69th issue - Nitya-seva Newsletter
January, February, March - 2023.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jaya Radha-Syama!
Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that of seasons, He is flower-bearing spring. As the vasant season slowly edges out winter in this part of the world, we can see why He says so. But in addition to Krsna’s declaration at Kuruksetra, spring in New Vraja Dhama is permeated with Radha-Syama’s otherworldly beauty and freshness; there is nothing like it!
In Goloka Vrndavana, all seasons are simultaneously present to facilitate the pastimes of the Lord and His associates. From one perspective, New Vraja Dhama is non-different from that divine abode, but being situated in the material realm, in Hungary, we have had to adjust our service to Radha-Syama accordingly. For example, on this part of the planet, the weather only allows for one harvest annually, so we have to produce all the necessary foodstuffs for the entire year from spring till autumn. But as the devotees advance in their services, Radha-Syama increasingly reveal Their eternal abode, and thus the qualities of the spiritual world are also steadily more manifest in New Vraja Dhama.
One example of this is that we had a huge leap in our vegetable production, headed by our lead gardener Balamodaka Dasa. Last year, three huge, air-insulated greenhouses were built in the Valley, next to the Gurukula, which allows us to grow organic vegetables for the Divine Couple all year round. Thus, this was the first winter where we had an exceptional harvest of carrots, radish, arugula, mustard greens, pak-choy, coriander, parsley, beetroot and spinach. Even the Budapest devotees were able to sample the spinach grown in the cintamani dust of New Vraja-dhama! In this way, Radha-Syama’s potency is allowing us to overcome the restrictions born of being located on this earthly realm, in Hungary.
But complete self-sufficiency does not only mean growing your own food. Srila Prabhupada wanted self-sufficiency on all fronts. For example, he instructed his followers: “Make your own clothes!” Taking this order to heart, Premamoya Dasa and his wife Vrndavani Devi Dasi opened the Syama Handmade crafts workshop in 2020. They conducted extensive research for years before embarking on this project, which involves every stage of the process: from the very beginnings of growing the plants, to weaving the cloth, and all the way to producing readymade clothing items. They are working with linen, hemp, cotton, silk, and wool, and combine traditional Hungarian methods with ancient Indian techniques to produce wonderful handmade dhotis, kurtas, saris and chadars. There is a long waiting list for their products! Furthermore, this year they reached a milestone, producing the first ever handmade outfit for the Deities: Sri-Sri Dayal-Nitai Vijaya-Gauranga were offered a new evening outfit on Rama Navami day. The devotees who worked hard on it were amply rewarded with satisfied smiles from Their Lordships.
As usual, we would like to share the story of one of our kind new donors. Eva Loós was a practising Christian when she first visited Krishna Valley last year in April for one of our spiritual retreats. Her whole life was connected to God since her early childhood, but despite her faith, she always felt an inexplicable sense of lacking inside. The Lord guided her to search out what she was missing, and that lead her to conversing with book distributors. She also happened on various Krishna conscious internet adverts.
When she first made it to Krishna Valley, she was so deeply touched by the spiritual atmosphere of the dhama and the divine presence of Radha-Syama, that she felt like she had at long last reached home. Atula Krishna Dasa, the organiser of the three-day retreat, impressed Eva with his wisdom, kindness and purity. Having been entrusted to a lady devotee in Budapest, Eva has been seriously practising Krishna consciousness since the retreat, visits Budapest Temple regularly, and has joined one of the local counsellor groups.
Having found real shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord and in the association of devotees, Eva desired to show her gratitude for these gifts by committing to the sponsorship of a Nitya-seva day for Radha-Syama and Gaura-Nitai. May Their Lordships shower Their unlimited blessings upon her.
Finally, we are celebrating the appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva on Saturday 6th May and Srila Sivarama Swami Maharaja’s Vyasa-puja on Sunday 7th May in New Vraja Dhama. We are preparing two grand festivals for the pleasure of Their Lordships and the devotees, and you are duly invited!
On behalf of the Nitya-seva Team your servant,
13th April, 2023.