“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.