The following is some selected excerpts from letters written by Srila Prabhupada on New Vrindaban. These are not the letters in their entirety, but rather selected excerpts presented chronologically.
Specific Purposes for New Vrindaban
Statements by Srila Prabhupada, with origins
Letter to Hayagriva dasa
….”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……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.
….. 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.
….. 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……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.
“As you are projecting to develop New Vrindaban, you will require money and I would advise you to purchase land there instead of taking on lease. If you want to take on lease, then it must be on long period, say 99 years; but first hand lease is better, that is from the government. I do not understand what is the position of Mr. Rose there, but I shall advise you not to make any big plans on the land of others…. But for the New Vrindaban project, I would advise you to purchase land as much as you can because it appears that the atmosphere and situation is very nice there….. In your letter of the 8th instant you write to say, “but it would be difficult to spread the Mahamantra to the inhabitants here.” Our principal aim is to preach the importance of chanting the Holy Names of God. And if there is no such opportunity then the place will be specifically meant for persons who want to retire from activities. To retire from activities is not very good idea for the conditioned soul. I have got very good experience, not only in our country but also in your country, that this tendency of retiring from activities pushes one down to the platform of laziness, and gradually to the ideas of the hippies. One should always remain active in Krishna’s service, otherwise the strong maya will catch him and engage him in her service. Our constitutional position being rendering service, we cannot stop activity. So the New Vrindaban may not be turned into a place of retirement, but some sort of activities must go on there. If there is good prospective land, we should produce some grains, flours, and fruits, and keep cows, so that the inmates may have sufficient work and facility for advancing in Krishna Consciousness. In India actually the Vrindaban has now become a place of the unemployed, and beggars. Kirtanananda has already seen it; and so there is always a tendency of such degradation if there is no sufficient work for service of Krishna. Another suggestion is that if you can attract some retired men to live there peacefully and at the same time, make oneself advanced in Krishna Consciousness, that will be very nice. But I am afraid that retired men from this country cannot give up their old habits, generally, intoxication, keeping a dog, smoking, etc., and it will be difficult for them to give up such habits even they are invited to live with us in Vrindaban. (Letter to Hayagriva 7.14.68)
“I do not know what is written there in the Clerk’s office in Deed Book 98, but on common sense, it appears that the area is coal mine or oilmine. Under the circumstances, if in future coal industry is developed and if it is required, the government may at once ask us to vacate and no law can stop it. Even if the government does not acquire our land, if in our vicinity some such industry (coal or oil industry) is started, the whole idea of Vrindaban will fade away. Vrindaban conception is a transcendental village, without any botheration of the modern industrial atmosphere. My idea of developing New Vrindaban is to create an atmosphere of spiritual life where people in bona fide order of social division, namely, Brahmacaris, Grhasthas, Vanaprastha, Sannyasis, or specifically Brahmacaris and Sannyasis, and Vanaprasthas, will live there independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplified without being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding. The New Vrindaban idea is that persons who live there will accept the bare necessities of life to maintain the body and soul together and the major part of time should be engaged in development of Krishna Consciousness. The whole Vedic principle is to develop Krishna Consciousness, without creating much botheration for the program of sense gratification. Industrial development (or mining industry) in the neighboring places will mar the whole idea. Now you have to consider, yourself, looking forward to the future, of the land, and then decide, what to do. I do not like to have New Vrindaban with industrial or mining areas. I have got experience of them in India, that the mining areas are simply next to dungeon. The workers in the mines are considered to be residing in the hell. And we can never expect any good behavior from such workers. So we must think of the atmosphere around Vrindaban. In India also our present government, they are trying to develop industries in the vast tracts of land around Vrindaban, and creating a hellish atmosphere. So I shall request you to be assured of the future of the land, and then do the needful. The summary is that the face of the lease agreement appears to be all right, but I am thinking of a spiritual development. I hope you have received my previous letter and I am expecting your reply as soon as possible….. Letter to Hayagriva August 17, 1968
My Dear Kirtanananda and Hayagriva,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 20, 1968, and was so much pleased to read the contents carefully. Now I can understand clearly the mining position; anyway, as it is clear to every one of us, now we can work with great enthusiasm for constructing a New Vrindaban in the United States of America. People who came from Europe to this part of the world, they named so many new provinces, and countries, just like New England, New Amsterdam, New York, so I also came in this part of the world to preach Krishna Consciousness and by His Grace and by your endeavor, New Vrindaban is being constructed. That is my great happiness. Our sincere endeavor in the service of the Lord, and the Lord’s assistants [?], to make our progressive march successful, are two important things to be followed in spiritual advancement of life. I think it was Krishna’s desire that this New Vrindaban scheme should be taken up by us, and now He has given us a great opportunity to serve Him in this scheme. So let us do it sincerely and all other help will come automatically. I am very glad to notice in Kirtanananda’s letter that he has realized more and more that the function of New Vrindaban is nothing physical or bodily, but purely spiritual and for the glorification of the Lord, Sri Hari. If we actually keep this view in our front, certainly we shall be successful in our progressive march.
“I am very glad to learn, Kirtanananda, you are feeling so much happy in serving a beautiful Jagannatha Murtis which you have taken from Montreal. The aratrik ceremony can be performed as follows: The first aratrik ceremony is performed as you have seen in Vrindaban, at Radha Damodara Temple, early in the morning, before sunrise, at least one and a half hour before sunrise. The second aratrik is performed at about 8:00 in the morning, after dressing and decorating the Deity with flowers. The third aratrik is performed after offering the luncheon to the Deity. And then the fourth aratrik is performed in the evening. And the fifth aratrik is performed when the Lord goes to bed. So you have got practical experience, you have seen how they are doing in Radha Damodara Temple, and gradually, as far as possible, you can introduce them. Jagannatha Swami is very kind to the fallen souls, because He is the Lord of the Universe, and all the living creatures are His subjects, therefore, Jagannatha Swami will bless you with all the required intelligence, how to satisfy Him. On the bathing ghats in India, generally, they install Lord Siva’s Murti, but that is not possible here, neither we want to divert attention in so many performances. Concentrate in one temple, and then we shall extend one after another. Immediately the scheme should be to have a temple in the center as you have already taken the plan, and residential quarter for the Brahmacaris, or Grhasthas, and let us go ahead with that plan at first.
“Our next attempt should be to establish a New Vrindaban post office at our door, and if you can arrange for this. I think to establish a post office nearby it will be required that you get some letters from all centers. So this will not be difficult if that is the rule. First of all you know from authorities what is the paraphernalia, rules, to get a post office, then we shall advise all our centers to send you letters, at least 6 or one dozen from each center, and this will be sufficient to give proof that we are getting letters plenty.
“The scheme regarding the will of Hayagriva Brahmacari, as well as the lease agreement between the society and Hayagriva Brahmacari, the tax payment, all this scheme are very nicely made, and I have got all my approval and so far the trustees are concerned, this is also required, and I can suggest that amongst the trustees, your two names, Kirtanananda and Hayagriva, and then Brahmananda, and from San Francisco Jayananda, and Mukunda, and Satsvarupa, Dayananda, Syamasundara, etc. and such sincere boys, who are working with their life and soul for the society, may be the trustees, and I think you should immediately make correspondence with Brahmananda, and I have already advised him that we should make a central committee for management of all the centers. Or, if especially for New Vrindaban, different trustees required, that I cannot say. In my idea, there should be one central body of trustees for directing all the different centers as well as New Vrindaban, but there must be a local governing body for each center, that is my idea. Now you are consulting with some lawyers, you can take their suggestion also, but do everything very nicely so that we can serve Krishna without any difficulty….. August 23.1968 letter to Kirtanananda and Hayagriva
“I hope that New Vrindaban will give shelter to so many unhappy men of this country and they will be happy by working there, and living there in good association of devotees….. . Yesterday, before coming here I was talking with one hippy boy. He came to see me in my apartment in San Francisco, and was talking that hippies are in search after such peaceful place, like you have got in New Vrindaban. And they do not like to live in the cities anymore. So if some of us go and make some canvassing work among the hippies, that the thing which they are searching after is here in Krishna Consciousness, and as soon as they come they will understand, so somebody may be engaged in such propaganda work…… I am very glad to learn that Harivilasa has given you a Pair of Radha Krishna Murtis, so it appears that Radha Krishna is very kind on you, because you went to Vrindaban, to live there but circumstantially, you could not live there, and you left. Krishna has given you New Vrindaban, as well as He has, out of His good will, He has come to you. It is very surprising. So please welcome the Deity and install Him in a nice throne. I think Vamanadeva will be able to prepare a nice throne, and you have seen the New York Deities’ dress and process of worship, so you can do in that way. There is nothing to be added new. The same principle should be followed, and the Deities should always be well-dressed in clothing and some ornaments and flowers and incense. The Deities should always be attractive. And the more we are engaged in decorating the Deities, washing the room, the more we are engaged in Deity worship, the more we become purified. That is practical…. September 22, 1968 Letter to Kirtanananda
“…I think in New Vrindaban we shall have our own institution for teaching some boys, and I think you can be recognized principle of that institution. So far I understand, that the law of your country is that nobody can keep youngsters without being sent into the schools, so there are many juvenile Brahmacaris in San Francisco and their mother is perplexed where to send them. So I shall request you to think on this matter how we can organize a small party of Brahmacaris’ school, so that government may recognize it, and that will be a nice program.
“Regarding hippies, I know hippies have no money. But in New Vrindaban, our program is that the inhabitants should produce their own food, somehow or other they should be self-independent. Otherwise, what is the use of occupying such great tract of land. If we can think of starting a small institution, I think we shall get help from government and many foundations, if they understand that we are actually a training people for building up character and health along with imparting education…. Letter to Hayagriva 10.7.68
“So we have therefore taken a large tract of land to begin with, in W. Virginia, the place is called New Vrindaban. So we want to train students for becoming the first class intellectual person, and instruct the whole human society about the aim of life, and Krishna Consciousness or God consciousness. So we are inviting the desiring or intending students to join in our institution and we invite the public and government to cooperate with our movement.” October 17, 1968 letter to Raya Rama.
“Yes, when Krishna has given us New Vrindaban, it must develop rest assured. You have got very good engagement by the Grace of Krishna, do it nicely and your life will be glorious and successful. So also Hayagriva’s….. Radhakrishna shall be your life companion and thus you will be always secure from the attack of Maya. So also Hayagriva. The present mode of worship is quite alright, don’t worry. You have seen in Vrindaban so do follow as much as possible. Decorate the Deity as nicely as possible with nice flowers and dress…..Letter to Kirtanananda, 10.22.68
“Regarding Radha Damodara temple, because it is one of the most important temples in Vrindaban, I took shelter in this temple, just to improve the dilapidated condition. The present proprietor or the men in charge of this temple, they are most materialistic men, and simply utilizing the temple and its property for their sense gratification. If Radha Damodara likes, in future, I may be able to do something for this temple, but until I have got the opportunity probably I am not going again into that temple. I have now New Vrindaban scheme and I shall try to develop all the important temples of Vrindaban including Radha Damodara temple in our New Vrindaban site. Letter to Sivananda 11.11.68
“Fourth point, so far the administrator class of men, or mercantile class of men, and laborer class of men, there are many institutions but to train a first class intellectual man, there is no institution all over the world. And there is no institution for spiritual training also. So this Krishna Consciousness movement is trying to help the human society on these two points, which they are lacking. So we have therefore taken a large tract of land to begin with, in W. Virginia, the place is called New Vrindaban. So we want to train students for becoming the first class intellectual person, and instruct the whole human society about the aim of life, and Krishna Consciousness or God consciousness. So we are inviting the desiring or intending students to join in our institution and we invite the public and government to cooperate with our movement…. [the following is general, not specific to NVC] Nobody should take to very hardship labor. The modern civilization has discovered severe types of dangerous industries, and laborers are attracted for high wages. But they should not accept such work. Then naturally there will be less capitalistic idea. Because the laborer cooperates, therefore demoniac persons they take advantage and make unnecessarily increase of artificial demands of the body. Better one should be satisfied with agricultural produce than go into large cities to be engaged in industry. Peaceful life depending on agricultural produce can bring him real happiness and prosperity, not otherwise. The more persons will be satisfied at their home, with home economics, not to go outside the home, that is peaceful life. In India, Mahatma Gandhi tried to organize villages in that way so that not to drag the people to the town. So peaceful atmosphere can be attained only when there is large scale village organization, actually village life. Not to borrow the ideas from the cities in the village life; poet Cooper said that country is made by God, and the cities and towns are made by man. So that is the distinction. October 17, 1968 Rayarama. [note: might be 10.17.68 date]
November 18, 1968 My Dear Hayagriva,
“Please accept my blessings……
“New Vrindaban should be taken up very seriously because actually I want to develop a replica of Old Vrindaban. I have got ambition to construct there 7 temples as follows: 1. Radha Madan Mohan, 2. Radha Govinda, 3. Radha Gopinatha, 4. Radha Damodara, 5. Radha Raman, 6. Radha Gokulananda, 7. Radha Syamasundara. The whole modern city of Vrindaban was established originally with these temples, started by different Gosvamis. And later on, many kings and princes started their own temples and thus the present Vrindaban is now full with small and big 5000 temples. We have to make such scheme in our New Vrindaban, gradually expanding to an area of one mile long and one mile broad. Vamanadeva is still here, and I have advised him to construct some thrones for Radha and Krishna, because Nara Narayana is attempting to get some pairs of Radha Krishna Murtis 24″ high. We shall require so many pairs of Radha Krishna Murtis at different temples. Anyway, do not feel discouraged. As soon as New Vrindaban is connected with a link road as well as electricity, very soon it will develop into our idea. I shall personally go and stay there and see it is developed. 11.18.68 Letter to Hayagriva
January 12, 1969 My Dear Kirtanananda,
“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 31, 1968, and I thank you for your good wishes for the new year. Please accept the same from my side…..
“So you have now taken charge of the sunrise of New Vrindaban. Our program is there for constructing seven temples. One Rupanuga Vidyapitha—that is a school for educating brahmanas and Vaisnavas. We have enough of technological and other types of educational institutions, but perhaps there is none where actual brahmanas and Vaisnavas are produced. So we will have to establish an educational institution for that purpose……Another important scheme is to start a nice press next spring. So these duties are there in New Vrindaban, and we shall have to live there self independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers. I have already explained these things to Hayagriva, and he is now married and a responsible grhastha. You are of course sannyasa. Your duties will be more to preach and supervise the activities there. But do everything jointly. Many grhasthas and brahmacaris will join you for full cooperation. Some of them have already prepared to go there immediately, and perhaps you have received some letters about this. So everything appears very bright in the future. We have to deal with things very sagaciously and success will surely be there. The immediate necessity is to construct some simple cottages for living purposes, and then everything will gradually come out, one after another. I hope that you are already in touch with Hayagriva, and he must have spoken to you about these ideas.
“May Krishna bless you with long life in executing the idea of our New Vrindaban scheme. Thanking you once more. 1.12.69 letter to Kirtanananda
Letter to Hayagriva 3.18.69
“Kirtanananda Maharaja may be the supreme authority for the New Vrindaban center, but the management should be entrusted to the Brahmacaris and next the Grhasthas. He should not directly interfere with the management—he can simply give direction and the Brahmacaris and Grhasthas can carry out the management.
“During Kirtana time, all members should assemble together. Only at night they should live separately. And Kirtanananda Maharaja should live and associate with Brahmacaris. Best thing is that he should be completely aloof from everyone, and assisted by one Brahmacari. But he should be the man in charge to give direction. So far as the two of you working in conjunction, you and Kirtanananda Maharaja, whatever is practical can be adopted in this connection. 3.18.69 Letter to Kirtanananda
March 30, 1969 My Dear Satyabhama,
“….I think I have replied your former letter also, which I hope you have received by this time, and I am so glad to learn that you are feeling very happy in New Vrindaban. The basic principle of our life in Vrindaban will be cow keeping. If we can keep cows sufficiently and grow our necessary foodstuffs, then we shall show a new way of life to your countrymen . . . completely spiritual life in healthy atmosphere in divine consciousness. And you will have ample opportunity to educate children and write books for them because there is sufficient matter for publishing such books from the Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and many other allied literatures. There are thousands of ideal historical events, which if we can put with suitable pictures, it will be a great idea and people will like to have such literature. I have got many ideas for developing the New Vrindaban scheme and if Krishna gives me opportunity I may be able to show something very wonderful in your country. Unfortunately I have no money neither the richer section of your countrymen have taken any serious view of our movement. Otherwise there is more than sufficient money and if one or two men of your country gives a little attention, with this we can develop many New Vrindabans. We are not very much expensive; simply if we get the necessary money, we can play wonderful. Our only hope is books and literature. 3.30.69 letter to Satyabhama.
“Here in your country all the branches are doing very nicely, and this New Vrindaban is an ideal place for improving Krishna Consciousness. We have got enough land here to construct temples and accommodate for the devotees, so in the future we may develop this New Vrindaban very nicely. There is surely an atmosphere of Vrindaban life actually, although many of the devotees here are quite new and differently cultured…. 5.22.69 Letter to Mukunda
“Two brahmacaris, Purusottama and Sridama, are always taking care of me, but at the same time, I am always thinking of your New Vrindaban. The first thing I find in the taste of the milk. The milk which we are taking here is not at all comparable with New Vrindaban milk. Anyway, there must be a gulf of difference between city life and country life. As poet Cowper said, “Country is made by God, and city is made by man.” Therefore, my special request is that you should try to maintain as many cows as possible in your New Vrindaban….. The first thing is that whether the girls and women who live there are agreeable to work as I have suggested; namely 1) to take care of the children, both from health and educational point of view, 2) to keep the whole temple, kitchen, etc. very clean, (At the present moment, things are not kept very clean. You are right that if some outsiders come, they will view our situation as not very hygienic.), 3) cooking, 4) churning butter. If they agree to all these four principles, that is to say, if they cooperate with the boys, then surely very quickly New Vrindaban will develop as nicely as possible.
“So far as milk is concerned, I can arrange for financing in the matter of purchasing cows. The arrangement will be like this, that I shall ask all the centers to finance at least for one cow, and you will have to pay them back the price by supplying ghee. Suppose somebody advances $200 for purchasing a cow; you will have to repay the debt by supplying $200 worth of ghee. After that, the cow becomes your property. But to produce this ghee means there must be regular churning. The men should be engaged in producing vegetables, tilling the field, taking care of the animals, house construction, etc. and the women shall do the indoor activities. Of course, those who are engaged in typing, like Syama Dasi, they cannot do any other work. So you may arrange things in this way. 6.24.69 Letter to Kirtanananda.
“Regarding New Vrindaban, I think we shall have many advantages here that are not in Vrindaban in Mathura. The Vrindaban in Mathura is now congested with so many worldly men. Formerly, Vrindaban was excavated by the Goswamis, and only pure devotees were going there. But at the present moment, this has become a place for the bischovs, materialists, and in the interior part of Vrindaban there are so many rogues and robbers. Formerly, a devotee could live peacefully in any corner of Vrindaban; it is about 180 square miles, but now if somebody lives in some secluded corner, he will be attacked by so many rogues and robbers. Perhaps you know there is a place known as Nandagram, wherein Bon Maharaja has got a place. I have heard that it is very nice, but nobody can live there securely. So at least in New Vrindaban I hope there will be no such disturbances. If we nicely organize as it is going on now, only selected persons will live there and peacefully cultivate Krishna Consciousness. Letter to Jaya Govinda 7.4.69
“I am glad that Devananda is tending the Deities very nicely. He has learned this art directly under my supervision, so I hope he is doing it nicely. Your kirtana program as it is going on is very nice. You have kept the Vrindaban spirit so sublimely that I always remember it and always hanker when I shall go back again. In the meantime I am enjoying the tape which I recorded of your morning prayers and chanting…. In the meantime I have written one letter to Hayagriva regarding transfer of New Vrindaban in the society’s name. I am glad that the girls there are taking my suggestions [see letter 6.24.69 Letter to Kirtanananda], and if things are done according to program, New Vrindaban will surely develop to the highest extent. Letter to Kirtanananda 7.5.69
To Hayagriva: “Your first business is to see my books and the magazine, BTG, published very nicely, and for this work certainly you require a very calm and quiet place. So in the absence of sufficient accommodations we may now restrict the influx of devotees to New Vrindaban. Unless we have got sufficient place it will not be possible to make separate arrangements for brahmacaris and women and children. There is sufficient place there but there is no buildings. If we depend on our own men, I don’t think we will have sufficient accommodations within the thinkable future period. We have to build by professional men, and that means we require money. That is a problem. Now I can’t tax my brain how to get this money for developing the buildings there. If automatically it grows, that is very nice, otherwise let all remain as it is, and in the course of time when Krishna desires it shall be developed. But try to keep the place peaceful without any disturbances. The girls and children who have been a source of disturbance may be for the time being asked either to build their own cottages or leave the place. I can just imagine how much disturbance it is when all around there are children howling and noisy talking.
“Regarding transferring the property to the society’s name, I do not know the legal implications, but so far as I do know for the time being you are not the proprietor of the land; you are the lease-holder. The lease-holder cannot transfer his possession without arrangement with the real owner. So I think legally you cannot now transfer the property to Iskcon because I know it definitely that a lease-holder or a tenant cannot make any such arrangement with a subtenant or sublease-holder. If someone does so, it is not valid. So for the time being the idea of transferring may be deferred. Let it go on as it is. In the meantime you devote your attention for first-class editorial work, and try to manage things there how to keep the inmates peaceful. There is no use to create a pandemonium. Better to keep it under your personal management to keep it nicely for your editorial work. I do not wish that you should be disturbed. 7.12.69 letter to Hayagriva
July 31, 1969 My Dear Kirtanananda,
“Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 22, 1969, and because I went to San Francisco I could not reply earlier. You have suggested that people coming from various centers to New Vrindaban should have their expenses underwritten by the temples at the rate of $25 per person paid for one year. I think that will be a new introduction in our institution. In our so many centers the members go and come, but there was no such demand from any center, and if new Vrindaban demands like that, it will not sound very nice. But I can understand the financial position of New Vrindaban so the best thing will be to stop any more influx in New Vrindaban until the place is self-dependent. The whole idea of New Vrindaban is that men who are living there should produce their own food, of which milk is the principal thing. Unless that position is achieved it will not be advisable to ask anybody to go there. Better to ask them to go there if they are willing to work and produce their own food. Otherwise, nobody should be advised to go there. Besides that, I have received letters from the girls there that they are feeling inconvenience. Therefore, without having adequate place to live there, nobody should be advised at the present moment to go there. I am glad that the boys have been working for the house and the project will be completed satisfactorily. My advice is that you make the place very peaceful. You should admit only such persons who can work without any disturbance. For the time being you may not admit any more men and ask them to pay you $25 per month. That will not sound very nice. Letter to Kirtanananda 7.31.69
“I can understand that you are feeling for a playmate for your child. In New Vrindaban we were thinking of having such place for many children, but at the present it appears to be difficult because there is no sufficient accommodations there. Letter to Lilavati 7.31.69
“Regarding the girls, Hayagriva informed me that there was disturbance, and you informed me that it is all right. So how can I advise in this matter? Try to settle things amongst yourselves. But my idea is that New Vrindaban should be peaceful. There should be no unnecessary disturbances. Letter to Kirtanananda 8.6.69
“Now I am hopeful that our New Vrindaban will be an exact replica of Vrindaban in India. I think it was ordained by Krsna that you went there, took your Sannyas order of life in the presence of Rupa Goswami and Jiva Goswami, and now you have got the opportunity to execute their will. Perhaps you may remember that after you accepted the Sannyas order many hundreds of people congratulated you, and you were looking so beautiful at that time that some of them were murmuring that this Sannyasi is looking exactly like Sri Caitanya. So all those utterances are the blessings of Sri Sri Radha Damodara.
“So carry on this work more enthusiastically and you will feel more and more jubilant in transcendental bliss. So far I am concerned, because our relationship is father and son, so nobody will be more satisfied than me by seeing your successful preaching work. Nobody in this world likes to be defeated by somebody else, but the father when he is defeated by the son feels more pleasure. Therefore, I may once more request you to try your best to construct New Vrindaban an exact duplicate of Vrindaban, and that will give me the highest pleasure…. By the by, I may inform you that you desire me to go to New Vrindaban during Janmastami days, and I suggested to organize a fair within our campus. Do you think it is possible to do so within such short period? But if you can do so, either this year or next, I am sure many people will come to see such fair, and that will be a great impetus for developing the land. Letter to Kirtanananda 2.18.70
“So far life-size Deities are concerned, even if you do not go, that can be imported. We have got addresses of supplier, and if you give me the size of the Deity you want, that can be imported. In the meantime you try to construct some temples in New Vrindaban. I want to publish one catalog of our ISKCON movement, giving pictures of all important centers and especially of New Vrindaban. This idea I gave you long ago when I was in New Vrindaban. I have advised Brahmananda also in this connection. So get this catalog printed as early as possible.
“Another important thing is our theistic school in New Vrindaban. If you can establish a nice educational center, I know many parents of your country will be glad to send their children in New Vrindaban. But we have to create a nice atmosphere and educational system there. Satyabhama is very much enthusiastic in this connection. So you organize this institution systematically”. Letter to Hayagriva 3.9.70
November 08, 1970 My Dear Hayagriva,
“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 27, Sept. I’m very pleased that you’re opening a nice center in the important city of Pittsburgh. Please develop the Pittsburgh and New Vrindaban plan conjointly. If Pittsburgh center can help contribute financially to our New Vrindaban, that will help relieve many financial problems. I am often thinking of New Vrindaban and I’m so much glad that you have taken the initiative to establish that program. Before I came to your country, I was thinking to establish an ideal Vedic community. So please work very hard to make New Vrindaban grow.
“I will agree with you that we must not strain by having more devotees there than we can fit comfortably. Things must be done in such a way that no one feels inconvenienced. That is one of the problems of our modern metropolis. Everyone is packed together so tightly that the condition is always unbearable. Develop things in New Vrindaban in the natural way, so that gradually, as you have more facilities, more men can come. So far as purchasing the property and schoolhouse owned by Mr. Caufield—that is very nice proposal. So I propose that if you can collect $15,000. Then I will loan you the remaining $5,000. from my bookfund.” 11.8.70 [note: this is the Bahulavan property, I believe]. Letter to Hayagriva 11.8.70
“I am very glad that you have decided to rejoin our spiritual community of Krsna Consciousness at New Vrndavana. We have established New Vrndavana to be developed as a model of Krsna Consciousness or pure, unadulterated spiritual community practical for all persons. Actually the atmosphere there is very transcendental and I am very pleased that you have got the good sense to take advantage of this shelter from the distress and frustration of the material world.” Letter 11.17.70 to Kenneth
“In New Vrndavana we will require seven pairs of Deities for the proposed seven temples.” 4.17.71 Letter to Ksirodakasayi
“Your idea to start a nursery school in New Vrindaban is very good proposal and you may immediately try for it by cooperatively consulting amongst yourselves how to do it. But one thing, we are teaching Bhakti by practical attendance and by decreasing playing desire or drive. If the children simply do as their elders are doing, that is, regularly attending mangal arati, rising early, chanting, eating prasadam, looking at books, worshiping the __ like that, then automatically they will become trained up in right way and there is no need for special program for education.” Letter to Satyabhama 2.28.72
June 25, 1972 My Dear Kirtanananda,
Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter from New Vrndavana dated June 20, 1972, and noted the contents thereof. I am very glad to hear that you are giving your full attention to the worship of Sri Sri Radha Krsna there at New Vrndavana, and it shall be your task to make certain that they will never be so much neglected in the future. Your proposal is very nice to make the atmosphere of the Deities very, very opulent, and the temple must be kept always very nice. That will be the attractive feature and people will come to see for that reason. Letter to Kirtanananda 6.25.72
“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated October 19, 1972, and I have noted the contents with care. Now we are in Radha-Damodara Temple staying, and the programme of speaking morning and evening in the courtyard is going on very nicely. It is the same peaceful atmosphere as your New Vrindaban, and just as in New Vrindaban everyone present is devotee. Actually, everywhere wherever Krishna is being glorified, that is Vrindaban.
“Regarding your questions, try to finish the temples in New Vrindaban as quickly as possible using whatever materials you have. Later on they can be improved more and more and eventually they will be the first-class opulent temples in the world.” 10.27.72 Letter to Kirtanananda
January 28, 1973 My dear Hladini Devi Dasi
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 1, 1973, and I have noted the contents with great pleasure. It is so nice to see how enthusiastic you are in executing this process of devotional service and how much you like your engagement there in New Vrindaban. So you continue in this way, always thinking of Krsna, chanting 16 rounds, reading the books, and doing your daily chores all on behalf of Krsna. As your devotional service becomes mature you shall see Krsna more and more, and more and more you shall realize the qualities of the holy land of Vraja. This modern civilization is always artificial. You are actually learning in New Vrindaban the self-sufficient mode of living, simple living, high thinking, that is our policy, and as long as Krsna remains in the center of all these activities, then you are actually in Vrindaban. And the more you please the Deities there with your service, the more they shall reciprocate by bestowing upon you love for Sri Sri Radha Krsna. So I am always looking forward to coming back to New Vrindaban, and I remember very fondly the sandesh, milk, and other nice products that the devotees are preparing there. Thank you very much.
Hoping this finds you well,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Letter to Hladini 1.28.73
“I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 10 January 1973, and I have noted the contents with great pleasure. I can see that Krsna is giving you more and more facility for developing this New Vrindaban scheme. So this is very nice. I am very pleased that you have acquired some more cows. In Mayapur also we have some cows now. So you are the manager there, and in cooperation with the GBC men it is up to you to see that everything is developed very very nicely and that all the land is utilized properly, not that it is sitting going to waste. So once you are utilizing everything very nicely, then you may increase more and more as you like. So consult with the GBC and you may decide whether it is worthwhile to purchase more land at this time.” 1.28.73 letter to Kirtanananda
“I am in due receipt of your letter dated January 20th and February first along with your enclosed plans of the Radha Govindaji Temple in New Vrindaban. From these plans everything seems to be in order except the domes are making the temple look like a mosque. Therefore you please eliminate these domes and consult the Mayapur plan which can be obtained by writing Calcutta for design of the domes. The Deities should be facing East. If you are laying the foundation stone to this temple there is a ceremony which you can observe…..” [details of the installation ceremony for Anantasesa follows]. 2.18.73 Letter to Kirtanananda
“I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 10 June, 1973 and I have carefully studied the contents.
“After the shooting affair what precaution have you taken? Bharadraja is here and he gave report that the devotees were very frightened. I further understand that the attack was for the second time. . Here in Mayapur there are reports of dacoity at least once, twice in a month surrounding our place. So we have now taken two guns under regular license from the government…. So when New Vrindaban has been attacked twice, thrice, why are you not keeping guns? We are not advocates of non-violence when there is aggression we must kill them. So I think you shall immediately arrange for guns and at least 10, 12 men should be trained up so when there is again attack you can properly reply the aggressor.
“In the meantime I shall be glad to hear from you what defense measures you have taken to protect the life and property of New Vrindaban. This is very important and you must take all steps. Actually the government should have arrested all the gang and punished them properly for their atrocious behavior on unarmed people. Is there an attempt to have the government punish the gang who are well known to your country? We just take measure against occasional attacks by criminals. Hoping this finds you in good health.” Letter to Kirtanananda 6.22.73
“I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 21st July, 1973. I have noted the contents with great pleasure. Yes! Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krishna Himself exhibited in Vrindaban. Agriculture and protecting the cow, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindaban, and above all simply loving Krishna. The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and Gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krishna, and in New Vrindaban we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.
“I shall go to New Vrindaban as soon as your palace is finished. Jaya!
“For the small cottages I suggest to construct as the diagram below—wooden beams and between the beams fill with gravel cement. The roof may be tile. The size may be 12′ x 15′. This design is especially suitable for grhasthas, who can feel very comfortable there, and you may house four brahmacaris in such place. Every day you can build one such house, ten may be required, and in one month you will have 30 such nice shelters.” Letter to Kirtanananda 7.23.73
“Regarding the Buffalo project, New Vrindaban is the example. You should develop in a similar way. Have milk, vegetables, simple living, and chanting Hare Krsna. The whole world is engaged in unnecessary hard labor with their factories. It is a brain killing civilization. Let them come to free life. Spend time chanting Hare Krsna, reading books and making their lives successful. This is very essential propaganda. People must be informed.” Letter to Rupanuga 9.4.74
“….Regarding the farm, the exhibition is there in New Vrindaban. Kirtanananda Maharaja has organized very nicely. The same principle you can follow and organize it in Germany. Let the people be happy with self sufficient food grown in the field with milk products. When I was in Frankfurt round our place I was so happy to see the farms and the cows. Unfortunately they will kill the cows. So if we organize a farm without killing any cows, that will be a great example in that country. Instead of killing cows, if we let them live, we can get so many nutritious foodstuffs filled with vitamins. I have seen in New Vrindaban how happily our devotees are living there with fresh air, fresh vegetables, and ample milk. Simple living in cottages. What you want more? We should not neglect the upkeep of the body, and we should save time to chant Hare Krsna. This mission should be propagated. Save time and chant Hare Krsna.” Letter to Hamsadutta 9.7.74