Govindas questionnaire results

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By Ivor Lyons

Many thanks to the many hundreds of people who responded to our survey about the concept of developing Govindas across Europe.

Click here to see the original article and questionnaire

The results show massive support for the project.

In fact we were overwhelmed by your enthusiasm and the many, many spontaneous messages of encouragement and advice.

We have posted the results below so that you can see for yourself just how excited the community is about this idea.

Now that we have this incredible goodwill behind us we are sure that we can keep up the momentum and take the project to the next stage.

We very much look forward to updating you again soon.

Response Summary

1. Imagine a future where there is a Govindas Restaurant in many more of the major cities and towns around Europe. They will be places where Hare Krishna’s can live and work but which are open to the general public.
(You can tick more than one box) Do you find this idea:

Exciting 86.6%

Visionary 27.8%

Common sense 25.8%

Uninteresting 2.1%

Delusional 1.0%

2. If they want to… every Hare Krishna devotee will have the opportunity to be involved with the Govindas Restaurants. Either as an employee or even owning part of the franchise and running it as their own business. Do you find this idea:

A great opportunity 88.7%

Much needed 32.0%

Uninteresting 5.2%

Burdensome 2.1%

3. This project and will only succeed with the support of the ISKCON community as a whole. Do you think we can make it work?

Yes 92.7%

No 9.4%

4. Would you personally like to get involved in some way?

Yes 56.4%

Maybe 38.3%

No 5.3%

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Comments • [comment feed]

1 Unregistered

If they want to… every Hare Krishna devotee will have the opportunity to be involved with the Govindas Restaurants. Either as an employee or even owning part of the franchise and running it as their own business.

The danger here is raw capitalism and greed creeping into the devotee community. Presently, a small percent of the population hoards almost ninety five percent of the world’s wealth. We need to have vision, to be able to see fifty or some hundreds of years from now. And, if as predicated, all other religions fall away and Krsna consciousness becomes the predominant religion of the world and we have some varnasrama system in place, then this proposal of big business will have no place in such a society.

For such planning, spiritual guidance is needed. That means not just taking advice from senior devotees but actually advanced devotees. The shelter of a proper spiritual head with vision (brahmana) who can give proper advice is required.

So this idea of ‚Äúeither as an employee or even owning part of the franchise‚ÄĚ sends out a message of an intention for this to be run as a big business enterprise such as Mcdonalds. Many grhasthas would have thought of opening a vegetarian restaurant at some point, it‚Äôs a perfect way to earn money and preach at the same time. So better to use the expertise and set up grhasthas to run their own restaurants independently. If the influence and fame of Iskcon and Govinda‚Äôs are to be used, then spiritual guidance from an advanced devotee with vision of a future Hare Krsna world with varnasrama principles is required.

It could be networked into some franchise for uniformity and some percentage of profits taken as salary but it is dangerous to get into the super-rich (hording) mentality.

Another danger is that a big business organization with absolute authority could introduce new age ideas or other deviant philosophies in their restaurants so that it becomes unrecognizable as the Hare Krsna’s. The idea to open Govinda’s all over Europe is good but it is better to set up individual vaisya’s to own them and spread the wealth.

Comment posted by Nitai dasa on November 9th, 2012
2 pustakrishna

When we were in Geneva, Switzerland in about 1974 (?), Srila Prabhupad asked me to write a letter on his behalf and with his wording as he approved of the letter. It was sent to LA and from there distributed. It basically highlighted the reality that not everyone will be attracted to come to the temple…but he wanted people to be exposed to the Vedic culture. The restaurants were a prominent part of introducing people to Krishna culture, without them coming to the temples.
Not everything is intended to have an immediately result. The bhaktas are sowing seeds of future devotional service, giving sukriti, giving prasadam, giving people a chance to be exposed to the culture of Krishna consciousness. Books and tapes are naturally available in the restaurants, and Krishna kirtan as well.
Regarding capitalism, etc. raised in comment 1 above, in order to have a business, one much have a profit so that they can pay the expenses of the business, buy new materials needed to run the business, pay employees, and even pay taxes, rent and the like. One should not be naive about running a business. I have seen Krishna restaurants go under because there was not a dedicated group of employees. It is not a small undertaking, and to be successful, it must be run business like, and with Krishna consciousness of course.
In addition, if one does not invest their own money in the business, they are more likely to simply walk away from it if the going gets tough. Krishna restaurants managed well are a wonderful way to work and also to fulfill the wish of Srila Prabhupad to expose the public to Krishna culture outside of the temples. Sincerely, Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on November 11th, 2012
3 Unregistered

Hare Krishna, Please accept my humble obeisances and all glories to Srila Prabhupada. The next step we are taking is to build a online open development forum. Where discussion can take place on the development project and the categories that need development. There are many people with useful and valuable experiences and comment. As this project is being developed for ISKCON then we should invite all comment and build the project using the experiences and ideas and references of the ISKCON community. As is normal with classes at the temple, there is always a nice debate of topics. We are open to all nice comments and suggestions and are really happy to try to please everyone in a bonafide way. Hare Krishna and see you online at the GDP (Govindas development project) Forum soon. Bhakta Ivor :)

Comment posted by bhaktaivorlyons on November 28th, 2012

Comments are closed. Please check back later.

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