June 20, 2013 in Community, USA

New Braja Community, Badger CA

Dear Devotees,
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga! Please accept our dandavat pranams.

For the past few years the risk of the property in New Braja being sold has been looming over our heads. Even though the devotees have tried very hard there hasn’t been enough money to maintain it. Just think what a tragedy it would be for our beloved Srila Gurudeva’s property, where he performed deep bhajan and gave sweet harikatha, ending up in the hands of non-devotees. Srila Gurudeva himself paid the down payment on this property and has mercifully given us this Holy Tirtha here in the west.

Srila Gurudeva has been visiting Badger since his first Western tour in 1996, fourteen years ago. He has often expressed how dear this place is to him, and on one occasion stated that in the future New Braja would become the center of his world-wide mission in the west. Srila Gurudeva calls this place New Braja and he has even personally brought Govardhan here and begged him to manifest his mercy. He has wept during the dramas that the devotees performed re-enacting Sri Krishna’s pastimes and showed overflowing joy when he saw the hundreds of preparations cooked for Govardhana Annakut. Countless souls have taken spiritual birth in this place and it is the home of his darling disciples who joined together to form his first gurukula. Wherever the pure devotee’s tears, born of various transcendental ecstasies, mix with the dust from his feet, how can it be called anything but a Holy Tirtha?

Our Gosvamis have fulfilled Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mano’bhishta by continuing to reveal and re-establish the holy places that have been covered by the influence of time, and since then our Acaryas have continued to manifest the Holy Dhama.

What is now known as Chandrasekhara Bhavan, which is a very dear place to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, had at one time been taken over by the Muslims and they had turned it into a graveyard. Our own dear Param Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshava Gosvami Maharaj, went in the middle of the night and completely transformed it. He removed all the gravestones and planted many big and small mango trees, bamboo, and jackfruit trees. The next day the Muslims where very angry and went to complain to the district magistrate. The district magistrate came, saw that garden and said, “In one night, how can such a big garden have become manifest? This place has been here for many years.” And he threw out the Muslim’s complaint.

There is no doubt that the desire of Mahaprabhu is to preserve and reveal Holy Tirthas, not to allow them to be covered or sold to materialists. Yet, for the past few years, we have been on the brink of losing New Braja.

Recently a team has come together to assume responsibility that Srila Gurudeva’s beloved property remains with-in our sanga. In order to do this we have signed a lease to own contract, and $375,000 dollars remain on the loan note. We have started a New Braja 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. This registers us as a religious institution or a church, so even when we die it will still be here for the next generation. Sri Sri Radha Govinda are being nicely worshiped and Srila Gurudeva’s bhajan kutir (room) is being preserved as it is when he is there.

Our goal is to make this project monetarily self-sufficient. Our plan is to do this by hosting festivals, retreats, seminars, summer camps etc. The first step to achieving this is creating more facilities such as cabins, yurts, permanent bathrooms, and a commercial kitchen.

With the departure of our beloved Srila Gurudeva from our external vision, we find ourselves challenged individually and collectively to deepen our internal connection with him .We have our personal remembrances and his Hari Katha to meditate and deeply reflect on. This New Braj Tirtha Project is a great opportunity to come together to preserve Srila Gurudeva’s spiritual legacy, not only for ourselves but for the benefit of countless souls in the future.

Please help support this project by making a donation.

Bhakti Projects, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) federally approved non-profit religious organization that provides tax exempt receipts for all donations.

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