Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe Part IV

Four of Sudevi's calves
I kept hearing about Sudevi and her cow protection program in Radha Kund, which is located about 20 miles from Vrindavan, India I kept asking different people who she was and how I could find her. When I visited Kurma Rupa's CARE FOR COWS in Vrindavan, I asked him about Sudevi and indeed he did know her and said he would take me to her place.

Sudevi is doing a similar program as CARE FOR COWS. Injured cows are brought to her for healing as well as cows being rescued from the streets so that the night time trucks of butchers don’t pick them up and take them for slaughter. Her main area of operation is Radha Kund and Govardhan and her shelter is located in Radha Kund.

Sudevi and helper taking care of a wounded leg

When I was there in the end of February she was taking care of 100 cows/oxen and calves. Her animals are very well cared for by herself and hired staff. Kurma Rupa's vet , Dr. Lavania, also visits Sudevi's shelter several times a month and gives her free medical aid for her animals.

Sudevi's project from the rooftop

Sudevi is of German descent. In her youth, her father was a German Ambassador to India. As a young girl Sudevi very much liked India, so when her parents were recalled to return to Germany she stayed on in India. She has been in India for 25 years and for the last ten years she has been caring for cows in Radha Kund.


Sudevi's shelter is run with love for the cows but is seriously under financed. She does not have a computer and relies on donations to keep her cow care project funded. Anyone wishing to place donations to her project can do so through ISCOWP and we will make sure she receives them. A very worthy project to help.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe Part III

Delivering hay to the barn by ox cart

Visiting Krsna Valley (New Vraja Dhama) in Hungary has been a desire of mine for many years. Finally the desire manifested in a visit to Krsna Valley in Early March 2007.

The cows are treated with love and devotion and are one of the focal points of the community. The oxen are being engaged in many different services daily so that their usefulness is appreciated and respected by the devotees. The barns are clean and hay and other feed for the cows are grown and offered with love and devotion to the cows/oxen.

Govindanandana getting ready for a training session with Tharkurji and Haladhar, a young team of oxen

The cow program in Krsna Valley is very carefully thought out in regards to growth of herd in relationship to carrying capacity of the land, available labor force, and long term (15-20-year) planning.

The driving force behind Krsna Valley is two fold, spiritual and practical. The first driving force is Sivarama Maharaja who is pushing the community to actually live a lifestyle depending on the COW/HUMAN/LAND relationship with all of the fruits of labor being offered with love and devotion to Lord Krsna.

The second driving force is Gaura Sakti Prabhu who is a very deep thinker and planner. Over the last 14 years the community has grown from 4 devotees to close to 150 devotees. Most of the devotees live directly on the farm and some live in the nearby village.

Gaura Sakti prabhu showing Syamsundar prabhu from Bhaktivedanta Manor in England, some of the products from the farm

A strong Krsna Conscious presence and practical, grounded, and well thought out planning are evident at every turn. There is a board of directors assisting Gaura Sakti Prabhu and each department head and department staff are always thinking and planning how to reach the community’s goal of depending on Guru and Krsna. based on the COW/HUMAN/LAND relationship.

Currently the community is totally self-sufficient 5 months of the year.

A sampling of some of the products from the farm

Spiritual Purity and careful, thoughtful planning are proving to be key ingredients in the successful development of the Krsna Valley community.

The morning spiritual program is daily attended by well over 100 devotees
The grounds are clean and well maintained.
There are well over 600 fruit trees.
Hundreds of trees have been planted bringing back into the local eco system many species of birds which have not been seen in the area for decades
There is a 175 colony apiary producing 1st class honey bearing the KRSNA VALLEY label, which is becoming famous throughout Hungary.
There is a first class art department that has created one of the most BEAUTIFUL temples in all of ISKCON.
First class Restaurant.
The community is currently hosting 25,000 visitors a year with many returning visitors bringing friends and family to experience the KRSNA VALLEY EXPERIENCE.
The cow protection and maintenance of the cows/oxen is first class and carefully thought out.
The community's school program is well thought out and developing nicely.
Development of cottage industry based on agricultural products is on going.

These are just a few programs going on at the Krsna Valley community. Next year we will be having a Cow Protection Conference at the Krsna Valley community. It will mainly focus on the European countries’ cow protection and farm projects development. I look forward with great anticipation to return to visit the Krsna Valley community and to have their association so I can learn more from them.

I do believe the cow conference will be around Gaura Purnima. Stay tuned for the announcement of actual time.

Anybody traveling close to Hungary please make KRSNA VALLEY a part of your travel plans. Krsna Valley is a must go to destination for any traveling Vaisnava.