Comments Posted By Gaura Sakti das
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As I see the situation is that ISKCON today is far from any economic model as far application is concerned. It is sad to say that it is even far from successful production since what we even see today that is the collapcing of formerly established farm communities. If you read Syamasundara prabhu’s report you can get a very clear picture about it at least on the European level.
But something very positive is starting now. We seem to recognise that every devotee is eating something every day (plus we have our our Govinda restaurants). So it could lead to create production of food for them. The way I was using economy it means that first of all we have to create a certain internal market and thus we can ensure the devotee producers that they can relay on us in their selling. So it is true it is best to start with creating an economy around food production. But production is not enough, we as devotees have to become “conscious customers” who consciously chooses a product and support the producer by his choice of buying a certain product. I see it as our religious duty: it is our dharma!
At the latest European Leadership Meeting Syamasundara prabhu came up with some very significant proposals to help this situation. I will ask him to present it to the devotees. The idea was accepted by the European leaders and it is worth for overall support to be extended to the whole ISKCON community on the global level.
I don’t want to write the idea now, I will ask Syamasundara prabhu, to explain it.
Comment Posted By Gaura Sakti das On 12.06.2008 @ 20:17
Thank you for your questions about the maintainace of the farm. Well, the first thing is that the farm is not a farm but a village with 130 full time devotees. The activities are overseen by 7 directors in appr 30 departmants. We are working with such a complex system that is not so easy to understand if we want to compare it to the activities of general ISKCON temples.
In our situation we don‚Äôt have subsidies, we maintain the farm by the result of our services, that can be from tourism, shop, restaurant, art and handicraft products, organic vegetable, grain and fruit production, donations and book distribution. We are working with a system that I would call to be a working economy, rather then a simple income-expense management.
We receive project oriented donations that we use to develop/build certain projects but after built we maintain it without further donations. Of course there are projects which by nature maintained by donations such like the worship of the deities. If we are not sure that we are able to maintain a certain project we don‚Äôt even accept laksmi to develop it. So proper operation and maintenance is our main priority.
The following may sounds to be shocking to hear but it may be more easy to maintain a project with 100 person then with 10. Why? Because self-sufficiency is actually meaning well working economy not just simply production (of food or whatever). If ISKCON would put emphasis on studying the theory of self-sufficiency and would be brave to implement it again in village communities that then we could see thousands of devotees living on well workig farm communities. It was our intention to help this development by hosting this First European Farm Conference.
On the other hand we should understand that projects like New Vraja Dhama will never happen by the effort of few farmers who try to survive on a piece of land, however sincere they may be. If we want to manifest somewhere a ‚Äúworkingvillage‚ÄĚ then we have to invest a lot.
If amongst the readers there are some who is interested in the theory of self-sufficiency for them let me advise to read the following book: Aristoteles: Politika. In the first part the author explains what is the theory behind the proper arrangement of self-sufficiency as it was applied in the ancient Greek city-states. (The rest of the book is dealing with the theory of constitutions which may be interesting also for those who has enough patience to study such a complicated text.)
Comment Posted By Gaura Sakti das On 10.06.2008 @ 20:51
It is great to hear about it all! I hope these efforts will lead ISKCON to the reneissance of varnashrama projects :)
Just now I am also pushing a project which is to translate into Russian the BBT publication”Seaking about varnashrama”. We have made it into Hungarian and it is just coming out in few weeks.
Thank you for your efforts!
Comment Posted By Gaura Sakti das On 12.05.2008 @ 10:58
Dear Bharat prabhu, actually what is going on in NVD is that we established “Research Institute for Sustainability Sciences”, and so yes, we have that type of presentation. It is a very interesting issue. We established a whole wide range ecological preaching project called “Eco-valley” and we made a 14 minutes film about it also which was broadcasted in the Hungarian TV channels also…. but let me wrote about it in an other entry.
I am very happy to correspond with you about it and with any devotees who are dedicated to establish or develope rural community projects.
my english blog: http://smileofkrishna.com
Eco-valley project: http://ecovalley.hu/
Comment Posted By Gaura Sakti das On 12.05.2008 @ 10:50
Thanks for your comments.
I agree that KC is solving this global problems, but what we actually see is that we don’t solve them even in our own society. Are all the devotees are eating organic food, or drinking milk from lovingly protected cows? Are the flowers of garlands coming from the gardens of the deities? Do we offer KC education for our children? Do we have institution for protecting the elderlies, the widows or orphans? Somewhere may be little bits…
In our society we are not really focusing neither on varnashrama nor even rural developement. So we heard from Srila Prabhupada what is the solution. It is to preach and practise KC, but practise also includes application of socio-economic practices of KC which is ‚Äúvarnashrama‚ÄĚ. So if ISKCON would really be dedicated to it then we would see thousands of devotees living in newly established dharmic willages, and we would have hundreds of New A‚Ä¶-Z‚Ä¶ Dhamas all around the world.
The World today needs nothing else so despertly then to see communities where people live together accordingly to principles of Krishna-dharma. We may all join in a prayer for Krishna‚Äôs mercy so He gives inspiration and strength to the leaders of our society to not just recognise the need of this projects but they start to focus on establishing them, as it was without a doubt a very intimate desire of our beloved spiritual father/grandfather: Srila Prabhupada. He was showing the way but - even difficult - we should try to live that way‚Ä¶
Some little bits you may also read in English about Krishna-valley at: http://smileofkrishna.com
Comment Posted By Gaura Sakti das On 11.05.2008 @ 10:08