Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in United Kingdom -44

(The Blog  is reverently for all the seekers of truth, lovers of wisdom and   to share the Hindu Dharma with others on the spiritual path and also this is purely  a non-commercial blog)


Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in United Kingdom

Hare Krishna Centre for Vedic StudiesLeicester, Uk
Hare Krishna Centre for Vedic Studies
Indraprastha Ashram
28 Evington Road
Leicester LE2 1HG
United Kingdom
Registered Charity No 1107565

phone: 0116 254 6292
mobile: 07887 560 260

Open Evening, Saturdays 7-9 PM
28 Evington Road, LE2 1HG, 07887 560 260
Bhakti Workshop, Thursdays 7-9 PM
28 Evington Road, LE2 1HG, 07887 560 260 

The Hare Krishna Centre - An Overview:
The Hare Krishna Centre was started in 2004 at the same premises as it is today, namely 28 Evington Road, off London Road, Leicester LE2 1HG. Devotees felt a Centre which is close to the City Centre and Leicester University would be a great opportunity to expand Krishna consciousness in Leicester. Those initial aspirations have been more than met today. The Centre draws its membership and visitor base from various communities throughout the City, especially the student community.
The Hare Krishna Centre is primarily a 'Preaching Centre', has installed deities of [I]Sri Sri Gaura Nitai[/I] ([I]Sri Sri Nitai Saci-Sundar[/I]) as well as [I]Sri Giri Govardhana[/I] and holds two weekly programmes, one on Saturdays and one on Thursdays, both from 7-9 PM.
 The Saturday programme is the main programme at the Hare Krishna Centre. Devotees and guests gather to observe the [I]Gaura arati[/I] ceremony, which is accompanied by chanting and dancing.
The talk is often an [LINK=http://www.gauranga.org/ats.htm]audio-text-synchronized class by Srila Prabhupada[/LINK] after which devotees discuss the various points from all angels of vision as well as through their practical realizations, as Srila Prabhupada instructed us to do. At 9 PM a free vegetarian [I]prasadam[/I] feast is offered to all.
The Thursday programme also starts at 7 PM. It is a Bhagavad-gita study course and workshop through which insight into the deeper meaning of the Gita and its practical application in everyday life is given. After the Gita course we also offer a deep study of the Nectar of Devotion. [LINK=/contact-us.html]Get in touch[/LINK] to find out which course is running at the moment.
The Hare Krishna Centre maintains a [LINK=http://www.gauranga.org/prasadam.htm]'Food for Life' free [I]prasadam[/I] distribution programme[/LINK] at various locations throughout Leicester. The homeless drop-in Centre, the Anchor Club on Dover Street, is a regular distribution point.
Other activities of the Hare Krishna Centre include home programmes, door to door visits, representations at local schools and colleges, Interfaith activities, [LINK=/vedic-weddings.html]wedding ceremonies[/LINK], [I]samskara [/I]and [I]vastu [/I]ceremonies, spiritual counselling and others.
The Centre also maintains an extensive organic garden.  
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
He came with the message
of the Absolute World

The following is just a very short glimpse in to the achievement of the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada’s Journey

One candle may light many other candles, yet each candle has the same intensity as the first. Yet the first still remains the original candle.
In the same way the Supreme Personality of Godhead expands himself in unlimited forms. He yet remains the cause of all causes.
In the Vedic scriptures the supreme original cause is known as Krsna because he posses unlimited transcendental qualities which attracts all living beings.
Five hundred years ago that same supreme cause Lord Sri Krsna appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and declared that the chanting of the Lords holy names of;
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare
is the only way of liberation in this age. He also declared that these names would be spread beyond India to every town and village in the world.
After hundreds of years, the faithful followers of Lord Caitanya endeavoured to expand his mission. All of the time they were wondering how Lord Caitanya’s prediction of every town and village would come true.
On August 13th 1965 days before his sixty ninth birthday A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, philosopher, scholar, saint and Swami, set out for America to see what could be done. With a free passage from a local steamship company, he travelled as the only passenger on board a small weathered cargo ship, named Jaladuta. In possession he had an umbrella, a supply of dry cereal about seven dollars worth of Indian rupees, and several boxes of books.
When the Jaladuta arrived in New York thirty-seven years later Swami Bhaktivedanta was totally alone. He had come to America knowing no one, with any clear means of support; he carried on boards the ship only a handful of possessions. He had no friends, money, followers and not his youthful age and good health. He didn’t even have a clear idea of how he could accomplish his mission – to present the spiritual knowledge of the Vedas to the western world and in turn to the entire world.
Bhaktivedanta Swami expressed the faith he had in his spiritual master and Krsna, in a Bengali poem he wrote shortly after his arrival:
"My dear Lord Krsna…How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own…I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts, they will certainly feel engladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life…"
This poem is dated 18th September 1965. Twelve years later, on 14th November 1977, Swami Bhaktivedanta passed away in Vridavana, India at the age of eighty-one. In twelve years Swami Bhaktivedanta had amazingly accomplished his huge mission.
After arriving in New York City in September 1965, Srila Prabhupada struggled alone to establish his God consciousness movement. He lived simply and talked and lectured about Krsna whenever and wherever he got the opportunity to do so and gradually there was some small interest in what he was teaching.
In July of 1966, while still working alone from an obscure storefront in the Lower East Side of New York City, Srila Prabhupada founded the society intended for the entire world’s participation. He named it the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY for KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS or ISKCON for short.
At the time of the creation of his society, Srila Prabhupada had not even got one committed follower. Undeterred he enlisted volunteers from some of the regular attendees at his evenings lectures to act as ISKCON’s first trustees. That was during the very begging of ISKCON history. Today the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has more than 300 temples, farms, schools and special projects through out the world and has a strong congregation numbering in millions.   

The Purpose of ISKCON

Krsna consciousness is more than another sectarian faith. It is a technical science of spiritual values that is described and recommended in the ancient Vedic scriptures from ancient India. The aim of the Krsna consciousness movement is to reveal to the people of the world, the principles of God and in turn Self- realization so that they may derive the highest benefits of spiritual understanding, unity and peace.
The Vedas recommend that in the present age the most effective means of achieving self-realization is to constantly hear about, glorify and remember the all-good supreme Lord, who is known by numerous names. The most important names in this age ‘Krsna’, which means ‘he who is all attractive’, another is ‘Rama’ which means ‘He who is the reservoir of all pleasure’, and ‘Hare’ indicates the inconceivable energy of the Lord.
The members of ISKCON follow the recommendation in the Vedic scriptures and are seen constantly seen chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This sublime chanting puts us in direct contact with the Supreme Lord through the transcendental sound vibration, of his holy names and gradually awakens us to our original and eternal relationship with God.
The primary mission of ISKCON is to encourage all of the members of the human society, to devote at least some portion of their time and energies to this process of hearing and chanting about God. In this way they will eventually come to the realization that all living beings are spirit souls, eternally related to the Supreme Lord in service and in Love.

The Distribution of Spiritual Food

Along with teaching the Vedic knowledge and spreading the Lords holy names, ISKCON also very freely distributes spiritual food through out the world. In the same way that the philosophy and canting is done for Krsna, Vegetarian food has first been offered to the Lord, this purifies the heart and the mind.
This helps us in the gradual process of uncovering one’s original awareness of God. ISKCON’s distribution of spirtualized food (Prasadam) though out the world is therefore known as
‘Food for Life’, which is beneficial for the body as well the soul of each and every recipient.  

The Teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada considered his books to be the most valuable contribution he had made in spreading the Vedic knowledge through out the world. Actually Srila Prabhupada would say that translating and explaining the ancient Vedic scriptures was his very life and soul. IN the year of 1970, Srila Prabhupada founded the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and now it has become the largest publisher of Vedic literature. Over the last twenty-five years, millions of people have read at least one of Srila Prabhupada’s books, and have genuinely felt their lives enriched.

Scholarly Appreciation of Srila Prabhupada’s Teachings

Srila Prabhupada noted often that, although universities and colleges of the modern day had many departments for understanding may things, there was no department that taught scientific knowledge of the self and God. By presenting the original Vedic science of God realization through his valuable books, Srila Prabhupada filled this large gap and met this vital educational need. Over the years, scholars who had met Srila Prabhupada or had read his works, have expressed their appreciation for both his personal quality ands the contribution his teachings have made to humanity.
Harvey Cox one such world renowned professor of religion at Harvard University, tells us how he recognized the value of Srila Prabhupada’s works ands what a contribution he had made:
‘When I first met the Hare Krishna’s, I can remember thinking how surprised I was, and I wondered what this meant. The costumes, the chanting, and the shaved heads appeared a little strange to me. But as I came to know the movement, I came to find that there was a striking similarity in the essence of what they were teaching and in the original core of Christianity-that is, living simply, not trying to accumulate worldly goods, living with compassion towards all creatures, sharing, loving, and living joyfully. I am impressed with how much the teachings of one man and the spiritual tradition he brought impacted themselves into the lives of so many people. In my view Srila Prabhupada’s contribution is a very important one and will be a lasting one.’

The Temples He Built

Srila Prabhupada built 108 temples before leaving for the spiritual world in 1977.
Now ISKCON has well over three hundred temples, farms, schools and special projects and weekly gatherings through out the world. At each center members give classes, perform chanting and ceremonies, and provide valuable instruction on the science of Krsna consciousness. Each center holds a weekly festival and vegetarian feast, as well as festive occasions throughout the year. All programs are open to the publi

Japa Meditation:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

 Food for Life

Devotees from the Hare Krishna Centre distribute regularly hot meals at Leicester University via a converted Indian bicycle rickshaw.

The rickshaw has kindly been donated by Parasurama Prabhu from the London based charity 'Food for All'. It has then been converted by the expertise of Bill and Rasamandala Prabhu. Julie has lent her artistic skills for the flags and the writing on the rickshaw.

Satwant from GMW (Leicester) LTD has kindly spray painted the rickshaw in his car body shop. We are much indebted to him.
Students are overjoyed in receiving hot, delicious Krishna prasadam. They could hardly believe that it was free. Many are asking who is sponsoring this programme.

There is an increasing number of sponsors who want to participate and help with the programme. We want to thank all of them wholeheartedly:

Parasurama Prabhu for donating the rickshaw to the Hare Krishna Centre

Bill for building and painting the box, for assembling the rickshaw as well as doing all the welding work

  Gary, John, Brian and Kevin from Redbridge at Leicester's wholesale market for their ongoing generous donations of fruit and vegetables

Satya mataji for preparing the prasadam and Rasamandala and Satya for distributing the prasadam at the various locations throughout Leicester

The list of donors and sponsors could go on and on. Please excuse us if we have forgotten anyone.

Students have great difficulties with their meagre grant to make ends meet. They are therefore grateful for any help they can get. Moreover, cooking is not the strength of most. Hot delicious Krishna prasadam is therefore a well appreciated and welcome opportunity for them.
The food distributed is fully vegetarian and is therefore a wholesome and healthy diet. Moreover, the rickshaw sets an example of environmentally friendly transport as well.
It is planned to extend the Food for Life programme to other locations in the city. If you want to get involved or if you can contribute either financially or with vegetables and other food donations please get in touch with us. Financial contributions can be made via the PayPal link at the bottom of this page.

Yoga - Making Friends with the Mind

The Vedic literatures are full of references to God's form. For example, it is said that God has no hands or legs, but that He can accept anything you offer: apani-pado javano grhita. Also, it is said that God has no eyes or ears, but that He can see everything and hear everything. So, these are apparent contradictions, because whenever we think of someone seeing, we think he must have eyes like ours. This is our material conception. Factually, however, God does have eyes, but His eyes are different from ours. He can see even in the darkness, but we cannot. God can hear, also. God is in His kingdom, which is millions and millions of miles away, but if we are whispering something conspiracy He can hear it, because He is sitting within us.

So, we cannot avoid God's seeing or God's hearing or God's touching. In the (Bhagavad-gita 9.26) Lord Krsna says,

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

"If somebody offers Me flowers, fruits, vegetables, or milk with devotional love, I accept and eat it." Now, how is He eating? We cannot see Him eat, but He is eating. We experience this daily: when we offer Krsna food according to the ritualistic process, we see that the taste of the food changes immediately. This is practical. So God eats, but because He is full in Himself, He does not eat like us. If someone offers me a plate of food, I may finish it, but God is not hungry, so when He eats He leaves the things as they are. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate: God is so full that He can eat all the food that we offer and still it remains as it is. He can eat with His eyes. This is stated in the Brahma-samhita. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti: "Every limb of the body of God has all the potencies of the other limbs." For example, we can see with our eyes, but we cannot eat with our eyes. But if God, simply sees the food we have offered, that is His eating.

Hare Krishna Centre for Vedic Studies
Indraprastha Ashram, 28 Evington Road, Leicester LE2 1HG
tel: 0116 254 6292  mob: 07887 560 260
The following Programmes, Classes, Seminars Lectures and Events
are taking place at the Hare Krishna Centre
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif7:00-8:30 AM   Darshan Arati http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gifGuru Puja
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gifSrimad Bhagavatam Class
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif7:00-7:30 PM   Gaura Arati
Thursday Evenings
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif7:00-9:00 PM    Bhagavad-gita Seminar
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif(Bhakti Sastri)
Saturday Evenings
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif7:00-9:00 PM     Open Programme
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gif(Music, Dance, Talk, Multi Media Show,
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gifDiscussion, Prasadam Feast)
Meet new People
http://www.gauranga.org/images/spacer.gifMake new Friends!
 Vedic Wedding (Vivaha-samskara)

Devotees at the Hare Krishna Centre conduct Vedic Weddings throughout the UK. All locations are considered. We have experienced priests who are happy to conduct a Vedic Wedding at your venue. Below is an outline of a Vedic Marriage ceremony.  
Cow Protection:
After having visited my devotee friend's Cow Protection farm near where I live in Wales, the great simplicity of this project is apparent. The farm scenario is grouped with a Vaisnava ashrama in idyllic rural Wales that is simply breathtakingly beautiful. The reminder from the Jaya Radha Madhava mantra springs to mind conjuring up that all-attractive transcendental mood of the village of Vrndavana, and so that mood is captured here in the grove like meadows and rivulets of this Cow Protection project. Here we find ramshackle buildings echoing back to times gone by, integrity in the buildings: built without concrete and metal, just carpentry joins and pinned together with wooden "nails", all locally sourced materials, and that all attractive friendly nature of devotees engaged in devotional service to Lord Krsna.
That all embracing sweetness of the rural picture that is painted in Srimad Bhagavatam of Vrindavana, where Lord Krsna kept hundreds of thousands of Cows, indeed in Goloka Vrindavana is it possible to count Lord Krsna's Cows. Here in the heart of Wales that feeling and mood are sought after. The Cows and Bulls are housed simply, they are kept in a relevant place beside the devotees, the Goshalla is full of character and their environment is like the groves in Vrndavana with sweet water rivers freshly running by in the valleys between the meadows, accessible for the Cows. The picture is painted and the appreciation is beheld, and we just add Krsna Consciousness to this adorable haven of tranquility and we are on our way back to Godhead by chanting Hare Krishna. Saved by the Cows who just stroll along without a care in the world.
The Cows' protection plan is master-minded in the most simplistic of ways. Cow Protection is sublime. Their needs are simple, a Goshalla that is clean and tidy with fresh bedding on top of a wood chipping foundation. Wood chippings and saw dust are both hygienic because they both absorb fluids and naturally have antiseptic properties. Many commercial farms use wood shavings and sawdust for bedding. It can be replaced up to three times a day for good animal husbandry techniques and a preventative technique against mastitis. Many sawmills will give you the waste product but even paying for it is economical, especially the harder wood shavings, which are really good for absorbency and hygienic qualities. As my devotee friend is looking after these Cows independently, he is able to maintain the Cows based on a symbiotic relationship with his neighbours, where bartering is the way they trade.
When it comes down to the investment that is made in Cow Protection, then there are some considerations to make. Cows, land, feed and housing are the basic needs. The investment is not that big that it is not affordable for westerners. But when it comes to ISKCON type Cow Protection, then it is altogether a different ballgame. Let me illustrate the considerable opposing scenarios that we have here in the UK.
At Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla a brand new construction has taken place recently. There was an initial investment/donation of £2. 8 MILLION made. With a herd of Cows and Bulls running at 44 (from their webpage) in total that means an expenditure of £63, 636 for each animal. That's just for the Goshalla. On any commercial operating farm where there is an intensive production of milk on the basis of say 300 cows in full milking, the cost of £63,636 per cow (£19,090, 800) just for housing would be a totally prohibitive amount to even set this enterprise up. all farmers would just laugh in your face at this. With the margins of profit based on the highest turnover of milk production in a commercial herd coming out at pennies per litre, the idea of spending £2. 8 Million for 44Cows, on just a glorified cow shed is unthinkable and a non-starter for Cow Protection to base an economic solution on.
 Not just withstanding the fact that there are 44 head of Cows at Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla, which means they are facing a full capacity scenario already, at least 50% are male which don't milk anyway, and it is a hard task to quantify their contribution to their £63, 636 price tag. There are naturally retired milking Cows and young heifers not yet reaching their full potential for milk, then there is the added hazard of poor animal husbandry, overweight animals, arthritic animals, and poor hygiene on concrete floors and inapplicable feed rationing. The whole package means there is no way on this planet that the Cow Protection project can afford a families wage to pay for the labour costs, what to speak of paying off the £63,636 investment in each Cow just for the Goshalla. The idea and concept of self-dependency becomes an illusory goal because the interest on the loan alone would not ever be paid off, what to speak of the initial capital investment of £2. 8 Million, and the creditors would be repossessing the whole project. In fact, the whole project would be a non-starter in the real world because the insurer for underpinning the loan would never have agreed to spending £2. 8 Million in this way.
This illustration of how Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla management have squandered such a considerable amount of money on just a Goshalla shows how the corporate application of managing and appointing millions of ££££'s has actually by-passed the community of devotees' symbiotic relationship in Cow Protection. With this amount of money available, £2.8 Million, it would have been an easy task to have bought over 250 acres of prime arable and grassland farm complete with all the relevant buildings, and housing for devotees to boot. Then it would have set-up a symbiotic relationship economy based on Cow Protection and rural cottage industries for a devotee's community, for now and future expansion.
The rural idyllic village would then have commenced for all devotees and attracted much more devotee interest, because the all-attractive inclusive nature of community would be predominant. The opportunity to develop this kind of project is far reaching because all the components that are missing from Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla would be there. Community management includes communal dependency and with this type of inclusive interest devotees would be able to successfully build a community together governing themselves and the project. In time the economic branding of devotee products based on Cow Protection would easily sustain, expand and give unlimited opportunities to many, many generations of devotees.
Governing ISKCON in a corporate fashion by exclusive decisions based on Cow Protection as a tourist conception and animal sanctuary/zoo has proven that it does not matter how much money you throw at a project, if it is not properly managed in the way it is intended to work, it will fail. As long as Cow Protection is paraded, executed and marketed in the corporate, isolationist and exclusive conception as a sanctuary/zoo and touristic gimmicky fashion complete with Hinduistic tendencies, it just becomes a no-through road with nowhere to go and no community symbiosis. The relationship with the Cows is just based on impersonalistic principles and the love and dependency is non-existent, because the enterprise is based on the wrong principles of monetary income and Hindu religious activities. Just imagine how different this same project would have been if there were no Hindus nearby with money to give. The whole approach would be different and the whole dependency would change.
Because Bhaktivedanta Manor management have let the Hindu influence of donational money influence the Cow Protection project, we find a totally watered down principle of Cow Protection. In fact, all we find is a herd of Cows that are not slaughtered, that don't support a community, and who are not even connected to a community of devotees as the centre of their lives. There is not even any community infrastructure that is Community-Cow Protection related. The whole plan of the Goshalla has been compromised right from the planning and design stages so that inherently it can't be community related, no matter what happens from now on. Even the addition of a "farm shop" and some vestiges of cottage industry to make "spoons" is just a smokescreen and after thought to try to cover-up the total lack of vision, and the one-sided concept that initially planned the Goshalla. The Goshalla is self-evidentially non-community centric.
Cow Protection only works in a community orientated integrated dynamic, based on a relationship of symbiosis. Then Cow Protection stands a much better chance of setting the example that illustrates the alternative to animal slaughter. Not one farmer in his right mind would entertain the idea of spending £63,636 per capita, on just housing. It's flabbergastingly gobsmackingly insane.
Our Cow Protection projects have got to be run by devotees who know what they are doing and are transparent. They have to understand the long term interests of what integrated Cow Protection means. There has to be a plan where a natural development of devotee input is maintained to ensure that economic measures work. Cows give milk, and this can be processed into many products to add value and then packaged and marketed and retailed so there is a cash flow for inward investment and profitability to create service, jobs, and dependency on our Cows for all our devotees. The same process has to be applied to the Bulls as well, knowing that their employment is to produce grains, not to be gimmicky tourist attractions hauling around people on carts as rides!!  
If the community is not involved with Cow Protection, then a watered down project ensues, and at Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla we find no community infrastructure related to Cow Protection at all, so the project is doomed to failure before it even begins because of the isolationist mentality. There has been no conceptual introduction and marrying up of devotee community to Cow Protection, therefore the project only works on donations of money from outside people. It does not solve the economic problems of life that Cow Protection is for and is not self-sustainable whatsoever. The main investments in Cow Protection are cows and land, not the goshallas. It's absolutely ludicrous to spend £2. 8 Million on a Goshalla.
As devotees within the ISKCON parameters we have to understand what Cow Protection is by nature, how it works and our relationship with the Cows. Just because there is a gold-plated Goshalla at Bhaktivedanta Manor does not mean that is Cow Protection, just because the Cows are not killed. There are many sanctuaries and zoos worldwide where animals are not killed, but survive on the paying public for support. They pay money at an entrance to support zoos and similar to Bhaktivedanta Goshalla, there are animal rides and cart rides, and donations are solicited for many animal sanctuaries like donkeys and horses. But so what? this shows nothing but a monetary support system, a capitalistic entrepreneurial principle, not sustainability, not self-sufficiency, not eco-friendliness, and absolutely no communal symbiosis, the alternative lifestyle of Vaisnavas in this material world. Our alternative lifestyle is based on Cow Protection and land worked by the Bulls for grains, this is the basis for our economic future.
And the illustration and example of construction at Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla is the perfect way of not building ecologically, sustainably and communally. The manufacture of concrete produces the equal amount of carbon footprint. In other words, for every tonne of cement produced there is exactly the same amount of carbon produced. That statistic means that cement and concrete produce more emissions than all the planes in the world put together, that's how unsustainable and toxic concrete is. So don't worry about flying to India, worry about cement manufacture and concrete blocks, its way more polluting.
 Then they have also used heavy tubular steel for a number of uses. Another heavy pollutant and industrialised material. This hardly creates the Vrindavana mood and just reminds us of the same commercialised farms where cows are reared for slaughter. The ambience is rather like a men's public convenience. Their next problem was the import of wood from abroad at a huge carbon footprint. And if that is not enough, the use of diesel fed tractors instead of the resident bulls to make "hay" is another pollutant, so where is the sustainability, where is the eco-friendliness, where is the all-attractive mood and character atmosphere that is punctuated by protecting cows? Why has the western model of warehouse construction been copied when there are so many fabulous alternative ways of construction that enhance the atmosphere for the cows to live that actually do create that delightful place to milk cows. Why put the cows in huge metal tubular crates just for milking them? It's all over the top and so unattractive. What happened to the aesthetic designers?  
At Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla the mood is neither inclusive for Cow Protection nor one of the sweet mood of Vrindavana. The cows are rarely included in kirtana with the devotees and the Goshalla is found miles across a field so the relevancy is minimised. There are also other farms in ISKCON occupying the same disjointed and disconnected Cow Protection projects.
We have to understand that the cows are part of our community and love us as we love them, they are integrated with us not dis-integrated. Just treat them on the same level as Deity worship and you can't go wrong. Chant Hare Krsna with your cows and love them to bits, and Lord Krsna will be pleased. Treat the cows as family members, which means including them where you live too. Otherwise it's just like putting your old mother in some nursing home in another town, miles away from you. They are there for you, so please be there for them. It's better to have a relationship with cows than mobile phones and electric gadgets. We don't need that much electricity either, just energy produced from cow manure and trees. That's our motto: "simple living high thinking", and that's for ALL the members of ISKCON, including the sannyasis and gurus. That's our lifestyle.  
And just as an example of total conditioning to electricity in ISKCON and the western world, there is a picture I want to paint for you. Just picture a remote rural ISKCON property, there is no electricity. The devotees are organising an Initiation ceremony and they have all gathered outside in the sunshine. There's maybe thirty devotees in total, a small group. The fire yagna is set, the sitting places arranged, and a more elaborate sitting place for the Sannyasi is set. The devotees are now assembling, ready for the ceremony. They are all talking amongst themselves and it's all pretty relaxed, but a bit excited. And stuck right in the middle of the big seat is a microphone complete with amplification and an electric generator powered by petrol. Can you imagine this scenario? In rural countryside, with a small bunch of devotees, with the birds singing and other country sounds, and there is a generator to supply electricity for an amplifier for ONE microphone. There's wires and a stand and the hum and smell of the generator and no-one blinks an eyelid. It's just normality. Is this not total insanity? And this actually happened!!!
Our lifestyle is based on the rural location where the influence is mode of goodness, so that our life is situated peacefully, simply, and honestly. The whole idea of Cow Protection is to integrate our lives and dependency on them in this mode of goodness. Our business, our housing, our energy requirements, and our food are all produced from the interaction of Cow Protection and land. Our needs become simple because we self-govern our communities through istagosthis and our relationships become trustworthy because we depend on each other communally. The whole package of our lifestyle is based on a rural idyllic situation. Influenced primarily by the mode of goodness, our bodily and mental health becomes less agitated by passionate and ignorant desires, so falldowns are a thing of the past and corruption becomes extinct.
The only reason for living in towns and cities is to preach, and only preach. Books are the basis of our preaching, and towns and cities are where the majority of people reside, so we go to these places to distribute Books, but not to accept the association. If we accept the association of passion and ignorance, then offences to chanting the Holy Name may creep in and our spiritual lives are slowly diluted. In the mode of goodness in our rural domiciles where we practice our lifestyles through Cow Protection and living off the land we are protected by the community of devotees, the cows, the way of life itself and our chanting becomes less offensive, the clearing stages. All these important points illustrate the relevance of Cow Protection in rural places-- that is to protect the devotees as well!!!!--- from Maya.
But the problem with Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla is that the principles of community, the mode of goodness, and our rural lifestyle are not integrated with the devotees. The Goshalla operates as an independent, individual and inaccessible entity because of its economic basis and because the Cow Protection project is based on outside help and touristic dynamics. Cow Protection is self-perpetuating because it generates wealth, employment, life skills and solves the economic problems of life, and surrounds the devotees in the mode of goodness lifestyle. But what is happening in official ISKCON Cow Protection projects is practically the opposite of what Cow Protection is for and how Cow Protection integrates with community and lends itself particularly to symbiotic relationships.
What ISKCON has been offering to the devotees by their Cow Protection projects is the opposite. Instead of changing the hand of lifestyles from western capitalistic culture, they have tried to fit the glove to match the hand of corporatism. In other words, instead of changing our lifestyles to fit Cow Protection they have tried to fit Cow Protection to fit our western dominated lifestyles. To make Cow Protection work in its symbiotic relationship and to solve the economic problems we have to integrate our lifestyles to fit Cow Protection, not the other way round. That's what "simple living" means. That's why Cow Protection has never worked in ISKCON, because they are too busy trying to fit the glove of Cow Protection to a hand of corporate culture and the self-sufficient ethos is always by-passed and misconstrued. In other words, we humans have to elevate our lifestyles to the mode of goodness to be equal to our protected Cows, to gain the benefit and association of them.
Cow Protection only functions in its natural form with the dynamic of community. When we picture the ideal scenario in our minds eye we see the cows in their Goshalla milking, the Bulls are working the land producing grains and the devotees are processing the milk into all the dairy products. The grains are being harvested and stored and then processed into foods for human consumption. Then on the other side of Cow Protection there is the whole energy producing effect from cow manure from the animals and the hauling of wood from the forests for heating and cooking. Naturally the Cow Protection project and community would be located near to rivers and/or springs and wells for sufficient fresh water and irrigation, because in only a few days without water the whole project is finished. A fresh water source is absolutely fundamentally vital. And as we are witnessing in the Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla region of the UK, there is now a hose-pipe ban because there are drought conditions, in the Spring, so now the cows, the devotees all depend on the water companies just for water. In Wales we have water coming out of our ears! What happens if the weather trends cause droughts there every year? What about the agriculture there? Is the Southeast of the UK a good location for Cow Protection and farming and being self -sufficient?
For lighting we can use cow manure-produced gas (methane) to light or we can grow flax for oil lighting, even the fibre of the flax plant can be used as a wick, it's a perfect arrangement. Or make our own beeswax candles. Then we have a complete holistic lifestyle going on (much of the detail is missing) but here we have the fundamental foundation of a self-dependent lifestyle. This is predominated by the mode of goodness at every step from economic development, business opportunity, employment, food production including medicines, etc., eco-friendly energy requirements, clothes, housing and construction, and other elements that are not able to be produced in every country of the world, that we can barter for or exchange monetary goods, or simply do without.
When we analyse the ISKCON Cow Protection projects there are many, many elements missing still after many years, because of lack of vision, lack of leadership, missed opportunities, ill-advised decision making, misguided devotees and just plain old disqualification. And the continuing idea that we in ISKCON have real Cow Protection projects is misconstrued, misunderstood and misconceived by the devotees who view the projects as they are. At best we have Cow Protection zoos and sanctuaries as defined around the world by many of the same projects where animals find sanctuary from being slaughtered and abused, and although this is of some benefit for mankind, it is not the fully manifest mandate of Cow Protection that we are all seeking to fully take shelter of, so that we can place our full faith and security for the future of our children and our childrens children.
The symptom of these sanctuaries and zoos are the subtle perpetuation of corporatism, monetary systems of lifestyle, inequality, and materialistic based conceptions because there is a business mentality behind them for maintaining them, i.e., paying public, money making gimmicks and touristic ideas. The isolationist mentality is magnified and the exploitation is emphasised, and eventually the conclusion will be to just slaughter all the animals because they cost so much money and effort. And from the history of some devotee's accounts of Cow Protection in ISKCON, this is exactly what has happened to some cows. They were slaughtered, or abused and left to die! And some were just accidentally killed by outrageously inept managers who should never have been left in charge of cows in the first place, typically bad ISKCON management.  
It is important for us as Vaisnavas to understand the significance of real Cow Protection and our integrated symbiotic relationship with them. In fact, this is the real definition of what Cow Protection is. Our relationship with the cows is one of love. And our partnership with them is dependency. If we don't show this relationship with the cows, then who else on this planet is going to? It's up to us to get this right, so get involved with Krsna's Cows, just like He showed us in Vrndavana on a daily basis. Make them part of your life and they will be part of your life, you can depend on that!!!!!
All glories to Krsna's cows
The Magic of Cow Protection:
One morning we were walking over to milk the cows and this big black and white cow, Kalindi, a Friesian, was blocking our entrance. We had tried unsuccessfully to make her pregnant. She had visited a bull several times and we had tried to artificially inseminate her, all to no avail.  
But this morning she just stood in our way. She was not being aggressive just blocking our entrance to the field. We looked at her and saw that her milk bag, udders, were big and we looked at each other, commenting how unusual this was. For a cow, Kalindi was middle-aged. Kalindi was the leader of the herd. No one messed with her, not the other cows nor the bigger bullocks. She would just head butt them into being submissive to her.  
So what's going on then, Kalindi, we asked her and she stood sideways, as if to ask us to milk her. So we washed her udders with warm water as we would the others and we crouched either side of her and we milked her. She just stood there as if she had been milking all her life.  
We milked out two big stainless steel buckets full. And then we rubbed into her udders some Japanese Mint cream and she just walked off. It was astonishing. She never came to the parlour for milking, always on her own and on her terms. And she then milked for another 8-9 years every day until she left her body in the 1990's.  
We all loved Kalindi so much; she was a real character among the cows. And in the straw barn, which she regularly broke into, she would lie down for a good afternoon siesta. And on Sunday afternoons we would go and play with her with the children and lie on tummy and rest our heads and she was as gentle as a baby.  
One day Kalindi had broken through the wooden fence. We had put up an electric fence as well, but she just walked straight through that one too. Right next to the pasture were some tunnels of plastic to grow flowers indoors. And she had pushed the door open and walked right down the middle of the tunnel and eaten all of the marigolds.  
When we found her in the morning she was back in the pasture lying down, just smelling of marigolds and burping marigold smells. We looked at the tunnel and saw the marigolds had been eaten and Kalindi has passed stool all over the place. So we laughed. But Kalindi was not laughing this morning, she had gorged herself on marigold flowers and plants, cows sometimes have the propensity to gorge, and she looked bad. A bit like the "morning after the night before" when too much alcohol is consumed.
 "Okay girl you're gonna have to get up to be milked", and she knew exactly what was going on. So she struggled to her feet for milking. When she got up she was just shaking badly. And when we were milking her we kept looking to see when she was going to fall on one of us. We finished milking quickly and she fell down exhausted. We looked at her wistfully and said not to raid Krishna's flowers anymore and she never went into the greenhouses ever again.
 We had moved to Wales before she left her body, but I was on a festival preaching programme in Hungary when the message came through that she had left her body and we had a wonderful feast in her honour. Kalindi was a great cow, so friendly and loving and so independent and naughty. And because you can have such a wonderful, moving relationship with cows it made me cry when she had departed.
 But that's the magic of Cow Protection, it's all so personal. And based on my experience and other devotees' stories with cows, I want to encourage all devotees to make some effort to have a personal relationship with Krishna's cows because you just don't know what will happen. And you never know, you just might become enthralled and taken in by the magic of Cow Protection.
Community Model vs. Temple Model:
In the UK there are many perennial type plants that grow as weeds that we want to remove. If you don't weed, then your crop is severely compromised and if you are actually dependent on your crop, then it serves you well to maintain a weed-free environment. If you don't do it then the commercial growers will do it for you, either mechanically or with sprays of chemicals. That's what you support when you buy at the markets, so either way weeds are killed. And then finally, when it comes to eating vegetables most have to be killed. Carrots, potatoes, beetroot, brassicas and spinach, etc. As Srila Prabhupada writes, "eating vegetables is violence." (SB 3.29.15)

Only in this way, from humble beginnings of seed planting and growing and nurturing, Cow Protection and all its fabulous facilities for mankind, will ISKCON ever be able to have the body of communities stretched out around the planet in any meaningful future. The Temple model of ISKCON is already included in Community ISKCON but not vica versa. Community ISKCON does not exist in the Temple model and it's only the Temple model that is keeping ISKCON from expanding exponentially, as ISKCON was expected and designed to expand. Just because we witnessed the Temple model of ISKCON first does not mean that it takes priority over Community ISKCON. Just because we in ISKCON have followed Temple ISKCON exclusively also does not mean we should dispense of and not establish Community ISKCON. Community is the only way to expand ISKCON permanently. It's only within Community that each devotee will feel the freedom that we so desire, freedom from the capitalistic trap, freedom from the material energy and the freedom to serve, love and share Srila Prabhupada and then engage ultimately in a beautiful free loving relationship with Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Radio Indraprashta:

Radio Indraprastha is a Digital Internet Station which broadcasts 24 hours 365 days a year. The station is run by the Hare Krishna Centre in Leicester, UK.
To tune in click on the player on your left. You need the Real Player to listen to the station. You can download it free  from Real Com's website.

School Programmes:
Devotees at the Hare Krishna Centre are available to conduct assemblies and tutorials for your educational establishment. We take part in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy at Leicester College, who runs an unique and innovative FVB programme at three campuses.

Please [LINK=/contact-us.html]get in touch[/LINK] if you want us to do a presentation at your school. We also conduct staff training events.

Hare Krishna Centre
28 Evington Road
off London Road

+44 116 254 6292

+44 7887 560 260

Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection)

(The Blog  is reverently for all the seekers of truth, lovers of wisdom and   to share the Hindu Dharma with others on the spiritual path and also this is purely  a non-commercial blog)


Post a Comment