Friday, September 28, 2007

The Small Farm Training Center

Check out the new blog for Club 108, New Vrindaban's progressive outreach hub, at

The Small Farm and Teaching Garden, a project of SANTEE Farm and Gardens, hosted this past weekend Dr. Barbara Liedle and three graduate students visiting from West Virginia State University.

Dr. Liedle, a research scientist has chosen the 6.5 acre Garden of Seven Gates, our main agricultural project here at New Vrindaban, another grant to test organically grown seed lines.

This project, called the Organic Seed Partnership, collects data from field green crops such as bell peppers. summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, and okra. Dr. Liedle and the grad students harvested 50 bushels of butternut squash. The produce that is produced will be utilized by the RVC Temple kitchen and the Lodge snack bar.

Following the arduous, rewarding, and sometimes odorous task (rotten squash doesn't smell like strawberries), our guests also toured the Palace of Gold and ate sumptous amounts of Krsna prasadam. We thank them kindly for their involvement and interest with New Vrindaban in this progressive project.

Here are some photographic highlights:

A Club 108 production

For more info on Club 108, New Vrindaban's progressive outreach hub, please e-mail us at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Saffron Revolution

Here's a link to an article from today's The Independent detailing some of the recent developments from the situation in Burma, where thousands of Buddhist monks are at the center of a popular uprising against the military junta running the country's infrastructures.

As devotees of Krsna, we are also apt to throw ourselves into chaotic social situations, but our tendency is rather to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted, as devotees organized with Food For Life did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian Tsunami in 2005.

Still, what if we were being prevented from entering our own temples? From engaging in our worship? If devotees were being beaten and killed in the streets by state-police forces? Such totalitarian hell may seem to be only the product of the Third World, but it's closer to home than you think.

The example of the monks in Burma is inspiring for their courage and conviction, but we as devotees must also take caution. Fighting the demons of this world at this time is usually not best served by such a direct approach. Prabhupada taught us many techniques of "guerilla spiritual warfare" (distributing books, prasadam, etc), and these are our main tools.

Still, as spiritual warriors, who knows what the future holds, and what kind of courageous stands we will have to make if things turn for the worse in our overly chaotic global situation. For now, we should send our prayers to the people of Burma that they may be able to shake loose the chains that are binding them without too much blood being shed.