What is going on in Vrndavana these days in the name of “economic development”?

BY: DAMAGHOSA DAS

SEPTEMBER 2, 2018

Hare Krsna-Below we have summarized (in 8-quotes summary form) what Srila Prabhupada thinks about the building and developments of Vrndavana and New Vrndavana-he does NOT want economic development in either of these areas but instead wants it to remain simple, clean, and free of the modern mentality of “industrial development”. Please read these statements below and let the reader form their own opinion of what is presently going on there and if that is in line with Srila Prabhupadas thinking, or not. If this developmental mentality is not in line with Srila Prabhupada and the previous Acaryas, then the result will not be good. You decide for yourself.

 
Summary of Prabhupada Quotes….

1.The description of Vṛndāvana forest as given herewith was spoken by Kṛṣṇa five thousand years ago, and the same condition prevailed during the time of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas three or four hundred years ago

2.The same sounds and atmosphere still prevail in the area where our Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple is situated. Everyone who visits this temple is pleased to hear the chirping of the birds as described here (kūjat-kokila-haṁsa-sārasa).
 
3.Vrindaban doesnotrequireto be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village.
4. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness.
5. Letter to Hayagriva, 17th August, 1968
When you were here I suggested to purchase the land outright. But I think it has not been possible. But on the face of the lease it appears as good as sale document. But the clause, ‘Excepting and reserving however, all of the coal within and underlying said property, and subject to the mining rights and privileges set forth in the deed conveying said coal made by Joseph E. McCombs, et al., dated March 30, 1903, recorded in the said clerks office in Deed Book 98, at page 185,’has caused my headache.
6.  Even the government does not acquire our land, if in our vicinity some such industry (coal or oil industry) is started, the whole idea of New Vrndavana will fade away.
 
7. Vrndavana conception is a transcendental village, without any botheration of the modern industrial atmosphere. independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplifiedwithout being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding.
 

8. The whole Vedic principle is to develop Krsna consciousness, without creating much botheration for the program of sense gratification. Industrial development (or mining industry) in the neighboring places will mar the whole idea. Now you have to consider yourself, looking forward to the future of the land, and then decide what to do.I do not like to have New Vrndavana with industrial or mining areas. I have got experience of them in India, that the mining areas are simply next to dungeon. The workers in the mines are considered to be residing in hell. And we can never expect any good behavior from such workers. So we must think of the atmosphere around Vrndavana. 

In India also, our present government are trying to develop industries in the vast tracts of land around Vrndavana and creating a hellish atmosphere
 
 ———————————————————————————————————————————
Getting ready for Janmastami I was reading the SB 10th Canto  Part 3 and this verse and purport appears there…..
SB 10.13.5-TRANSLATION–My dear friends, just see how this riverbank is extremely beautiful because of its pleasing atmosphere. And just see how the blooming lotuses are attracting bees and birds by their aroma. The humming and chirping of the bees and birds is echoing throughout the beautiful trees in the forest. Also, here the sands are clean and soft. Therefore, this must be considered the best place for our sporting and pastimes.
PURPORT–The description of Vṛndāvana forest as given herewith was spoken by Kṛṣṇa five thousand years ago, and the same condition prevailed during the time of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas three or four hundred years ago. Kūjat-kokila-haṁsa-sārasa-gaṇākīrṇe mayūrākule. Vṛndāvana forest is always filled with the chirping and cooing of birds like cuckoos (kokila), ducks (haṁsa) and cranes (sārasa), and it is also full of peacocks (mayūrākule). The same sounds and atmosphere still prevail in the area where our Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple is situated. Everyone who visits this temple is pleased to hear the chirping of the birds as described here (kūjat-kokila-haṁsa-sārasa).
So if anybody goes today to Vrndavna they will not hear the beautiful sounds of peacocks in Raman reti-because there is no more Raman reti, nor is there the beautiful sounds of chirping birds. Why is this? because  the devotees of Srila Prabhupada, and others, have disobeyed his instructions about keeping Vrndavana as a village like atmosphere.  And to justify their ongoing massive construction of huge skyscraper temples and  apartment buildings, they concoct  so called instructions from Srila Prabhupada where they say he wants them to do this.  
Below we have two separate letters from Srila Prabhupada regarding how Vrndavana and New Vrndavana should be developed. Both should be a village like atmosphere where simple living goes on, just the it was 5000 years ago when Krsna and Balaram was there.
Today we have a totally different picture developing and even by the ones who are supposed to be Krsna’s devotees. The devotees in New Vrndavana have opened their land there for gas fracking which destroys the water tables below and makes the water non drinkable.  And In Vrndavana India, more of the same by building skyscraper buildings and bringing in high tech apartments and other such dwellings-and still calling it- Vrndavana.
So the questions  should be asked–
Why do these devotees do these things??? 
Why are they disobeying Srila Prabhupada?
1.) June 14 1969 Letter to Hayagriva–
Vrindaban doesnotrequireto be modernizedbecause Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village. They completely depend on nature’s beauty and nature’s protection. The community in which Krishna preferred to belong was Vaisya community, because Nanda Maharaja happened to be a Vaisya king, or landholder, and his main business was cow protection. It is understood that he had 900,000 cows and Krishna and Balarama used to take charge of them, along with His many cowherd boy friends, and every day, in the morning He used to go out with His friends and cows into the pasturing grounds. So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness.It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved
 
2.) Letter to Hayagriva, 17th August, 1968
“I am so glad to receive your note dated August 13th, 1968, with the copy of lease agreement and I have gone through it carefully. When you were here I suggested to purchase the land outright. But I think it has not been possible. But on the face of the lease it appears as good as sale document. But the clause, ‘Excepting and reserving however, all of the coal within and underlying said property, and subject to the mining rights and privileges set forth in the deed conveying said coal made by Joseph E. McCombs, et al., dated March 30, 1903, recorded in the said clerks office in Deed Book 98, at page 185,’has caused my headache.
I do not know what is written there in the Clerk’s office in Deed Book 98, but on common sense, it appears that the area is coal mine or oil mine. Under the circumstances, if in future [the] coal industry is developed and if it is required, the government may at once ask us to vacate and no law can stop it. Even the government does not acquire our land, if in our vicinity some such industry (coal or oil industry) is started, the whole idea of New Vrndavana will fade away.
(Note-Like the gas fracking which is now going on today at  the New Vrndavan property) 
 
Vrndavana conception is a transcendental village, without any botheration of the modern industrial atmosphere. My idea of developing New Vrndavana is to create an atmosphere of spiritual life where people in bona fide order of social division, namely, brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas, sannyasis, or specifically brahmacaris, sannyasis, and vanaprasthas will live there independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplified without being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding.
The New Vrndavana idea is that persons who live there will accept the bare necessities of life to maintain the body and soul together and the major part of time should be engaged in the development of Krsna consciousness.
The whole Vedic principle is to develop Krsna consciousness, without creating much botheration for the program of sense gratification. Industrial development (or mining industry) in the neighboring places will mar the whole idea. Now you have to consider yourself, looking forward to the future of the land, and then decide what to do.I do not like to have New Vrndavana with industrial or mining areas. I have got experience of them in India, that the mining areas are simply next to dungeon. The workers in the mines are considered to be residing in hell. And we can never expect any good behavior from such workers. So we must think of the atmosphere around Vrndavana.
In India also, our present government are trying to develop industries in the vast tracts of land around Vrndavana and creating a hellish atmosphere. So I shall request you to be assured of the future of the land, and then do the needful. The summary is that the face of the lease agreement appears to be all right, but I am thinking of a spiritual development. I hope you have received my previous letter and I am expecting your reply as soon as possible.”
 
Some Conclusions-–When an honest  devotee reads the above statements about how Vrndavana atmosphere should remain, one should ask-why are they building a skyscraper temple there? And why also are they building a huge apartment/condo complex with many large buildings right next to it? The architectural artists drawing makes this project look like something in a major city development and not a “simple village” place that Srila Prabhupada would want.
 
Here is what Srila Prabhupada writes in one stanza of his poem called-
The Prayer unto the Lotus Feet of Krsna-written aboard the ship Jaladuta en route to United States Sept 13th,1965
 
Tomāra milane bhāi ābār se sukha pāi
gocārane ghuri din bhor
kata bane chuṭāchuṭi bane khāi luṭāpuṭi
sei din kabe habe mor
O dear friend, in Your company I will experience great joy once again. In the early morning I will wander about the cowherd pastures and fields. Running and frolicking in the many forests of Vraja, I will roll on the ground in spiritual ecstasy. Oh when will that day be mine?
 
This quote is meant to show the mood of Srila Prabhupada and perhaps his rasa with Lord Krsna as a cowherd boy. So in light of all the above statements by Srila Prabhupada and this last one he wrote before even landing in the USA, do you think he would  enjoy seeing
what is going on these days in Vrndavana? Especially in the name of Vaisnavism by the devotees who  claim to be his followers and disciples?
I would humbly say NO.
 
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das
 
   

Which Vrndavana do you Want?

This one?
Or this one?

Note from website admin:

This is a nice compilation by Damaghosa prabhu. It’s important that devotees be able to discuss these issues openly and open-mindedly. We should always write or express the convictions we feel that are true to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. This should be encouraged.
Sincerely,
Vidura Mahatma das
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