70th issue - Nitya-seva Newsletter
April, May, June 2023.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jaya Radha-Syama!
This year marks the passing of the 30th spring since the inauguration of Krishna Valley, which – besides being the transcendental abode of Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara – is the largest and oldest eco-village in Europe. The devotees of New Vraja Dhama have been working tirelessly over the past 3 decades to set an example of how to live a simple, conscious, sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle based on our tradition and values.
We took a very important step on this path in April by opening the first capstan in Hungary that is operated by oxen. It works solely with animal power, no fuel, and can be used to press oil, grind wheat, make wood chips, saw, and even generate electricity. Besides being a significant step towards self-sufficiency, it is also very important for the wider cow protection project.
We care for the cows and oxen on three levels: the bodily, the emotional, and the spiritual. We provide for all their bodily needs from the day they are born until they die a natural death. We treat them with kindness and respect, thereby providing emotional protection. And spiritually they are well taken care of because they are engaged in the service of Lord Krishna. This new capstan means we can engage our oxen not only when there is agricultural work to do, but all year round. Just like humans, it is the nature of oxen to work and be active; to not be so is unhealthy.
In April we held a program to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Krishna Valley, and it was then that the capstan was inaugurated. In attendance were around 200 important guests, headed by the leaders of ISKCON Hungary, Srila Sivarama Swami and Radha Krishna Dasa, as well as the Hungarian Minister of Agriculture, Dr Nagy István, and many others. It was a wonderful day and all left inspired as we took another forward step in the mission for simple living, high thinking.
Devotees derive great joy from glorifying the various incarnations of the Lord, but Lord Nrisimhadeva holds an extra special place in the hearts of many devotees. Thus we held a four-day long festival in May to celebrate Nrisimha Caturdasi and the Vyasa-puja of Srila Sivarama Swami, with devotees attending from several countries. BB Govinda Swami flew in along with his entourage of musicians, and together they raised the roof with ecstatic kirtanas that lasted long into the night.
Finally, we would like to introduce a kind Czech family who recently joined the team of Nitya-seva donors. Bhadra Devi Dasi, a disciple of Sivarama Swami Maharaja, along with her husband Bhakta Karel, have two young boys. Bhadra is managing a successful property business alongside teaching Markandeya and Kartikeya at home two days per week. Karel is a plumber by trade, and helps with the mechanical and technical aspects of organising Ratha-yatra festivals in several European cities.
The family actively participates in various preaching activities, including Harinamas, the Czech Pada-yatra, and even the Hungarian book distribution marathon! They regularly spend time and do service in Krishna Valley, which they consider their second home. They are very dedicated to Radha-Syama and they felt inspired to participate directly in Their service, so on the day of Pandava Ekadasi, they began their Nitya-seva pledge. We would like to heartily thank them for this wonderful service, which guarantees them the blessings of Sri Sri Radha-Syama and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai.
On behalf of the Nitya-seva team your servant,
14th July, 2023.