Letter to: Hayagriva
…and I have advised Kirtanananda and yourself to convert West Virginia into New Vrindaban. I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda. Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village. They completely depend on nature’s beauty and nature’s protection.
(Letter by Srila Prabhupada June 14, 1968
Montreal 14 June, 1968
My Dear Hayagriva,
Please accept my blessings. I was just expecting your letter since I have come here from Boston. I have already informed you about my successful program in Boston, attending many colleges and universities, and the church meetings, practically throughout the whole month. And Sriman Satsvarupa is to be congratulated for his endeavor to keep me engaged in such meetings. I thought that you were going to San Francisco as you informed me previously that during Rathayatra festival you would be there. The Rathayatra festival is going to be held between 27th June to 7th July, and they are making broader arrangement than last year, and expecting people numbering from 1000 to 5000 will attend the procession, chanting Hare Krishna. They have been advised to turn San Francisco gradually into New Jagannatha Puri, and I have advised Kirtanananda and yourself to convert West Virginia into New Vrindaban. I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda. Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village. They completely depend on nature’s beauty and nature’s protection. The community in which Krishna preferred to belong was Vaisya community, because Nanda Maharaja happened to be a Vaisya king, or landholder, and his main business was cow protection. It is understood that he had 900,000 cows and Krishna and Balarama used to take charge of them, along with His many cowherd boy friends, and every day, in the morning He used to go out with His friends and cows into the pasturing grounds. So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness. It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved. You do not require any machines, cinema, hotels, slaughterhouses, brothels, nightclubs—all these modern amenities. People in the spell of maya are trying to squeeze out gross pleasure from the senses, which is not possible to derive to our heart’s content. Therefore we are confused and baffled in our attempt to eschew eternal pleasure from gross matter. Actually, joyful life is on the spiritual platform, therefore we should try to save our valuable time from material activities and engage them for Krishna Consciousness. But at the same time, because we have to keep our body and soul together to execute our mission, we must have sufficient (not extravagant) food to eat, and that will be supplied by grains, fruits, and milk. So if you can develop this place to that ideal life and the residents become ideal Krishna Conscious men, in that part of your country, I think not only many philosophically minded people will be attracted, but they will be benefited also.
So far I am personally concerned, the United States Immigration Department has denied my application for permanent visa on some technical ground. In other words, just to avoid a Swami, because the government is disgusted with so-called Swamis who exploit the innocent public in your country. The difficulty is that the people in this country, they want to continue their practice of sense gratification, and at the same time they want to become transcendentally advanced. This is quite contradictory. One can advance in transcendental life by process of negativating the general practice of materialistic life. The exact adjustment is in Vaisnava philosophy, which is called Yukta Vairagya, means that we should simply accept the bare necessities of our material part of life, and try to save time for spiritual advancement. This should be the motto of New Vrindaban, if you at all develop it to the perfectional stage. And I am always at your service to help you by practical suggestion and assistance also.
On the other hand I was thinking that if I get permanent visa in Montreal, I shall make Montreal my headquarters and at that time I may require your help in so many ways. As we passed correspondence previously, that we should live together either in India or in this part of the world for publication of so many Vaisnava literatures. But if you want to develop New Vrindaban, I can spare you for that purpose, and it may be that we can live there together. For the time being, if you actually want to develop such ideal asrama, we must have sufficient land, and all other things will gradually grow. For raising crops from the land, how many men will be required—that we must estimate and for herding the cows and feeding them. We must have sufficient pasturing ground to feed the animals all round. We have to maintain the animals throughout their life. We must not make any program for selling them to the slaughterhouses. That is the way of cow protection. Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban. Vrindaban is also known as Gokula. Go means cows, and kula means congregation. Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser. In India of course, a cow is protected and the cowherdsmen they derive sufficient profit by such protection. Cow dung is used as fuel. Cow dung dried in the sunshine kept in stock for utilizing them as fuel in the villages. They get wheat and other cereals produced from the field. There is milk and vegetables and the fuel is cow dung, and thus, they are self-independent in every village. There are hand weavers for the cloth. And the country oil-mill (consisting of a bull walking in circle round two big grinding stones, attached with yoke) grinds the oil seeds into oil. The whole idea is that people residing in New Vrindaban may not have to search out work outside. Arrangements should be such that the residents should be self-satisfied. That will make an ideal asrama. I do not know these ideals can be given practical shape, but I think like that; that people may be happy in any place with land and cow without endeavoring for so-called amenities of modern life—which simply increase anxieties for maintenance and proper equipment. The less we are anxious for maintaining our body and soul together, the more we become favorable for advancing in Krishna Consciousness.
Hoping you are well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swa
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swa