August Progress and September Update
September 1, 2011
Dandavat pranams my friends! All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gaurunga!!
I hope to use this medium as a way to stay on the same page and communicate with my beloved god-brothers and god-sisters.
So much has been happening around New Braj, it is a blessing no doubt that we can be engaged in service for Sri Guru and the vaisnavas. I want to thank you all for your continued support and positive energy. Together we can do so much. It is paramount to feel this encouragement and blessings to stay motivated especially with so much chaos going on around us in this material world. We have a special team and many more are ready to join us on this mission to “serve and preserve” in New Braj.
Firstly I want to express that Sri Sri Radha-Govinda are being taken care of daily to the highest standard by Gopanandini didi, Radha Priya didi, and Anuradha didi. Others such as Manjuvasani didi and Padabja Prabhu have also helped so nicely take care of Thakurji. Wonderful foodstuffs made by Gopa, Radhe, Manju, Sikhandi, etc are offered at appropriate times to their Lordships. The whole alter looks so beautiful and full of love every time I get darshan.
Balarama’s appearance day, Janmastami, Srila Prabhupada’s appearance, and Radhastami were all celebrated so sweetly here in the Holy Dham. Balaram’s appearance was extra special with the association of Sriman Kishori Mohan Prabhu and his lovely wife Srimati Sudevi didi. Many people came for Janmastami and stayed the night in tents around the property. There were so many nice memories of Srila Prabhupada shared by His disciples and other senior devotees. Radhastami was ecstatic and of course the prasadam was delicious as always.
We just hosted our first Bhakti Yoga Retreat! There were 12 women who took part in the 4-day event. It was so nice to host these bhaktins and show them what New Braj is all about. Every person involved had glowing reviews. It will be a foundation for many more to come.
We are pleased to announce that the 17th Annual Hari Katha Festival will be held here, in the footprints of Srila Gurudeva’s lotus feet, on June 19th-25th, 2012!!! More info soon.
The grounds are beautiful and well taken care of thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of our dear Kamala Kanta Prabhu. The garden is producing gigantic veggies of all sorts. Some of the sunflowers and squash are the biggest I have ever seen! More and more strawberries are being planted along the fence line on the driveway and beyond. The pool is immaculate, providing much needed relief from the heat.
Nitya is always out and about keeping the whole property in-line and on-time.
Two of the top most sevas continue to be maintained by Sikhandi mata. Daily she takes expert care of all the Tulsi Devi and our 3 extraordinary cows. Oh all the while making out of this world Maha sweets and prasadam for residents and guests.
Nanda Gopal Prabhu and Jagaprabhokta Prabhu have done countless hours of seva around the property and found us an amazing deal on a top of the line redwood gazebo for Srila Gurudev’s Puspa Samadhi. It has been ordered from Lowe’s for <$3,000 (with a 20% discount!) and will arrive in less than three weeks. We will assemble it around Srila Gurudev’s Puspa Samadhi before the end of September. This will protect the Samadhi and look very nice. Construction will be done by Jagaprabhokta Prabhu, Nanda Gopal Prabhu, Nitya Prabhu, Kamala Kanta Prabhu, and myself, as well as other strong and willing residents of New Braj Mandala. When we are ready to build the permanent structure we can disassemble the gazebo and use it somewhere else on the property for a bhajan kutir, fire yajna, etc. Over 120 wheelbarrow loads of decomposed granite have been removed from the Samadhi site to enlarge the area. Locals Vana Prabhu, Nrsingha Prabhu, Narada Prabhu, Dayanidi Prabhu, Vishnujana Prabhu, and many others have helped out a lot in this labor-intensive seva.
Chaitaya Shakti didi has been staying up here in New Braj bringing vibrant life and lots of smiles to the temple. She is also helping out around the mandir and is in the process of making a very nice newsletter. Raghalata didi is also helping make the newsletter a reality.
Rasika didi is back from her Europe Tour with the Kirtaniyas. She has been energizing the kirtans and doing anything to help. Along with Saraswati didi from Germany and Rishi Prabhu from Three Rivers, they are creating a comprehensive fold out style brochure that will explain what New Braj is and what we are doing here. This will be a very valuable document for everyone to distribute throughout the world.
The land title transfer of the 5-acre pavilion property that Nirguna Prabhu and Nilacala didi so graciously donated during the festival is almost complete. All the paper work on the side of New Braj has been completed and submitted to the title company. We expect to have the deed within a few weeks.
Dhanistha didi did extensive research on database systems and we have decided to use Goggle for our database. A new gmail has been set up to facilitate this important way to save and share contacts, organize groups, etc.
I am very humbled and in awe when I look back on the last 365 days. A first class group of devotees came together to share one vision: Serve and Preserve New Braj Tirtha. We signed a lease-to-own with Bhakti Projects and since then the outpouring of love and support from the vaisnavas has been truly amazing. Without this mercy from Sri Sri Guru, Srimati Radhika, Lord Sri Krsna, and Their devout devotees none of this would be possible. Our sincere dandavat pranams to you all!
Your aspiring servant,
Uddhava das anudas
Secretary for New Braj
PO BOX 155
Three Rivers, CA 93271
If I have offended or omitted anyone I am very sorry, it is only due to my ignorance and dull headedness.