71st issue - Nitya-seva Newsletter
July, August, September 2023.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jaya Radha-Syama!
All seasons are beautiful in the holy land of Vrindavana and the same is true for New Vraja Dhama. Still, summers are colourful, lively, and exuberant like no other; not only is the flora and fauna flourishing, but our Vaisnava calendar is replete with appearance and disappearance days of the Lord and His great devotees. In addition, New Vraja Dhama hosts, at the end of July, the annual 3-day fair, the “Buchu”, which is our most important outreach event of the year in Hungary. This July, 5,300 fortunate visitors from around Europe were in attendance, receiving an opportunity to taste the unique experience of Krsna consciousness.
The beginning of August saw a visit to New Vraja Dhama from Professor Madhusudana, with his group of ten students from Nottingham, UK, all of whom are initiated brahmanas from the Madhva sampradaya. The professor, a regular attendee at the ISKCON Nottingham nama-hatta group, has a deep knowledge of scripture, and a natural devotion to the Lord; thus his association was popular amongst the devotees of Krishna Valley. The group also had the opportunity to meet His Holiness Sivarama Swami, their hour-long discussion spanning various rather profound theological topics, with a focus on the meanings of the Gayatri mantra. It was akin to listening to the discussions between Suta Goswami and the sages of Naimisaranya!
The professor and his students also performed go-seva to one of our cows who is 21 years old; she has not had a calf in 10 years but amazingly still gives milk. The group were caressing her, and sang some wonderful bhajanas glorifying Krishna in their native Tamil language, a South Indian dialect. Suddenly, milk began to spontaneously flow from her milk bags, for ten minutes! All the guests were amazed and deeply touched by this miraculous event, as they continued singing with tears in their eyes. We were able to see first-hand how cows are very dear to Krishna, and Krishna is very dear to the cows.
With the holy month of Purusottama falling this year, various festivals were later than usual; both Janmastami and Radhastami were in September. His Holiness BB Govinda Swami, along with his fabulous bhajana group, graced us with their presence at both festivals. Saci Suta Prabhu was also invited from Vrindavana for Radhastami. Along with many talented local devotees, there were hours of heart-melting bhajanas and kirtanas for the pleasure of Radha-Syamasundara and the devotees. Additionally, on the evening of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance day we had a special darsana: Radha-Syama received the first outfit made by the local devotees in the Syama Handmade workshop!
Finally, in the present issue of our newsletter we would like to introduce you to two of our Nitya-seva donors, a couple named Nrisimha Krishna Dasa and Krishna-mala Devi Dasi. They are the leaders of the Turkish devotee community and regular visitors to Krishna Valley. Nrisimha Krishna Dasa met Krishna consciousness twenty years ago. He was raised a Muslim, but upon receiving Srila Prabhupada’s Science of Self Realisation from one of his friends, he was curious to read the contents. As he filed through the pages, it changed his life forever. After some time of associating with the devotees, they inspired him to visit Mayapura Dhama, which strengthened his commitment. Thus it was not long before he began to take up responsibility, and eventually he became the head of our activities in Turkey. Krishna-mala Devi Dasi is the leader of the Gaura Yoga School and the Govinda restaurant in Istanbul. Thanks to their dedicated and sensitive efforts, there are more than one hundred devotees practicing and spreading Krishna consciousness in Turkey, despite the delicate environment within which they operate.
Alongside all of their service, they are kindly sponsoring a Nitya-seva day and they inspire other Turkish devotees to also do so. Radha-Syama and Gaura-Nitai are surely showering Their blessings abundantly on the Turkish yatra, blessings which will ensure the devotees’ gradual progress to the lotus feet of Their Lordships.
On behalf of the Nitya-seva team your servant,
12th October, 2023, New Vraja Dhama