New devotees are considered to be the life of ISKCON movement. Srila Prabhupada indicates in the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter One, that women, in particular, are the protectors of religion in Vedic society. If women are not properly trained and protected, then the moral fiber of the children and the entire family declines. Toward this end, ISKCON is establishing a training facility and ashrama for new devotees, specifically women, at the New Raman Reti community in Alachua, Florida.
A triple-wide mobile home has been purchased and needs to be moved and set up at the back of the temple property. In addition to the considerable expense of setting up the building, there are numerous permits and small jobs involved in preparing the land and outfitting the facility.
It was Srila Prabhupada’s desire that ISKCON not only maintain, but expand by preaching and caring for devotees. One of Srila Prabhupada’s unique preaching strategies was that he sheltered and trained women within ISKCON temples, and engaged them in frontline preaching, deity worship, and teaching, amongst other things. The desire of the founders of the new facility is to preserve and extend this legacy, and to expand the dynamic preaching spirit that attracts new devotees to Srila Prabhupada’s service.
The training center will provide a residential ashram facility for women enthusiastic to serve fulltime in the training of others. Additionally, foundational and Bhakti Sastri courses will be offered at regular intervals, allowing interested women to study and practice in the sheltered environment of the ashram for a short period of several months. Retreats are also planned, some specifically for devotee women, and others for non-devotees who are interested in vegetarian cooking, yoga, kirtan, gardening, or other devotional arts.
There are many qualified organizers and teachers who are eager to assist such as Laxmimoni Dasi and Akuti Dasi. Krodasamani devi dasi has agreed to come and teach yoga; Nanda devi dasi and others are available to organize and teach a variety of philosophical and practical courses.
Support in the form prayers, blessings, funds, furnishings, appliances, and other household items is required in order to establish this program. Please direct your contributions to: Laxmimoni.ACBSP@pamho.net or Akuti.firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a check to:
Vaishnava Cultural Society
18925 NW CR 239
Alachua, Florida 32615, USA
Vaishnava Cultural Society is a 501 C(3) organization, donations are tax-deductible.