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Comments Posted By syamasundara dasa

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First ISKCON EU Farm Conference

The farm conference hosted in Vrajadhama Hungary was the first of an annual event. The aim of the conference was to bring together the devotees involved with farming related activities so they could share experiences and especially successes. The coming together of those dedicated to rural development, food production, forestry etc would inevitably lead to inspiration by being with others of the same interests and direction. In this regard the conference was a success.
Unanimously the conference participants expressed their aspirations from the leaders of our society for something that would not cost money. In each case the farm devotees need vocal support from the visionaries of our society, from those who preach at farms and centres and those involved with farm projects. They need to hear again that the farm projects are important and are still a part of the ISKCON mision. They need to hear the word “self Sufficiency or Self Reliance” or words indicating that ISKCON is meant to be working to grow its own food, medicine, clothing and housing. Often the farmers and the rural projects are feeling lonely and forgotten and are not sure if their project is relevant to the modern ISKCON.
Our leaders and preachers can give this assurance and it will not cost money it only costs some choice words. There isn’t even the need to fabricate anything because the message is loud and clear in Srila Prabhupadas books and words. Our farms need support and free support means by voice one appreciates, talks about, talks up and inspires those involved with farms and encourages those who use food, flowers, timber etc to support the farms by taking those essentials from the farm.
So this is the first Farm conference in Europe and in discussion with Balabhadra Prabhu the Global Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture there will be other farm conferences in other continents around the world.
The participants of the conference expressed things like “they did not feel alone anymore - they felt hope - they felt inspired - they went home with new ideas.
We look forward to an ISKCON where after what seams decades of farm abandonment the farms again become abundant and thriving.
ys syamasundara dasa (European Minister For Cow Protection and Agriculture)

Comment Posted By syamasundara dasa On 13.06.2008 @ 09:59

What’s Really Going On?

Whilst the picture you painted seems dire, we should remember that every period in history is dire. I do not believe that Srila Prabhupada wants us to wait for a cataclysmic event to turn ruraly dependant. In order to be rurally dependant we need to put systems and infrastructure in place to be able to do it. If you cant make a living from doing it then it is extremely unlikely you are going to do it.

From my view the reason why we do not have a thriving rural economy is because as a society we have not put things in place to make it work. As long as we do not make rural life livelihood based then there will not be rural livelihoods and thus rural life remains for somebody else to do.

In Krishnas childhood experience he was dependant on the cows for his living. I take this that we must make our rural life real and that it must make us financially dependant on it. The amish are dependant on the sales of their crops as well as providing their own food. Our rural projects must make a financial model that works in todays society. If it is not done on a project by project basis then we will continue to have a highly talked about goal of self reliance but a practice of farm regressions into non entities.

I believe we can turn our farming projects around by making them livelihood based and supportive of the farmers/growers families.

Comment Posted By syamasundara dasa On 29.12.2006 @ 16:08

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