Only a maximum of five to ten guests attend each retreat. Guests stay in their own separate rooms with attached bathrooms in the Palace Lodge, which receive deep cleaning and disinfection after every stay.
In a small procession consisting of the chariot-truck along with several devotees’ cars, Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra visited six different spots across New Vrindaban.
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.
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 stay-at-home order issued in West Virginia, ISKCON New Vrindaban has closed down Prabhupada’s Palace, the Palace Lodge, and Govinda’s restaurant, losing half its income in the process.
The conference ran from October 4th to 6th in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, where ISKCON’s first cow protection program started in Spring 1969 with a black Jersey, “Kaliya,” named by Srila Prabhupada himself.
“For the past number of years, we’ve been trying to get the Palace a status as a historic building in West Virginia,” said Palace Reunion Festival organizer Sukhavaha Dasi, to cheers from the crowd. “It’s a federal thing, not just a state thing, backing that this is a historic building!”
“We have mostly Indian preachers, and noticed that there was a disconnect, due to cultural differences, between them and our Western guests,” says Anuradha Dasi, director of the communications team behind the booklet. “Guests would come into the temple, stay for just a minute, and then turn around and walk out.”
2019 marks the 50t hanniversary of cow protection in ISKCON, so it’s an excellent time to look at and celebrate that progress. And this year’s North American Farm Conference will take place where it all started – New Vrindaban, West Virginia.
Nestled in the wooded hilltops of the Appalachian Foothills, New Vrindaban is a favorite destination for thousands of pilgrims every year. Varsana Swami’s new photo book is an invitation to realize and enter its deeper, magical dimensions of Sri Dhama.
On October 27, ISKCON New Vrindaban devotees in West Virginia heard of the horrific mass shooting at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, a 90-minute drive away from their idyllic rural community. Jaya Krishna Das, the Temple President of ISKCON New Vrindaban, wrote a heart-warming condolence letter to the Tree of Life Synagogue and the Jewish community, which was noted by the Intelligencer newspaper of Pennsylvania.
“New Vrindaban is not your average temple – it’s a very big and complex project, because it has so many departments to take care of,” says search committee chairperson Vrindavan Das. “So instead of having one temple president take care of everything, we are restructuring and creating a management team of three ‘executive directors’ who will work as a team.”
On July 31st, Gopal Agarwal, husband of Sally and father of two daughters, Srila Prabhupada’s first sponsor in the West, left his body due to old age afflictions.
New Vrindaban, established in the rolling hills of West Virginia in 1968 at the behest of Srila Prabhupada, is a unique place. It’s ISKCON’s very first farm community, and the first cow protection program in the Western World.
The newly-launched Bhaktivedanta Vedic Library, offers audiobooks of ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada’s works for free, to stream or download onto your laptop, smartphone or other electronic device. It also offers helpful introductory video guides on various elements of the process of Krishna consciousness.
The Krishna devotee community in Moundsville, W.Va., has been giving and taking its share of the earth’s bounty for decades. In recent years it signed leases with two natural gas companies, giving them access to the fuel trapped inside. The lease bonus money has already gone a long way toward restoring New Vrindaban’s campus, which had fallen into disrepair.
The 10th annual 24-Hour Kirtan at New Vrindaban, West Virginia, USA, will be held on June 17th and 18th, 2017, featuring an amazing group of kirtaneers from all over the world! The organizers cordially invite all devotees to join in the continuous congregational chanting of Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra, which is a unique opportunity to become absorbed in the holy name.