61st issue - Nitya-seva Newsletter
It has been quite a year for all of us, and many are hoping 2021 will bring a truly new beginning. Many long for an end to social distancing and to once again connect with loved ones near and far. Perhaps some of you also long to come and visit Radha-Syamasundara Whom you support with your Nitya-seva donations! We sincerely hope and pray that it shall soon come to pass and we are awaiting your visit.
In October, with the beginning of fall, many of Krishna Valley’s activities start to wind down as we prepare for the regular winter break. Of course, annually, many tourists frequent our temple and farm, but the numbers slowly dwindle as the temperatures drop and the trees shed their leaves. The fields are cleared of the remnants of the summer crop, and prepared for a winter break. Currently, new areas of land are being developed where we will be building large greenhouses this spring. This way the garden will be able to provide the Deities and the devotee community with different types of salads, spinach, coriander leaves, radish, and green peas, even during the winter months.
December is the month in which Hare Krishna devotees from all over the world focus their efforts on going to the streets to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books; an event called “The Marathon.” We were unsure about the repercussions of the world’s current situation on this year’s Marathon. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see that despite the many obstacles, devotees really rose to the challenge; they worked very hard and many books were distributed. On the last full day of the Marathon, Sivarama Swami himself also took to the streets and joined the rest of the enthusiastic devotees in distributing books. This Marathon felt like a victorious end to a difficult year and those able to participate felt truly blessed.
During the month of December, a new Nitya-seva donor joined the project of maintaining and caring for Radha-Syamasundara. Andras, a fifty-year-old man, came to know about Krishna consciousness through Sivarama Swami’s Vlogs. He quickly became an avid online follower of Maharaja, and was happy to attend the Gita Jayanti festival held in December 2018, to which Maharaja had invited all his Vlog viewers. It was clear from the very beginning that Andras was extremely interested in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and was very willing to accept the Vedic teachings.
After the Gita Jayanti event, Andras started to read the Bhagavad-gita and listen to Sivarama Swami’s seminars. Within a year, he became a vegetarian. Today he often chants, is reading the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and asking many questions. Andras even participated in the previous two book distribution marathons by driving Mohana Dasa and his large and heavy box full of books to his distribution location. On the way, they would discuss many aspects of the philosophy and Andras was always eager to hear and learn more and more. In the Marathon just gone, during one such drive, Andras enquired how he may serve Krishna with a donation. Mohana was happy to introduce him to the Nitya-seva project and this is how Andras became one of our newest donors. There is no doubt that Their Lordships will aid Andras’ progress to Their lotus feet, in reciprocation with his sincere sacrifice.
Dear Devotees, 2020 was in various ways a difficult year for many, worldwide. The virus affected our everyday lives and we know that many of you have been affected financially too. Despite all the troubles, so many have contacted us expressing concern about the Deities and many of you finished your Nitya-seva donations earlier than planned because in these uncertain times you wanted to make sure the maintenance of Radha-Syamasundara and Dayal-Nitai Vijaya-Gauranga was secure. We were truly amazed that despite all the adversity, so many thought first about Their Lordships’ service, over and above all else. It is thanks to this dedication and devotion that we are able to say that in 2020, the donations in to Nitya-seva did not decrease! A mere “thank you” in no way expresses the gratitude we feel towards all of you, who continue to support this project through thick and thin. You can rest assured that just as you thought first about Radha-Syama and Gaura-Nitai, They will also think of you. There is no greater blessing than this.
On behalf of the Nitya-seva team your servant,
10th January 2021, New Vraja Dhama