OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE!: We are pleased to announce the launch of our “BECOME A MEMBER” Program. As many of you know, we are a working farm, a spiritual haven, an educational center and a sanctuary. We are also a non-profit and therefore the support of our guests and the public in general is essential. Up to now, we have somehow been able to maintain this amazing Project; however sustainable maintenance is required. This can only occur with sustainable support. We therefore appeal to all of you to please sign up for our Membership Program. Most non-profit Farms run such a Program in order to continue to offer the communities they serve the best educational experience - we therefore invite you to “join the family”. By participating in this Program, you become a member of the Gita Nagari Farm & Sanctuary Family, and it will be our honor to receive you. You can sign up here:http://www.gitanagari.org/donation/member
SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA SWAMI: This Saturday, February 27, we will celebrate the appearance ofSrila Prabhupada's Guru, Srila Bhaktisiddantha Prabhupada. We will begin at 10:30 am with a class, puspanjali, kirtan, arati, and a feast at 1pm. Please join us in glorifying "a ray of Visnu" that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur prayed for in furthering the mission that culminated in A C Bhaktivedanta Swamispreading the Bhakti cult all over the world. Each one of us is the beneficiary of these great acharyas and their compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.
Adopt a Cow: When you visit Gita Nagari and observe the beautiful cows that have taken shelter here, you realize why Krishna spends so much of His time with the cows. They are calm and peaceful under circumstances we would wilt under. Rain, snow, sleet, and scorching heat don't faze them. Today, as I gaze out the window, I observe their tolerant attitude as they stand in the pouring rain. Last Sunday, three devotees gathered to assist Dhruva Maharaja das as he brought new straw for them to lay on in there shelters. The cows even assisted by grabbing mouthfuls of straw and throwing them around the resting spots they made for themselves. These mystical beings need your help to survive the winter months. All their food and bedding must be purchased from outside the farm. The hay that we grew for their maintainance is gone. Please "adopt a cow" and help us meet their needs. We are forever greatful for the support many of you have given in the past, and we will cherish your renewed enthusiasm for cow protection.
WORKING FARM RETREAT AT GITA NAGARI
Join us on the weekends at Gita Nagari Farm and Sanctuary where all our activities are based on the principle of compassionate living. We have been hosting Working Farm Retreats for the last 6 years on a needs basis. This year we are pleased to announce our Working Farm Retreat as a fixed offering in the Summer – weekend retreats for you and your family to have a fun, relaxing and educational farm experience. The Retreat begins on Friday at 6pmwith Dinner and Orientation and ends on Sunday at Lunch. Saturday entails 6 hours of fun time:
in the kitchen preparing meals,
in the fields harvesting vegetables,
time with the cows,
cleaning the farm and
Then wind down with a late afternoon Yoga Class followed by dinner and some great social time singing and dancing around the campfire. Sunday starts with early morning outdoor activities followed by breakfast and additional time spent in special Projects at the Farm. We wrap up with the facilitated session sharing our "Reflections & Realizations", which is always a heart warming time together. Lunch is served at 1 pm. Thereafter, retreat attendees check out and head back to their first home as we have become by now their second home. Please join us on the following weekends: Please join us on the following weekends:
Sign up now - we are booking up fast and furiously! Your cost is really low as you are paying with your time and energy so to cover our hosting expenses, we are charging $80 per adult, $50 for ages 5 to 18 and $30 for under 5 years of age. We look forward to working, serving, and growing together!
Welcome to our Gita Nagari Farm & Sanctuary Family!
Welcome Home!-Nandiswara Prabhu has been visiting friends and family in New Zealand for the past month. We will pick him up from the airport today. His association and tremendous contributions to Gita Nagari have made him invaluable to the projects ongoing at the Temple. We have sorely missed him and ask that you help us welcome him home. Our newest devote - As we mentioned last week, our dear Sakhi Priya Prabhu delivered a healthy and happy new devotee named Nitai Gaura das into our Gita Nagari family. Krishna Kumara Prabhu saw him at the hospital last week, and tells us the new baby is georgous and vibrant. I know you share our desire to greet this auspicious new devotee. Lord Nityananda's appearance day - Please join us this Saturday, February 20thas we celebrate the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We fast 'til noon, then gather at the Temple at 4 pm to relish pastimes of this most wonderful personality. After chanting Gaura Arati, we will feast together to honorThe Lord's Prasad. As you know, we can only receive the blessings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu throughLord Nityananda's mercy. When Raghunatha das Goswami wanted to join Mahaprabu, he first went toNityananda Prabhu to beg his blessings. The Lord assured him that he would soon receiveMahaprabhu's mercy. Exalted visitors - Sri Gopal Prabhu brought his Mother, Father, and Sister to visit Gita Nagari last week. They labored mightily to assist Mother Parijat, Jhulana Yatra, Sati and Dhruva Prabhus to clean and prepare the Temple basement for The Youth Group and Gita's Gifts. They served from morning to night with smiles and a great attitude. We appreciate their sincere efforts to help us. Advaita Acharya Prabhu and his father Paul are visiting from Houston. In the midst or rain and slush, they are carrying wood to fill the boilers and keep the devotees warm. Thank you for your sanga Prabhus! Keshi Mardana Prabhu will be joining us from Las Vegas at the end of March. He is a great asset to our project, and we eagerly anticipate his arrival. Welcome home! Lessons learned in India - The Yatras recently spent 5 weeks in South India. After visiting many of the Holy places that Mahaprabhu visited on His South Indian Yatra, they shared just how fortunate we are that Srila Prabhupada sacrificed His life to bring Krishna Conciousness to our doorstep in the west. Everywhere the Yatras visited, they were treated with amazing deference when people found out they were members of ISKCON. As we celebrate the Fiftyeth year of ISKCON, please remember to say a prayer of thanks to His Divine Grace Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for His mercy upon us.
Farmden - A Hearty Congratulations to Mother Yasodamayi! She just launched her Farmden (bigger than a garden, smaller than a farm), named Three Leaf Farmden! She is a focused, dedicated, devotional and intelligent Vaisnavi and we send best wishes and blessings in her new service venture. She is offering “weed wisdom walks” and we are happy to partner with her as she offers these both on her Farmden and on Gita Nagari Farm. She also offers diverse workshops and “build your own cooking class” classes. All Glories to the outreach endeavors of the devotees in the mission of Srila Prabhupada!
New Baby - We are most happy to announce the auspicious birth of a baby boy to our dear Sakhi Priya Prabhu. Mother Yasoda called us this morning with the joyous news. Please join us in sending your sincere prayers for the health of mother and child. The Chakra dynasty continues to bring pure devotees into the world to assist Srila Prabhupada in spreading Krishna Conciousness. When His Holiness Radhanatha Maharaja blesses the new devotee with a name, we will share that with you. Festival - Gita Nagari will celebrate the appearance of Lord Nityananda on Saturday, February 20th.. Please fast 'til noon then join us for a class, puspanjali, arati, and maha kirtan, followed by a feast. Look for specific details in the next newsletter.
Anniversary - As you know, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Krishna Conciousness in America.His Divine Grace Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada incorporated The International Society for Krishna Conciousness in 1966 at New York City, New York. This watershed event has changed the entire world in ways we still experience today. Gita Nagari will host many events this year to commemorate this milestone in Prabhupada's mission. Please join us in carrying forward the amazing movement that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began over 500 years ago. Those who are interested in leading an event to celebrate this anniversary should contact Theyatras@theyogafarm.com.
Kirtan - Please visit our website at Gitanagari.orgto enjoy our recent ecstatic kirtan held at Mukunka Dat Prabhu's cabin last Friday evening. You are cordially invited to join us each Friday at 7pm for kirtan.
The twins drinking with such gusto - Grandpa Clover is in the background
Our Mamas are cosy and warmly bedded
Thank you to Krpamoya "Nung" for coming out to assist Nandi into the early hours of the morning in the kitchen and joyfully too!
From 3 feet of snow and below freezing temps to warm high 40’s! All the residents here remain grateful. There is much maintenance and much planning, this time of the year.
We are maintaining the Temple Worship and Program; our Cows; and Land.
Planning – where do we begin? In a nutshell:
The feed rotational crops are planned – especially the sequence of planting; and seed is being sourced.
We are planning and executing on “Seva Weekends at the Farm” for the Summer Months with out City Communities.
New outfits for Sri Sri Radha Damodara are being planned and stitched. Their altar is in need of minor repairs so that is being attended to.
The Kitchen upgrade is 95%, just needing to install the extractor fans, except that that in itself is a huge project with special ducting, installation, etc.
We are doing a simple upgrade to our Temple Hall Basement – the Gift Shop is fully functional and we are planning on optimizing the rest of the space.
Other “Pre-Retreat Season” upgrades include deciding on the future of our historic semi-circle in front of the Temple Annex / Asrama Building and improving the Children’s Playground.
Cheese-making equipment just arrived – now to make the time to make some delicious ahimsa cheese for all of you!
Emmett who has been with us for the past months embarks on another phase in his spiritual adventures – we thank him for his association and service and wish him all of the best – here is in in the snow in summer gear! He has been keeping our Deities and devotees warm by loading the boiler especially throughout the night, in addition to many other services.
And on a lighter note: Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. Interpreting Phil's behavior, the Groundhog Club emcee proclaimed, "There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!" Excuse us simple farm folk, but weather is a BIG deal on a farm and we eagerly wait Spring! Of course, the “Krishna Factor” governs our lives!
From left: Everyone has to eat regardless of snow - Our cows' nutritious lunch; Shyam and Nandini grow a fuzzy winter coat; Yamuna and Sakhi - our cute little Heifers - in the snow; Emmett - thank you and goodbye!
This year's memorial day retreat is a very special one as the topic is "The Petals of ISKCON's Lotus", an event honoring ISKCON's 50th anniversary.
This event will be graced by HH Romapada Swami, HG Ravindra Svarupa Das, HG Vaisesika Das, HG Tamohara Das, HG Krsnandini Dasi and HG Vraja Lila Dasi.
The retreat will begin at 5 PM on Friday May 27th, 2016 and will endby 3 PM on Monday May 30th, 2016.
There will be an ecstatic kirtans lead by distinguished kirtaneers such as HG Acyuta Gopi Dasi and HG Ananta Govinda Das. Also we have exciting line-up of children's activities, to fully engage 5-12 year old in farm-based Krishna Conscious fun and play.
Please email Satya-sara das at email@example.com and let us know if you will be able to make it to this year's Gita Nagari Retreat. Please provide name(s) and age(s) of persons attending the retreat.We request you to please inform and invite your friends. The registration fee for the retreat is $80 per person over 12 years of age ($30/day if attending part of the retreat) and $30 per child between the ages of 5-12 years.