new vrindaban (23)


By Madhava Smullen

To celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON New Vrindaban in West Virginia is set to hold the Prabhupada 125 Tournament from Friday September 24th to Sunday September 26th.

The tournament, which will take place at New Vrindaban a month after Prabhupada’s August 31st Appearance Day, will be open to all and will feature a series of exciting prizes for the winner and runners-up. Contestants should register here, and will have nearl

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24 Plus Kirtan at New Vrindaban


This past weekend, New Vrindaban hosted hundreds of devotees for its 24-Plus Kirtan event. It was the first major festival held in over a year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and devotees traveled from all over North America to be a part of it. Among them was a group of nine Vaishnavis from Krishna House in Gainesville, Florida. Most of them were new devotees who had joined during the pandemic and had never been to New Vrindaban, or for that matter, to any major ISKCON festival.
To re

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9093972899?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen

ISKCON New Vrindaban has started its festival season, which runs from May to September, and draws pilgrims, gives inspiration and association to visiting devotees, helps to maintain the temple, and provides engagement and financial support for devotee staff.

During the pandemic, New Vrindaban, with its 2,200 acres, spacious temple room and strict following of Covid protocols, has been a popular destination for devotees looking to safely experience the deity darshan and temple

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By Madhava Smullen

A new program at New Vrindaban in West Virginia, dubbed “Seva-Yoga,” has been launched to help guests build a relationship with Krishna through service.

“It evolved naturally from an experience we had over the weekend of Gaura Purnima,” says New Vrindaban Lodge Manager Sarah. “We were short-staffed for various different services, so a team of people like the temple president Jaya Krishna, communications director Anuradha, and others jumped in to help clean the rooms to get t

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8833309296?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen

ISKCON New Vrindaban is set to offer a Covid-safe Mother’s Day Wellness Retreat for Vaishnavis and their families with an aim to provide nourishment, relaxation and inspiration for women during difficult times.

“During the pandemic, people have sacrificed their sanga, and in some ways their mental health through isolation,” says Palace Lodge Manager Sarah. “So although we can’t do something on the scale of Festival of Inspiration [which was typically held over the Mother’s Day

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A 200-hour full immersion Yoga Teacher Training Program concluded a few days ago at New Vrindaban taught by Gopi Manjari Devi Dasi. After an intense 18 days of training, six students went away with not only their well-deserved yoga instructor certificates but also a powerful introduction to Krishna consciousness, a heartfelt connection with Srila Prabhupada, and a memorable experience of bhakti.

Gopi Manjari is a seasoned yoga teacher who runs her own studio called “Bhakti Yoga DC” in the heart

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8496224498?profile=RESIZE_584xOn December 27th, 2020, around twenty New Vrindaban devotees celebrated 52 years of worshipping the beautiful Little Radha Vrindaban Chandra with an abhisekha bathing ceremony, chanting, feasting and retelling of the Deities’ illustrious history.

While some longtime residents of the rural West Virginia community – ISKCON’s first farm – were present, hearing the history was an inspiring revelation for the young devotees in attendance.

“To understand that Little Radha Vrindaban Chandra are the fir

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8388033079?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen

Although 2020 has been a tough year for us all, some have discovered silver linings amidst the challenges. When ISKCON New Vrindaban, West Virginia went into a two-week lockdown on Thanksgiving Day to keep the community safe, two women from opposite sides of the world found themselves in an unexpected quarantine. However the experience turned out to be a blissful one, as they learned new skills, nourished their spiritual lives, and forged a strong friendship.

Sharaniya Nathan,

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8292790492?profile=RESIZE_400xBy Madhava Smullen 

After many years residing on the third floor of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s temple, Tulasi Devi at the New Vrindaban farm community in West Virginia has been offered a beautiful new dedicated greenhouse to provide her with a high standard of care. 

An intimate servant of Lord Krishna who appears in the form of a plant, Tulasi Devi is described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as very dear to Lord Krishna. Her leaves are placed on the lotus feet of the Lord, and her Manjari flow

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8206597090?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Annual MANtra, Men's Retreat, usually held in New Vrindaban, USA, is going virtual this year and it all happens this weekend beginning Friday evening November 20 (EST), and continues through Sunday, Nov. 22.  All men are invited ages 16 and up. 

This annual men’s sanga will feature interactive sessions with leading devotees of all ages and backgrounds including Mahatma, Chaitanya Charana & Sutapa, Bhuta Bhavana, Namarasa, Raghunatha, Partha, Kaunteya, Anuttama, Madhvacarya, and Gopal Lila pr

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8126057497?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen

The third annual MAN-tra men’s retreat, and the first to go virtual, will feature international speakers and sanga live on Zoom, with the theme “Unlocking A Man’s Dharma in a Locked Down World.” The retreat will take a look at challenges and opportunities through different stages of life from a Krishna conscious perspective, covering topics like fatherhood, marriage, brahmachari life, examples of healthy masculinity, and overcoming pornography.

Participants can sign up at http

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7971298458?profile=RESIZE_584xBy Madhava Smullen 

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ISKCON temples around the world closed their doors, and many found challenges in maintaining themselves without traditional in-person outreach activities.A family enjoys Sunday Brunch at their own socially-distanced table in the Prabhupada's Palace Rose Garden

By June, some had begun to reopen, with locally mandated restrictions. New Vrindaban, ISKCON’s first farm community, in West Virginia, faced particular economic challenges due

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Starting in 1973, residents of New Vrindaban, West Virginia, held their own small rural Rathayatra festival on the farm, a sweet event with Lord Jagannath riding a succession of different charmingly rustic makeshift carts.

In the early 2000s, Malati Devi, one of the organizers of San Francisco’s 1967 Rathayatra – the first outside India – commissioned a proper traditional chariot and the festival grew in popularity within the community. 

Then in 2016, the Rathayatra became a public annual even

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Last weekend, July 17-19, Rambhoru Devi Dasi, a respected Srila Prabhupada disciple, Interfaith Chaplain, and Clinical Pastoral Educator, revisited New Vrindaban to offer a three-day workshop on the topic of “Bereavement after Loss and Self-care.”

Rambhoru Devi is a certified professional in her field. Her formal training includes a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity Degree, a Masters’ Degree in Patient Counseling, and Board Certification from the Association for Cli

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Pandemic Ratha Yatra in New Vrindaban

Ratha Yatra 2020 – A spiritual reunion


Sri Baladeva, Subhadra and Jagannath

On 12 July, 2020, Summertime is Ratha Yatra time! The Ratha Yatra festival is a celebration of reunion, when Their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, who had been separated from Their devotees during a two-week “sick” leave, finally return and are taken out on a pleasure ride in a gorgeously decorated chariot. On a deeper level, it signifies the ecstatic reunion of Krishna with the residents of Vrindaban aft

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By Madhava Smullen 

Pilgrims wear masks and stand six feet apart while taking darshan of Sri Sri Radha Vrindabanchandra

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, ISKCON temples worldwide have been in lockdown, unable to connect with their communities or give spiritual knowledge to newcomers in person, and instead shifting these activities online. Without in-person outreach activities, the last few months have also seen temples struggling to maintain themselves, with centers in Italy, Franc

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By Madhava Smullen 

According to NPR, fear of food shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred people on to plant more vegetable gardens; while community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) are booming.

In New Vrindaban, West Virginia, ISKCON’s first rural community which Srila Prabhupada earmarked as an example of sustainability to the world, resident devotees have a headstart, and are using the pandemic to push themselves closer to their goal of self-sufficiency.

A few weeks ago,

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By Madhava Smullen

With temples all over the world dealing with the effects of COVID-19, ISKCON’s first farm community – New Vrindaban in West Virginia – has scaled down to core personnel and closed its doors to the public. 

A much larger operation than many city temples, New Vrindaban has 2,200 acres, has been established as a foremost place of pilgrimage in North America, and welcomes 35,000 visitors per year with a 5% annual increase. 

This also means a large staff to keep everything goin

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By Madhava Smullen

From letters Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciples, we know that he envisioned New Vrindaban as, among other things, a holy place of pilgrimage in North America, where devotees could gather for spiritual education.

Progress in realizing that vision has gone from strength to strength in recent times. New Vrindaban’s accommodation in its Palace Lodge, cabins, and temple guestwing have been beautifully remodeled, including several rooms with ensuite bathrooms. The recently

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ht1_slideshow.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710x By Madhava Smullen 

In West Virginia, the first frost can hit in Fall and the last in late Spring, halting the growing season all the way from October to May.

But devotees in New Vrindaban, ISKCON’s first farm community (est 1968) have just introduced three high tunnel greenhouses, allowing them to offer locally grown flowers and vegetables to Sri Sri Radha Vrindabanchandra and the temple kitchens all year round.  

The high tunnels were installed this summer by Amish company Yoder’s Produce fr

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