At Any Cost, Do It!
We seek the simple essence of truth in all the instructions of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, because His essence of truth is the same essence of truth found in all our sampradayic teachers. We choose not to speculate in any attempt to “make things more relevant or acceptable” at the cost of sacrificing the essential truths which will bring our individual souls to pure love of Krishna… In this regard, we examine a series of statements by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Prabhupada, regarding his last wishes to establish Vrindavan Villages across the globe. Gadidas … 2017
Prabhupada: They were happy, the inhabitants of Vrindavan, with Krishna and living with the cows. That I want to introduce…………………………………. At any cost do it!
Morning Walk, May 27 and 28, 1974, Rome:
Yogesvara: So then we should begin our rural communities like New Vrindaban, and then by training up people in the cities, we can send them gradually…
Prabhupada: There will be no city, We don’t want cities.
Bhagavan: What about our city temples?
Prabhupada: No, no. For the time it may go on. But as we make progress, there will be no necessity. City means… For the present we have got. Because the city is there, we are there.
My comment: We can clearly see here that Srila Prabhupada had a vision for us that was away from the city, far away. Obviously, to start this movement the cities were the best place. Small temples were established, and deities were even installed. But Prabhupada was not phased by any of that, he wanted everything moved far from the city. The deities as well…
Prabhupada: Our next program is to organize farming. Let anyone come. We shall give him free food and employment: “Come on.” Not that, “I want to work as a clerk in the city.” You produce your own food. I give you ingredients. I give you land. And work for five, six hours, and take your food and chant Hare Krsna. But we never say that you have to pay so many dollars.
My comment: We can clearly see here that Prabhupada wanted us to live on the land, not in the city. He then offers for free: I give you land, some ingredients, you work the land, grow a little food… and chant the Holy Names. In the village this would mean a vibrant evening program of kirtan and Krishna’s pastimes… we are not real estate agents.
Prabhupada: So try to understand the importance of this movement Krishna is giving us. This is a first-class place. You can develop it into a Vaikuntha. It is already Vaikuntha, Krishna is there. But develop it very nicely, peacefully live. Hundreds of miles away from the hellish cities. For little conveyance we can have bullock carts, when we have to get, transport. Very peaceful life. Introduce it and live peacefully. Am I right or wrong?
My comment: So not just a short distance from the city, but a far distance from the city… And become peaceful, chanting being the most important activity.
Prabhupada: They have simplified, automatically they have simplified their life. And gradually develop, make little cottages, grow little vegetable, little barley or wheat and milk. That is sufficient. We don’t require much. We don’t want luxury. We want just to subsist. Yavad artha prayojana (as much as required). We hate the idea of luxury, unnecessary.
My comment: Very clearly this simple environment which Prabhupada is proposing helps to create a non-envious atmosphere. We are not to pursue luxury… unnecessary. Not only is it unnecessary, but to not pursue it assists in diminishing the tendency toward envy. Establishing a non-envious environment built on love and trust is what he is hoping for.
Prabhupada: Hell means anywhere where material happiness is given more importance. So read our books, chant Hare Krishna, live very simple life, produce your own necessities. Don’t go to the town.
Let them engage in kirtan. There will be more water for gardening, and it will be moist, and then produce fodder for the animals and food for you. And animal gives you milk. That is Vrindavan life.
My comment: Kirtan and Radha-Krishna, the perfect combination. This is Vrindavan life. Again Prabhupada is stressing simplicity and chanting…
Prabhupada: Therefore, I am asking so much here: “Farm, farm, farm, farm… ” That is not my program-Krishna’s program. Annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14] (from grains come the material bodies). Produce greenness everywhere, everywhere. Vrindavan. It is not this motorcar civilization. Life is meant for simply chanting. This should be the motto.
My comment: More stress on village life, more stress on growing food, and big stress on chanting and hearing…
Prabhupada: The meaningful life is, so long we live, become fully Krishna conscious. And tyaktva deham punar. [Bg. 4.9]
Prabhupada: Don’t bother about big, big buildings. It is not required. Useless waste of time.
My comment: This simple life is conducive for developing full Krishna consciousness… And just see the stress of not wasting time on big buildings. Big, valuable buildings create big, big problems. At this moment here is so much distraction about a certain big valuable building in Brooklyn, NY. Our attention should never have to be diverted to fighting over buildings… the only big structure in the village is the home of the deity. That can be very beautiful and ornate. That is Krishna’s home. We live in little cottages. Everything is in perspective then.
The Final Letter for Farms, August, 1977
Prabhupada: This is the next aspect of Krishna consciousness which I wish to push forward. If I am able to travel again then I shall visit the farms and make them perfect. On these farms we can demonstrate the full varnasrama system. If these farms become successful, then the whole world will be enveloped by Krishna consciousness.
My comment: What did Prabhupada just say? If these farms become successful, then the whole world will be enveloped by Krishna consciousness. This is a strong statement, on what has been ignored, and should never have been ignored. I don’t know anywhere else that Prabhupada makes such a strong statement about changing the world.
Prabhupada: Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Krishna advised Nanda Maharaj not to perform Indra-puja, but to worship the land, Govardhana, because it was supplying all foodstuffs for the residents of Vrindavan and the cows as well.
The Final Order, October 8, 1977, Vrndavana
Prabhupada: No luxuries. Live very simple life and you save time for chanting Hare Krishna.
Hansaduta: Yes, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That is my desire. Don’t waste time for bodily comforts. You have got this body. You have to eat something. You have to cover yourself. So produce your own food and produce your own cloth. Don’t waste time for luxury, and chant Hare Krishna. This is success of life.
My comment: Obviously, Prabhupada was hoping we would take up the life of ascetics, voluntarily living a more pure and wholesome life. One that would facilitate more and more chanting and hearing. Save time for chanting Hare Krishna! Obviously, this goes to the heart of what the Krishna Consciousness movement was intended to be. Simplify life, increase chanting and hearing, and develop loving attachment for Krishna. This is of course the core purpose of Lord Caitanya’s teachings. Since this is the only way that Prabhupada will think, the only way he can think, he is hoping we will strive for pure chanting and reach the real goal of pure love of God. This should never be considered impossible. Not having full faith in that proclamation would disappoint him terribly.
Prabhupada: In this way organize as far as possible, either in Ceylon or in Czechoslovakia, wherever… Save time. Chant Hare Krishna. Don’t be allured by the machine civilization.
My comment: Save time. Again, emphasis on chanting… and avoid that strong tendency to depend on machines. That should be weaned away.
Prabhupada: We are exerting so much energy to … And money, spend for Krishna–for Krishna’s palace, for Krishna’s temple, for Krishna’s worship, gorgeous, as gorgeously as… Not for false… construct a temple, but as soon as we become implicated, “Now I have got this big building. Let me live very comfortably.” Then it is very dangerous. So long we work for Krsna, it is Krsna’s, I am still nothing. And as soon as I take it, “Oh, now I have got very good, comfortable place. Make me again something.” Take that as dangerous.
So make, organize. I can give you the idea, but I’ll not live very long. If you can carry out, you can change the whole world… Especially if you can change America, then whole world will change.
My comment: Here again the vision of world change due to the development of the Vrindavan villages. When the world sees something exceptional, they will pursue it. I believe that this is what Srila Prabhupada is saying here… that if we develop these self-sufficient villages nicely, the whole world will be attracted and become “enveloped in Krishna consciousness.”
Prabhupada: This is human life. This is Krishna consciousness, to save others who are in the darkness. It is not a profession: “Now, Krishna consciousness is my profession. I’m getting very easily food and shelter.” Just like the Indians, they are doing, a profession, say another means of livelihood. Not like that. It is for para-upakara, actually benefiting the others. That is Krishna consciousness. Then Krishna will be very much pleased: “Oh, he is trying.” ‘Cause Krishna personally comes for doing this benefit to the people, and if you do, then how much Krishna will be pleased.
My comment: Everything we do should be for the sake of others; how to help them in every way. By creating these villages, we will be giving the world and its people an alternative lifestyle. This is called long-term preaching, shreyas. We must help others understand the true meaning of human life, and a practical example of how to live here in peace and simple prosperity. Preyas, or short term preaching may be understood like book distribution, and street kirtan… all of this works together to create a complete circle. “This is how and why we live the way we do, and here is your book, sir, to learn about the chanting, and our special lifestyle,” …etc.
Prabhupada: Just like Maharaj, Nanda Maharaj, the foster father of Krishna. He was keeping 900,000 cows. And He was rich man. He was Maharaj, king. But see the behavior. His beloved son, Krishna and Balarama, he has entrusted to take care of the calves or cows: “Go in the forest.” He is well dressed with ornament, and nice dress, everything. All the cowherds boys, they are very rich. They have got enough grains and enough milk. Naturally they will be rich. But not that the cows and the calves will be taken care of by some hired servant. No. They would take care himself.
My comment: Srila Prabhupada says a couple of things here. The first is that everyone in Vrindavan was considered rich. There are some reasons for this of course… well, Krishna Himself was present, and so the Goddess of fortune was present with Him. Vrindavan was opulent, but not opulent like with money, and such. It was opulent because of the cows, and the gifts of jewels and natural wonders from the forest and the Yamuna. Krishna covered his majesty with sweetness and love. Everyone in Vrindavan could only think of Krishna. Because they could only think of Krishna, they would always be wealthy, rich with the natural opulence that comes from pure love. They had no want, save and except how to give Krishna happiness. The second point here is that they did all the work themselves. This was their natural dharma, to work and please Krishna.
Prabhupada: This is civilization. Not to reduce the labor, but increase the labor. Therefore they are called ugra-karma, jagatau hita, and that will create disastrous condition of the human society. This is discussed in Bhagavad-gita. So our this simple living… We are introducing the simple living, People would eat very nicely, keep their health fit and save time for understanding his relationship with God. That is perfect civilization.
My comment: This is really flies in the face of modern civilization, to want to increase labor, not decrease. The reason for this is simple. The natural wholeness of the human being can be realized when everyone feels productive. In the western world, we have become very weak. We do not consider working hard to be intelligent. Better to make some money on the internet and buy groceries at the store. Better yet, just have them delivered with a drone. This is one factor that is very difficult to overcome in regard to coming back to the land and working with the hands and legs: we are so addicted to the store. Sad, but true… This can be overcome, and it is happening, but very slowly… The children, if they are not spoiled with electronics, they will learn how to work, but the parents have to be vigilant and introduce this technology correctly.
Prabhupada: So write very elaborately how to do this. Increase. And in your country, we increase this farm project any unlimited number… You should take to farming for supporting yourself. That’s all. Grow your own food. Grow your own cloth. There is no need of financial help from outside.
My comment: We must keep writing on this subject until there is a breakthrough. Meaning there will be enough men and money, on the front end of such a village to bring it to the self-sufficient stage. The village should be composed of all types of persons with doctoring skills, dentistry, education, etc. it takes a lot of people, and a lot of determination. At Murari, we are gathering the people slowly and surely, because my determination is there. We will find success for His Divine Grace.
Prabhupada: You get your food grains sufficiently, rice, dahl, wheat, vegetables, milk, sugar. You get everything. From these five, six items you should be economically free. That you have to do, not for trade to get money. Then it will be failure.
Indian lady: Can we purchase the house for our own staying?
Prabhupada: Yes. Because this is necessary. You must have some shelter, you must eat, you must cover. That is necessary. So you do it. Grow food first of all to feed yourself sumptuously. You must get strength, and that is needed. But not for trade.
My comment: Clearly, if we plan on growing crops, or increasing milk production simply for the sake of making money, it will be a failure. Why a failure? Because it takes the dependency away from Krishna and puts it in our own hands. You may make some money, but the loss will be on the spiritual side. Creating a Vrindavan village means being completely dependent on Krishna, just like the cowherd boys when they fearlessly walked into the mouth of Aghasura. We must be completely dependent on Krishna, and have the faith that we will be protected and nourished by that dependency. It is a matter of faith only.
Prabhupada: The policy should be that you should be self-sufficient and save time for advancing in Krishna Consciousness. That is wanted. Produce your own food, live peacefully, fresh vegetable, fresh grains, fresh milk, and prepare so many nice milk preparations, kachori, halava with ghee. Offer to the Deity. Eat sufficiently. What is the use of going outside? Simple life and chant Hare Krishna. If you can organize that, that will be very nice.
My comment: Again and again this theme is put forward: Live simply, produce your own food, make ghee, make kachoris, halava, center your activities around Radha and Krishna, offer to them, take Prasad and save time for chanting and hearing.
Prabhupada was not in favor of our comfortable luxury life. He was trying to pull us away from all that and start a real revolution. Fancy homes, fancy cars and TVs is not what he had in mind, but it seems that is where most devotees end up.
If you would like to change, if you would really like to try and make a life changing move, then get in touch with me. I am dedicated to the fulfillment of the Vrindavan vision of Srila Prabhupada. I just need a few good men with a few dollars. It will not be misspent. It will be used to create something permanent for the world… and even more than that, it will be satisfying to Krishna and Prabhupada.
Thanks for your time… your servant because of his mercy….Gadidas… ACBSP