Chakra Discussions

Srila Prabhupada's Plan for New Vrindavan

by Madhava Gosh

Posted September 10, 2010

New Vrindaban is currently poised on the edge of a rejuvenation. Devotees are becoming enthused and there is a general agreement that a Master Plan is necessary.

New Vrindaban had a special place in Srila Prabhupada’s heart as it was the first farm community. He hoped it would become an example for many other farm communities to follow. Unfortunately along the way New Vrindaban, under the pressure of the macro society, slipped in a mood of consumerism, of being dependent on outside inputs.

Thus it seems to be appropriate to review some selected quotes of Srila Prabhupada to gain an understanding into what his ideas are, not only for New Vrindaban specifically but for all ISKCON farm communities.

“Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban. Vrindaban is also known as Gokula. Go means cows, and kula means congregation. Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser.”

Letter to Hayagriva 14 June 1968 (Montreal)

“Yes! Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krsna Himself exhibited in Vrindavana. Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna. The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrindavan we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.”

Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Kirtanananda Swami…27th July 1973

“You say we must have a gosala trust, that is our real purpose. krsi-goraksya-vanijyam vaisya karma svabhava-jam, [Bg 18.44]. Where there is agriculture there must be cows. That is our mission: Cow protection and agriculture and if there is excess, trade. This is a no-profit scheme. For the agriculture we want to produce our own food and we want to keep cows for our own milk. The whole idea is that we are ISKCON, a community to be independent from outside help. This farm project is especially for the devotees to grow their own food. Cotton also, to make their own clothes. And keeping cows for milk and fatty products.”

Letter to: Yasomatinandana — Vrindaban 28 November, 1976

“Prabhupada: Yes. Anyway, just inquire. These are our garden flowers.

Jayatirtha: Oh, very nice.

Prabhupada: This is also?

Bhagavan: Yes.

Prabhupada: Yes. Anything grown in the garden, that is hundred times valuable than it is purchased from the market.”

Room Conversation With French Commander — August 3, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.” Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8: Chapter Twenty-four, Text 5: PURPORT

“One cannot become spiritually advanced without acquiring the brahminical qualifications and giving protection to cows. “

Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 6: Chapter Eighteen, Text 52:PURPORT

“The basic principle of economic development is centered on land and cows.” SB 1.10.4

“Prabhupada: …They are interested with these bricks and stones, not green vegetables. Such a rascal government. Give them facility. We know how to do it. Annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah, yajnad bhavati parjanyah [Bg. 3.14]. Let them engage in kirtana. There will be more water for gardening, and it will be moist, and then produce fodder for the animals and food for you. And animal gives you milk. That is Vrndavana life. And they are absorbed in this so-called opulence. Krsna has taken birth.

“They are bringing so many nice, pleasant foodstuff, very well-dressed and ornamented. These are description. In the morning we were reading. How they were happy, the inhabitants of Vrndavana with Krsna and living and cows. That I want to introduce. At any cost do it and… Don’t bother about big, big buildings. It is not required. Useless waste of time. Produce. Make the whole field green. See that. Then whole economic question solved. Then you eat sumptuous. Eat sumptuously. The animal is happy. The animal even does not give milk; let them eat and pass stool and urine. That is welcome. After all, eating, they will pass stool. So that is beneficial, not that simple milk is beneficial. Even the stool is beneficial.

“Therefore I am asking so much here and…, “Farm, farm, farm, farm…” That is not my program — Krsna’s program. Annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14]. Produce greenness everywhere, everywhere. Vrndavana. It is not this motorcar civilization. If it has taken in his brain, then it is to be understood that he can do this plan. He’ll be able. “

Conversation Pieces — May 27, 1977, Vrndavana

The following is a letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami, Secretary to Srila Prabhupada, to Hari Sauri Das, ISKCON Melbourne, August 10th, 1977 (sent from Krsna Balarama Mandir, Vrndavana):

“Srila Prabhupada always enjoys hearing from you as you have gained an eternal position at His Divine Grace’s lotus feet. Srila Prabhupada appreciated your opening prayers.

“Srila Prabhupada was most enlivened to hear the report of New Govardhana Farm. His Divine Grace in the last month or so has been stressing the importance of these farm projects, and said, “This is the next aspect of Krsna consciousness which I wish to push forward. If I am able to travel again, then I shall visit the farms and make them perfect. On these farms we can demonstrate the full varnasrama system. If these farms become successful then the whole world will be enveloped by Krsna consciousness.

“From your letter I can understand how nice this farm is. I am very happy to see fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, the devotees taking sumptuous prasadam and chanting Hare Krsna. This is the actual meaning of human life. It is a very good farm, from your letter I can understand. Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Build up bamboo frame, and on it place tiles. In any event get everything locally. I wish to make a farm tour and then I shall surely visit your farm.”

“I suggested to Srila Prabhupada that he was the Farm Acarya, but Srila Prabhupada said, “Krsna is the Farm Acarya. Baladeva is holding a plow, and Krsna is holding the calf. Krsna advised Nanda Maharaja not to perform Indra puja but to worship the land, Govardhana because it was supplying all foodstuffs for the residents of Vrndavana and the cows as well.” So Srila Prabhupada wants you to develop this farm very nicely as it will be the future program to present to the world as the ideal of Krsna consciousness. In the cities, we are interested for preaching but we cannot present the ideal varnasrama system, this is only possible at the farms, so they are very important.”

(end letter)


“In My last birth I was born in the family of cowherd men, and I gave protection to the calves and cows. because of such pious activities, I have now become the son of a brahmana.


“The words of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatest authority, herein clearly indicate that one becomes pious simply by keeping cows and protecting them. Unfortunately, people have become such rascals that they do not even care about the words of an authority. “

Adi-lila: Chapter Seventeen, Text 111