We’ve all seen the websites of organizations that rescue animals from terrible circumstances and it is easy to be moved to help organizations who are willing to provide a sanctuary for those unfortunate animals. How heartwarming it is to see a cow bound for the slaughterhouse find herself in acres of lush pasture with a future of ease and kindness. We all love a happy ending, and many kind souls are moved to support rescue operations because it makes them feel that they are helping make the world a better place.
At New Nandagram, no one is being rescued, but we are trying to make the world a better place by being living examples of practicing a lifestyle where the cows can be foundations of prosperity without exploiting them. Our policy is to breed a cow every two years so that we have milk and dairy products for ourselves and friends in the community. A cow has to have a calf in order to produce milk, and we make sure that the calf resulting from our breeding program is protected for his or her natural life. If the calf is a bull, he will be trained to work as an ox. If it is a heifer, she will hopefully become a future milk cow. Our cows are not props for fund raising with the Hindus or soft hearted Americans: they are genuine community members that demonstrate that God’s plan for a lifestyle that maximizes spirituality and minimizes unnecessary violence.
All a person needs for survival is food, water and shelter. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. If we can minimize our wants and satisfy our needs in a simple manner then there is the real potential to achieve happiness. Real happiness can be found in loving relationships–ultimately a loving relationship with God. One step on the path to developing a loving relationship with God is to be kind and merciful to His animals. God has kindly given us cows to supply the highest quality food and the bulls to help with heavy work.
This philosophy is theoretical unless one practices a simple living, high thinking lifestyle. So here at New Nandagram we are making an attempt to incorporate cows into a lifestyle where we endeavor to produce all of our needs locally. We are inviting like-minded people to move to the area and trying to influence those around us to appreciate our endeavors by sharing our bounty and experiences. The consciousness produced by this lifestyle is the beginning of a genuine awareness of God. When one is dependent on the weather and the soil and slows down enough to appreciate the interactions in nature that cause food plants to produce their bounty, it is easy to see the hand of God in the wonderful and balanced Grand Design.
We welcome visitors at New Nandagram and hope that those who come will be inspired. Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciple Rupanuga in 1974:
“Our farm projects are an extremely important part of our movement. We must become self-sufficient by growing our own grains and producing our own milk, then there will be no question of poverty. So develop these farm communities as far as possible. They should be developed as an ideal society depending on natural products not industry. Industry has simply created godlessness, because they think they can manufacture everything that they need. Our Bhagavad-gita philosophy explains that men and animals must have food in order to maintain their bodies. And the production of food is dependent on the rain and the rain of course is dependent on chanting Hare Krsna. Therefore let everyone chant Hare Krsna, eat nicely and keep their bodies fit and healthy. This is ideal life style. We do not condemn modern civilization but we don’t like to get it at the cost of God Consciousness, that is suicide.”