ISKCON Malaysia has just acquired a 400-acre orchard
By Goloka Candra dasa
ISKCON Malaysia has just acquired a 400-acre orchard to be utilised for expanding our cow protection activities.
The orchard, located 108km from Kuala Lumpur city, currently has a variety of tropical fruit trees, mainly jackfruit, and also starfruit, roseapple, guava, lime etc. We plan to maintain the existing fruit trees and further cultivate coconuts and grass extensively on the land to support free grazing by cows.
Our plan is to start up an integrated dairy farm on the orchard. We currently maintain 28 cows and bulls on a small 20-acre dairy farm on a hill resort about 60km from the city. Some of the animals will be transferred to the bigger orchard land when we expand our cow protection and farming activities there.
In line with this expansion, we are looking for enthusiastic devotees to work on this project, preferably those with experience in training bulls, or looking after cows, milking, making pancagavya products, farming or any other related work.
Devotees who are willing to serve on our farms will be provided with monthly allowance, accomodation, prasadam and return airfare for annual pilgrimage to India. We are flexible on the terms of service. If you are doing nice service, we’ll do our part to help you continue doing so.
Devotees who are interested in not only working on the land but also in utilising portions of it for any project related to cow protection and farming, are also invited to put forward their proposals. If we find your idea feasible, we will explore it further with you.
If you have expertise in any field related to cow protection and farming, we definitely would like to hear from you.
Srila Prabhupada planted the seeds of Krishna Consciousness in Malaysia when he visited the country in 1971 for a few days on his way to Australia. Currently there are about 30 ISKCON temples and centres in the country, almost in every major town.
Malaysia also has the distinction of organising the largest number Ratha Yatra festivals outside India. The chariot of Lord Jagannatha is annually taken on the streets of almost every major town in the country, pulled by large crowds of devotees and public.
Malaysia is only a short hop away from India and many airlines cover the route. Budget airlines like AirAsia fly between the two countries for as little as USD100 only. Many devotees transit through Malaysia on their travels to and from India.
Malaysia has a mild sunny climate all year round with plenty of rain and generally fertile soils. The land and environment has always been very conducive for agrarian activities.
Srila Prabhupada said on several occasions that during the Vedic age, Malaysia was famous for her fragrant sandalwood trees.
For example, in his book, “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Srila Prabhupada wrote in Chapter 15: Beyond Birth and Death:
kecid ahur ajam jatam punya-slokasya kirtaye yadoh priyasyanvavaye malayasyeva candanam
“Some say that the Unborn is born for the glorification of pious kings, and others say that He is born to please King Yadu, one of Your dearest devotees. You appear in his family as sandalwood appears in the Malaya Hills.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.32)
“…The appearance of Lord Krsna is compared to the growth of sandalwood trees in the Malaya Hills (malayasyeva candanam). There are two Malayas – the Malaya Hills and the part of the world now known as Malaysia. The candana tree, or sandalwood tree, can grow anywhere – there is no rule that it has to grow in Malaysia or the Malaya Hills – but because this sandalwood grows in large quantities in those parts of the world, it is known as malaya-candana. In the Western countries there is scented water known as eau de cologne. It can be manufactured anywhere, but because it was originally manufactured in the city of Cologne, it is known as eau de cologne. Similarly, sandalwood can grow anywhere, but because it was originally very prominent in Malaysia and the Malaya Hills, it is known as Malayan sandalwood. Kunti offered this prayer five thousand years ago, and this indicates that sandalwood was growing five thousand years ago in Malaysia. “Malaysia” is not a new name; it was known thousands and thousands of years ago to the followers of the Vedic culture. Nowadays, of course, Malaysia is growing rubber trees because there is a good demand for rubber, but formerly Malaysia grew sandalwood on a large scale because there was a great demand for sandalwood, especially in India.”
Sandalwood can still be found growing wild deep in the rainforests of Malaysia. Lately there has been some revival of interest in cultivating sandalwood and aghuru on a commercial scale in the country due to the high prices for these fragrant oils on the international market. Weight for weight, sandalwood and aghuru oils fetch higher prices than gold itself!
Malaysia’s tropical rainforests, said to be the oldest in the world, is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, years of uncontrolled logging and clearing has depleted much of the forest resources and life forms.
Since our farms are well located nearby the remnants of the natural forests
(and yet within 90-minute drive from our city temple), devotees serving on our farms will enjoy a healthier, close-to-nature lifestyle. If you are looking to practise simple living, high thinking within a Krishna-conscious farm community, this is the place for you.
For the adventurous, there is plenty to explore around. For example, nearby our orchard is a forest reserve where elephants (protected species under the law) are sheltered. You can get to ride the elephants, take pictures with them, feed them or even bathe with them in the river. Many visitors and tourists drive all the way from the city just to see the elephants.
There is also a deer park nearby. If you want to see real wild life, go trekking into the surrounding forest and if you’re lucky, you might encounter the Malayan tiger face-to-face!
Devotees who are interested in serving in the exciting farm projects now taking shape in Malaysia are invited to contact either:
Simhesvara dasa +60-12-3798743 firstname.lastname@example.org skype: simhes
Goloka Candra dasa +60-12-2075159 email@example.com skype: golokacandra
Your servant, Goloka Candra dasa