Prabhupada’s Vision for New Vrindaban: Simple Living and High Thinking

Krishna and Balaram with cows in Vrndavan

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…So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness. It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved. (Letter to Hayagriva by Srila Prabhupada, June 1968)

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Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

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…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a fact in everyone’s heart. It is already there. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans, they’re taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously? So it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there already. By the process of hearing… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam is so auspicious that the chanting of this mantra awakens the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the more your heart becomes cleansed. These are the statements given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There cannot be any defect. My statement may be defective, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s statement cannot be defective, because He is in the transcendental platform. He is transcendence Himself. Kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmine. He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He has appeared in the form of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore, whatever He says, that is fact. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more we hear the vibration, the transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, without any offense… Even with, mixed with offense… There are three stages of chanting this vibration: offensive chanting, and almost offenseless chanting, and offenseless chanting. Offensive chanting may give you material pains and pleasures, and almost offenseless will give you liberation, will place you in the transcendental platform. And when it is offenseless, then immediately you’ll invoke love of God, Kṛṣṇa-prema. So even in offensive stage, if you go on chanting and try to be, try to become safe from offensive condition… Daśa-vidhā-nāma, ten kinds of offenses, if we avoid, that is the process of auspicity. But even we are not in the platform of offenseless chanting, still, we must go on chanting. It will gradually make our heart cleansed and we’ll be offenseless. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, awakening of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is required. That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.

So here, Rūpa Gosvāmī says auspicity means that which spreads for everyone, in all parts of the world. That is auspicity. Not partial. In politics or sociology or humanitarian activities, there is partiality for a certain section of human being, or certain section of living beings. But this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, awakening Kṛṣṇa consc…, dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for all living entities. Even birds, beasts, insects, they can also awaken. This is the recommendation of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that if we chant loudly, the trees will hear, the birds will hear, the insect will hear, and they will be liberated. That is the statement of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and awakening of dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the auspicious activities, welfare activities, for every living entity all over the world.

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