Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: We would like to begin discussion on the possibility of establishing a Vedic Village in Sri Vrndavan Dham.
As the non devotee secular world is in the throes of; economic uncertainty and financial collapse, catastrophic environmental disasters and severe climatic changes we face a world at the beginning of this new century of great uncertainty. As global conditions deteriorate we are more likely to begin to experience increasing civil unrest and social breakdown. ISKCON was meant to be the solution to this very situation as predicted by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. However, ISKCON leadership have ignored the directions of Srila Prabhupada and have chosen instead to join forces with the modern liberalistic world and embraced urbanization at the expense of Agrarian or rural development and self sufficiency.
This choice of theirs has left us, the devotional community, to fend for ourselves and to try and make a living while doing our best to keep close to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON without actually being part of the problem that the ISKCON Leadership have created. As the average age of the older devotee of ISKCON is sixty years many devotees are facing the future prospect of retirement and therefore they are realizing that the ISKCON leadership has made sure that they themselves are well cared for and serviced but they have completely ignored the needs of the devotional community itself.
Sri Vrndavan Dham is a place for devotees who have given a lifetime of service to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada to retire. However, it is transpiring that ISKCON has not had the foresight to provide any facility for them in the Holy Dham.
The Krsna Balaram Mandir is a landlocked Temple that even though tens of thousands of devotees go through its gates the management claims that it hardly makes enough money to meet its operational needs. Its management from GBC down has never been interested in developing a devotional community and therefore has never displayed the foresight or intention to buy land to this end. Land which was dirty cheap ten to twenty years ago and now has soared to ridiculous levels by greedy land merchants who have no understanding that this land belongs to Lord Krsna.
The GBC’s only desire is to develop the Goshala Land. Which will mean, that the cows will have to go to a place miles from the Temple. Out of sight out of mind… Once the cows are gone they can look at a property development plan aimed at making money for the business minded devotees by selling high-end apartments to rich devotees and their friends.
The Gurus and Sannyasis themselves have had the foresight to buy or be gifted their own properties in the Holy Dham leaving the regular devotee to fend for themselves. Fend for themselves in a land which is rampant with greedy landlords / an inability to get visas / exorbitant land prices / poor services and health care / increasingly higher prices of foodstuffs and a rapidly developing concrete jungle that is now Sri Vrndavan Dham.
The institution has control of the resources, finances and manpower and to date have used them in to further their own personal plans and projects and opposed to genuine community development.
If there is any hope for devotees, who have given a lifetime of service to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and to ISKCON, to have a home or retire in Vrndavan it will never happen by the mercy of the present ISKCON leadership who would want to own and control it for their own selfish purposes.
However, this discussion needs to take place. There needs to be some thought given to the development of a Vaisnava ISKCON community here in Vrndavan. Somewhere that devotee’s can come and stay for a visit or permanently. Somewhere where devotees can be protected and taken care of.
The discussion needs to take a pragmatic and practical form. Discussions need to be confined to the practicality and feasibility of establishing either a fully self sufficient or semi self sufficient Vedic Village /community here in Vrdnavan.
Here at PrabhupadaVision.com we are looking at establishing an office to look into developing a sound and practical plan to meet this need within our devotional society. It is hoped that ASAP we will be able to offer a plan to the devotee community for feedback and input.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada