I am Bhadra dasi from New Zealand, and my family and I have been involved in the development of a sustainable community for years. We have a six acre rural property in the Bay of Plenty. We do not have enough land for others to come and live on our property, since there are seven of us here already. But we very much want other followers of Srila Gurudeva—those sincere about growing
I am Bhadra dasi from New Zealand, and my family and I have been involved in the development of a sustainable community for years. We have a six acre rural property in the Bay of Plenty. We do not have enough land for others to come and live on our property, since there are seven of us here already. But we very much want other followers of Srila Gurudeva—those sincere about growing in bhakti and growing as people, and with an interest in developing a lifestyle alternative to the Kali cult (such as producing our own food, educating our own children, etc)—to come and settle in the area. There is much rural land for sale all around the area. Unfortunately it is expensive, but with the present slump in real estate, properties which have been on the market for years without selling, will likely sell for much less than their advertised price.
To make it possible for devotees to get land, we would like to see devotees do what Narayana dasa and I did fifteen years ago: pool resourses with several other devotee families, buy a large block of land, then have it subdivided, so each family has their own land at a fraction the cost of buying land of the same size without this type of arrangement. This creates devotee neighbourhood.
There is at least one couple here in New Zealand who would be keen to buy land in our area with another family or families. We just need more keen devotees.
This vision is not for the "faint hearted", you could say. Appeal is to devotees who have their heart set on setting and building the foundations, over the next few decades, for an alternative culture to the present day Kali-yuga mainstream; a culture which is considerably more bhava-anukula (favourable for the development of bhakti). Our Srila Prabhupada had visions like this, and wanted them to develop. Needed for this, are those who are keen to pioneer this cultural idea, and face the challenges involved to do the work necessary to make inroads into it, for the benefit of our future generations, and as a project for them to continue developing.
I believe New Zealand is an ideal place. It is a little cut off from the rat-race of the rest of the world. It is relatively politically calm, and crime rate is not high. There is huge potential here for agrarian development. The climate is moderate. The scenery is extremely beautiful, everywhere. The land is nearly all coastal, because New Zealand is just two (or three) islands.
And of all parts of New Zealand, I feel our area, the Bay of Plenty, is the best. It hosts one of New Zealand's biggest harbours and its ninth biggest city, so there is opportunity for outreach. As its name suggests, all fruits, vegetables and herbs grow prolifically here. The area is well-watered, with many pure water streams coming down from the mountain range called the Kaimais (of which our land is in the foothills). We have one such stream going through our property, and we draw all our water from it.
The nearby town is called Katikati, which in Sanskrit means 'millions and millions.'
Millions and millions of:
* Nagar-sankirtanas in the streets
* Nama-hatta programs
* Hari katha festivals
* Prasadam outlets
* Children being educated in a loving Krsna-conscious atmosphere
* Protected cows giving milk
* Japa retreats
* Devotee-managed acreages growing fruit and vegies
* Devotee health practitioners producing medicines from pure ingredients, and training others.
* Devotee businesses, giving employment to other devotees
* Cottage industries, offering barter trade
* Higher-educated, brahminical and skilled devotees training and educating other devotees
* Etc, etc
Although I have been giving thought to this kind of culture for nearly two decades now, I don't have all or many of these concepts thought out in detail. We would love like-minded devotees to come to this area, buy some land together, and put heads together as to how to develop this vision.
It is my opinion that these sorts of visions, turned into hands-on projects, should be developed by devotees all over the world. If it were possible, perhaps devotees with money could buy up areas of good rural land, subdivide them and sell off lots to devotees at cost price.
If we are going to develop a society, a foundation in communities like this—call them neighbourhoods if you prefer—is needed. (I am not overlooking the fact that the only real foundation for each individual and each Vaisnava community and society, is the chanting of the holy name and the performance of bhajana; that goes without saying; but here I refer to practical foundation for phyiscal sustenance, maintenance and well-being, of a bhava-anukula nature). We can start by beginning to produce our own food together, and educating our own children together: two paramount moves for side-stepping the Kali cult and instigating our own pure society.
I would like to see more devotees getting interested in this, and spreading interest to others.
The fiat monetary system on which the Kali cult is built—our much needed dollar—will become completely worthless at some date in the (perhaps very near) future. We need to start nutting out an alternative culture, a culture governed by our Gurudevas.
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