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Comments Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa

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Bahulavan Renovation

You aren’t renovating or restoring — you destroyed it, knocked it to the ground with heavy equipment and hauled it away without allowing any recycling.

You had zero communication with the bulk of Prabhupada disciples in the community and tore it down on short notice without giving anyone who chanted and danced there for years as spiritual children, who sat at Prabupada’s feet there, even a chance to come and get any closure.

“Maintaining gardens” if you are into maintaining gardens why did you cut down the Grandfather apple trees?

Are you going to leave any of the historical buildings standing or demolish them all?

Why waste time on the sentiments of Prabhupada’s disciples when it is so much quicker to bulldoze everything?

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 11.07.2009 @ 13:44

Urban farming and self-sufficiency

A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.

I would also strongly endorse urban gardening as it is a step both in realtime and in consciousness towards the ultimate goal of farm communities.

“But we have encumbered our civilization in such a way that we have lost all simple living thing. We have manufactured in so many ways encumbered ways of life. Therefore we have neglected spiritual life. And because we have neglected spiritual life there is no peace.

“If you want really peaceful life, then you have to make your material necessities simplified and engage your time for spiritual cultivation. Then you will have peace. And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking. “

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.3 — Boston, May 4, 1968

Gardening any where, at any scale, is a step towards simpler living.

“This will give us some idea of the proper preparation that the contemplative life requires. A life that is quiet, lived in the country, in touch with the rhythm of nature and the seasons. A life in which there is manual work, the exercise of arts and skills, not in a spirit of dilettantism, but with genuine reference to the needs of one’s existence. The cultivation of the land, the care of farm animals, gardening.

“A broad and serious literary culture, music, art, again not in the spirit of Time and Life-(a chatty introduction to Titian, Prexiteles, and Jackson Pollock)-but a genuine and creative appreciation of the way poems, pictures, etc., are made.

“A life in which there is such a thing as serious conversation, and little or no TV. These things are mentioned not with the insistence that only life in the country can prepare a [person] for contemplation, but to show the type of exercise that is needed.”

Thomas Merton. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation. William H. Shannon, editor (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003): 131.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 05.06.2009 @ 13:56

Description of person from Alachua who cheated gurukuli couple

All property buyers should be sure to use an attorney to do a title search. It is worth the expense, especially getting title insurance, which pays back any lost monies in case the title search turns out to be bad.

Sounds like this guy just purchased himself some real estate in Patala-loka by cheating devotees through real estate in this planetary system.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 30.03.2009 @ 13:34

Adopt a cow

>The idea of adopting a cow meaning sending money to maintain a cows life and protection is not new.I think this is a cop out.

I sense some frustration in the use of the word “cop out”. It is true that we are far from the ideal, but unfortunately that is the reality we have been dealt.

In the era of consumerism, most people are trapped in the cities and suburbs, either by social conditioning or economics. They don’t have facility to do hands on cow protection. The idea behind adopt a cow is that every one can be involved, even if they don’t have access to land or other tools to protect cows.

I can say that at New Vrindaban, we have a lot of facility in the form of land and barn space to protect more cows than we currently do.If more devotees donated more cows could be saved.

If cow protection is limited to what the cows can provide as an economic entity, then fewer cows will be spared the slaughterhouse than if devotees make donations to save cows.

The lack is people willing to live a subsistence lifestyle under the crushing weight of the consumer society. Should cows be killed just because we can’t obtain the highest ideal?

In the Bhagavad Gita, the highest ideal is espoused, but it isn’t the only option. There is a series of do this, but if you can’t, then do this other thing. Like it is best is to work for Krishna but if you can’t then give the fruits of the labor to Krishna.

Donating to cow protection programs is not the highest but it is the next best thing, and the only practical thing for most devotees. Even if we can’t come to the highest level of living off the land with the cows, we can still save cows from the slaughter house, and that is also a noble thing to do.

Keep the ideal in mind but lets also keep the opportunity for all to help protect cows regardless of their current socio-economic status, and that is by supporting programs that do save cows.

There are cows dying today that could be saved if devotees donated to save them. Most devotees don’t even do that, so let’s not discourage them by saying it is a cop out. I see it more as a transitional stage on the way to the highest ideal.

I applaud your determination to have have kept farming all these years despite the enormous pressures you have surely endured. Let’s work together to increase cow protection in as many forms as possible.

Hare Krishna

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 29.03.2009 @ 15:44

Big Houses or Self Suficiency

>>At the recent New Vrindaban festival of Inspiration presidents meetings the topic of self suffciency and farming was so low on the interest list of topics to be only discussed that it was entirely omited<<

I agree with the general mood of you presentation but would make a couple points of clarification.

At the temple president’s meeting held in New Vrindaban, there were some talk about these topics, albeit given a low priority, and I suspect nothing published will come out of the meetings on those topics. Still, a few leaders did bring it up, so some progress is there. Even if too little, it is a glimmer of hope.

Gardening and self sufficiency were on the agenda at the Festival of Inspiration
(which was a separate event from the TP meeting). There were open and constant tours of the actual gardens and Balabhadra took several tours of his space where there are gardens and a greenhouse in addition to cow protection. The two, cow protection and gardening, are inseparable in fact.

As for presentations on the schedule there was:

Spiritual Recovery from Consumerism: Varsana Swami The Magic of Cow Protection (Excursion/Tour): Balabhadra Das Preaching Power of Rural Communities: Tapahpunja Das

I agree with you that too little attention is paid to these topics but some was and it never hurts to accentuate the positive.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 16.05.2008 @ 16:28

Women, ISKCON, and Varnashram

Atmavidya: “Please prove by sastra that kali yuga is gender specific in its effect. That somehow it only affects males and makes them degraded but doesn’t effect women who are miraculously impervious to it and hence in Kali yuga women become equal to and even superior to men.”

“But the present age of Kali is full of ignorant men. Even those who are born by a brahmana father are, in the present age, no better than the sudras or the women. “

SB 1.3.21

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 28.02.2008 @ 00:58

One request — please use more paragraph breaks for online publication because it is harder to read on the screen than in print. My mind starts freaking out and wants to skip on when the paragraphs are big, because the eye gets lost.

Other than that, you make some subtle but very important distinctions that make a huge difference in how to understand what the guru was trying to accomplish.

Those who prefer black and white 25 word or less sound bite social formulas might have to reread what you are saying to understand how it impacts varna ashram in the 21st century.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 26.02.2008 @ 18:59

When guru worship gets sentimental

One thing to remember is that our experience of Srila Prabhupada was as a man in his 70s. Someone once asked him why he hadn’t come to the West earlier, and he said something to the effect of who would have listened to him if he came in the body of a young man.

As far as I know, we have no ISKCON gurus who have even reached that age yet. When SP was the age of many of the ISKCON gurus, he was still working as a business man and living as a householder. He may have been perceived as boring himself at that time (the “my guru is best” side of me says that probably isn’t true, but who knows what the perceptions of the average guru seeker back then may have been).

Having had a lot of experience with Kirtanananda Swami, who was about as charismatic as they come, my opinion is that charisma is overrated.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 25.12.2007 @ 15:53

This is a well expressed article on what is sometimes referred to informally as “Guru as Rock Star” Syndrome.

The true importance of a guru is his/her connection to the sampradaya. Focusing on the individual instead of the connection is what causes this condition.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 21.12.2007 @ 04:42

The Resurgency

I am glad the temples have so far survived the settlement. They are a real asset.

Resurgents won’t replace temples — they will supplement them.

Good news about your dream — it could still happen! Resurgents are self reliant and not dependent on anyone’s approval or support. Support and approval are wanted and can be very useful, but not essential.

While you may not have the power to make anyone else accept your dream, on the other hand, no one can stop you from fulfilling it.

Go for it, or at least start planning on going for it at some later date.

SP waited for 40 years to make his move. Be patient and be persistent and you can make it happen.

Comment Posted By Madhava Ghosh dasa On 31.10.2007 @ 23:19


 


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