna Community in Jaipur, Hare Krishna temples in Malaysia/Singapore, Hare Krishna Society, and others. New Jaipur farm in Fiji is affiliated with Hare Krishna Society. IRM is very active although they are not arranging initiations yet.
So those that are associated with one of these groups have the opportunity to associate with other Prabhupadanugas, be trained properly in Krishna consciousness, and receive initiation from Srila Prabhupada. Those who are not now associated with any of these groups, of course, may do so for the advantages that will be gained therefrom. But what about those who for various reasons, are not able to connect in this way?
For example, it may not be practical to move to India and live in one of the ISKCON Bangalore Group temples for those in the West and with families. (To be sure, one can always contact them via their websites to explore options.) Or one may be unknown to the management of the above mentioned Prabhupadanuga groups. And there may also be personality issues, or many other blockages. So if someone from Des Moines (Iowa) has been reading Prabhupada’s books for 5 years, chanting 16 rounds, etc, and has decided he wants to be initiated by Srila Prabhupada, how can he do it? Or if a young adult from an “outside” devotee family who grew up in Alachua, the largest devotee concentration in the West, wants to be Prabhupada’s disciple, who does he go to?
Unfortunately, in this vacuum of spiritual organization left behind by the gurujacking of ISKCON in 1978, some are wont to act independently, sometimes radically so. We recently heard of one devotee in Canada who gave himself ritvik second initiation from Srila Prabhupada’s picture because he wasn’t satisfied with any other options. Not knowing the specifics in that case, still, there will be those who will act alone in spite of all opportunities to collaborate, cooperate, affiliate, or receive sanction for initiation. Our focus is not on these isolated incidents, but on wondering how to assist those who want to be initiated by Srila Prabhupada and have difficulty doing so.
The suggestion was made that a Council of Senior Devotees could be organized, to be available whenever organized Prabhupadanuga options are unavailable, to review submissions for initiations, set guidelines as per Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, and facilitate the initiation by Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, what are the increasing number of prospective initiates to do? There is no bonafide GBC any longer. ISKCON only will guide prospects to the competing, conditioned souls who have self-appointed themselves as barriers to Srila Prabhupada’s mercy. There are a number of senior devotees willing to offer their time and energy for this service, with no motive other than to encourage and facilitate Srila Prabhupada’s new followers and their proper spiritual advancement.
Here are some issues for discussion:
- Devotees’ fear of organizations, how to overcome this, the simple requirements of affiliation
- Should all new devotees be “connected” with some mentor, senior adviser, a temple, etc?
- Or is it proper that devotees operate completely independently on their own?
- Rather than a new council of senior devotees, what about offering an existing organization such as Hare Krishna Society where anyone can be affiliated by agreeing to these items, based entirely on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions?:
1. Agreement on the principles outlined in Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta
2. Be engaged in some regular preaching activity with proper sadhana standards.
And for initiations, these are the requirements:
1) Waiting period of 6 to 12 months after request for initiation
2) Needed: a recommendation for the prospective initiate from someone known and trusted.
3) Inquire about their devotional background, their contact with Krishna consciousness, etc.
4) Must pass Srila Prabhupada’s 10 question Bhaktisastri examination.
5) There should be sufficient discussion to be sure the new initiate has a well-grounded philosophical understanding of the philosophy, including the vani-vapu aspect.
6) Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta and Our Living Guru, two publications, will be provided for study.
7) If after all of these steps, the person proves to be a serious candidate, arrangements will be made to set up a proper initiation based upon Srila Prabhupada’s directives of July 9th 1977.
A meeting is planned in Alachua Florida in March of senior devotees to discuss this measure. There will be a fire ceremony wherein some devotees will be taking their vows of initiation from Srila Prabhupada, conducted on behalf of Srila Prabhupada by Yasodanandana prabhu. Those interested in attending the initiations in Alachua may contact:
Naveen Krishna das: (…@…)
For further discussion on this topic prior to the meeting, please contact one party: Yasodanandana das (…@…), Nityananda das (email@example.com), Damaghosh das (…@…): and you will be added to the email discussion group.
BARTER, LOCAL LIFE, AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
We saw an article on Daily Bell about localized barter which sounded rather parallel to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings (of course, missing Krishna, the essential factor). Some excerpts:
“…there is always barter and localized trade… if a society can retain localized and self-reliant systems in spite of “globalization” (or forced globalization), then people will always remain free.”
“When people are not reliant on the mainstream system, they cannot be manipulated.”
”Build voluntary communities based on free markets, production and preparedness.”
“You have to make tangible efforts and institute actual organization in the real world around you… Or, all the eloquent arguments we put forth on the Web are meaningless.”
Similarly, here in New Jaipur we are working towards becoming self-reliant, producing as much of our necessities as possible right on the farm, from the land, cows, forest, and all the gifts of nature. We are wrestling with our past conditioning, trying to reduce our dependency on modern technology, machines, fiat money, outside labor, and so on. It takes hard work and sacrifice. And constant reference to Srila Prabhupada’s supremely inspirational instructions. How could we ever hope to go in the right direction without the guidance of the pure devotee?
A few items which are our feeble attempts to progress in self-sufficiency:
Ajay, a local Indian devotee, will be coming soon to help us plant rice on the farm. Ramananda Raya and Braja prabhus are planning a serious garden project this year. Benjamin prabhu continues to pioneer and experiment with various crops that work well. We already are producing all that the farm residents can eat in terms of water cress, dalo, cassava, lemons and limes, bananas, papaya, and seasonally, pineapples, breadfruit, and avocados. We have six cows and an upgrade-breeding program; hopefully milk will be flowing soon!
QUOTES FROM SRILA PRABHUPADA:
SB 7.14.5 P…A wise man, however, learns from the sastras and guru… He therefore concludes that in the human form of life he should not endeavor for unnecessary necessities, but should live a very simple life, just maintaining body and soul together. Certainly one requires some means of livelihood, and according … is the basic principle of Vedic civilization. One should be satisfied with whatever means of life comes automatically. The modern materialistic civilization is just the opposite of the ideal civilization. …. the so-called leaders of modern society invent something contributing to a cumbersome way of life that implicates people more and more in the cycle of birth, death, old age and disease.
750304mw.dal…Just like in the prison house you have to work. Eh? So they think this working is civilization. This is avidya. So therefore they have created more work. From early morning, five o’clock, till ten o’clock, simply working. They do not know that “This working is our punishment.” But because ignorant, they think that “Working is life.” This is called ignorance.
720916SB.LA….Now, whole modern materialistic civilization is depending on the motorcars and aeroplanes, transportation. So if the petroleum supply is stopped, then what will be the condition of the society? We have created a facility for transport by motorcar or by aeroplane, but side by side, we have created another difficulty, that a man has to go to his work three hundred miles away. Side by side. Formerly, a man used to work on his field, a few steps from his house. Now we have created facility of transport; therefore we have to go to work three hundred miles away from home. This is the position. But they have no brain. They’re thinking they’re advancing. (chuckles)One day, one grown-up child was asking his mother, “Who is this gentleman?” The father was there. So the mother said, “He is your father, my dear child.” So he did not see his father until he grew three years or four years old. Because when he was child, the father was rising early in the morning. At that time, child was sleeping. And he was going to office, and when he comes back, the child was sleeping. So unless the child grew four years old, he could not see his father. Is it not the position of this?770618rc.vrn…Upendra: The reason the original faith was placed in the scientists was because radio, airplanes, tape recorders have been manufactured, and people are impressed by these originally. Prabhupada: So what is the benefit? Without radio, people were dying, or with radio they are not living? Upendra: They say they are living more comfortably.
Prabhupada: Nonsense comfortably When you ride on a car, full of anxiety… At any moment there may be accident. It is not comfortable. If you are full of anxiety. Aeroplane may be. At any moment you can die. It is your time only. They’re going in good faith: “I shall go there.” But before rising to the sky, finished, crash. So many airplane has been…So where is the comfort? As soon as you get on the aeroplane, you are in full anxiety that at any moment there may be crash. Is it not? Then where is comfort? Real comfort is without anxiety. That is real comfort.Nowadays people are going out of home, and everyone is debtor to the bank and so many… The economic machine is so made that one is put always in debts for some so-called comforts, and he’s full of anxiety. The whole month he has to work to pay debts.
New Jaipur is a positive alternative to the rapidly devolving situation in the modern world. Nuclear war approaches, and humanity is due for much turmoil which can only be alleviated by establishing Prabhupada’s varnashrama Hare Krishna farms. New Jaipur Vedic Village farm project retains Srila Prabhupada as the sole diksa guru, via ritvik representatives. We are part of Prabhupada’s transcendental mission which is situated beyond the now-corrupted original institution. Prabhupada resides wherever his instructions are strictly followed. New Jaipur has 857 acres of titled, fully-paid land in a South Seas rainforest on Fiji’s second largest island. There are openings for qualified devotees based on Village Constitution conditions (available by email). Interested persons, please inquire. The basic standard: 16 rounds daily, the four rules, 8 hours community service a week, regular attendance to morning programs, and be a productive participant, one fifth of production/income goes to the deities, Sri Sri Radha Govinda. Three cottages still available. Vedic villages are the future of the world. Please consider a visit to New Jaipur, and be our guest in paradise; this is an invitation to all Prabhupadanugas. Life here is simple but not austere. Welcome also: temporary residents who would like to further their spiritual credits may offer assistance to the Vedic village with their skills or labor or gifts.
Yours in Prabhupada’s service,
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