Friday, September 29th, 2023
Moundsville, West Virginia
Coyotes sounded in the night just as the bonfire was about to begin. We were lucky to secure veteran monk, Varshana Swami, resident sannyasi in the rural community of New Vrindavan, who spoke about the pastimes of walking monk, Chaitanya.
Sometimes people naturally ask which Vrindavan is better – the original in India, or New Vrindavan in the hills of West Virginia. The explanation by our founder/teacher, Prabhupada, is that they are non-different. Indeed, both of the locations are of a transcendent nature. My input would be something like this: "I appreciate both, but the one in America is more rustic, foresty, and it's cleaner."
Apart from the howling of coyotes, it is common to see deer everywhere in New Vrindavan, as well as raccoons, opossums, skunks, and the odd bear; and West Virginia boasts the most diverse number of wild vegetation in the continent. You can understand why I'm leaning where I am on the above question.
My dear godbrother, Partha, did a marvellous presentation on the topic of a man's approach to REAL renunciation, as opposed to immature renunciation. In the early days of ISKCON, the view of renouncing the world and going the detached way was not so wholesome. As an example, a phrase from sastra (scripture) read something like, "Married life is a deep, dark hole," and such a statement would be isolated by an inexperienced person who would take it out of context and misapply it.
Let us learn from the past mistakes and take good guidance.
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!