By HG Gunaavatara dasa
Go Puja for Mother Kamadhenu
Recently we visited the ‘heritage place’ of American friend Mr Joul, whose new name now is Hari Ram. A couple years he developed his own ‘heritage’ at his house in Bakong District Siem Reap, it’s close to his Yoga Center Hariharalaya. Along with Kisora Krishna Prabhu and all other devotees we organized a house program followed by Go puja and Harinam. This special occasion was also to celebrate the appearance of new calf Laksmi and Mr. Hari Ram’s son who was born last month.
Mr. Hari Ram performed the arati to the cow and the calf. The cow’s name is Kamadhenu. She is very healthy and plump. Mr Hari Ram performs puja to Kamadhenu almost every day. He told us that since he practices go-puja and brushing of the cow’s body ,he feels joyful and great peace. He feels a flow of very auspicious energy coming from the cow’s body while he is serving the cow. He acknowledges to have always experienced a spiritual pleasure coming from Kamadhenu’s association.
Kisora Krishna Prabhu explained that pleasure is the pleasure to our heart because serving cow is same as serving all the demigods who reside in the cows’ body. Also Lord Krishna, the source of all pleasures, is especially very satisfied if we serve cow. If all the demigods and Lord Krishna are satisfied, naturally we will also experimence that spiritual pleasure.
Village Harinam Program
Every year in the month of January every village in Cambodia organizes a Cambodian ceremony called “Chan Phum”. In this festival they invite the entire village to gather for prayer with the monks and the elderly people. Every family shares some rice noodle called “Num Chok” which they make at home. After that they offer it to the Buddha and then the monks have it together with all the villagers.
By the mercy of Prabhupada we got a chance to distribute some prasad in one of the Chan Phum ceremony at Chub Village, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap. It is near our Yasodapura Eco Village. That day we had another program at the Chub Village in the elementary school, as we organised “Food for Life” program for 300 school students. So after the Food for Life program, we participated in this village program, accompanied by a group of elderly Matajis from Europe.
The leader of village priest or “Acha” also gives us opportunity to sing Hare Krishna bhajan on their stage for about one hour. The villagers enjoyed the kirtan led by Kisora Krishna Prabhu. We had taken big sound system so that even those who may be staying indoors can also listen to the Holy Name. Some of the villagers were our friends, thus already familiar with the Mahamantra and were able to sing together with us. The Village chief was enjoying taking video of the kirtan and all the elderly achas also sat there and kept watching the kirtan. At the end, we distributed prasadam of sweet green beans left over of the School program. Kumudaksa Prabhu conveyed our thanks to them, we were very happy to have joined the ceremony and offer some Hare Krishna prayer for the benefit of the entire village.
Farm Community Visit to Preah Vihear Province
Preah Vihear Province is one of the famous places in Cambodia because of its huge ancient temple Preah Vihear. This temple is older than Angkor Wat is and is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Recently we went there with Mr Sophat who has been working very dedicatedly in Rural Development Community project for many years. The temple has four Gopurams, and in every Gopuram we can see many carvings of Lord Vishnu, especially Lord Vishnu’s pastime of churning the ocean, Lord Garbhodakasayi Vishnu with Lord Brahma on the lotus flower and we also saw Krishna’s pastime of lifting the Govardhana Hill along with the Vrajavasis and Surabhi cows.
Before we came to the temple we went to visit a Farm Community project supported by the Japan Association. Then we went to the elementary school and to their school garden. Kisora Krishna Prabhu spoke a little to the students telling them how to make our garden nice by cleaning up the land from plastic rubbish. He also showed how to do gardening with love, how to grow our vegetable with love and sincerity, so that the food that we harvest will be the best thing that we can offer to the Lord. He also told how we can take care of Earth because she is one of our mothers (we worship Mother Earth in Cambodia as “May Thoreny”). Mr Shophat also distributed some gift from Japan Association to all the children.
After the school program, we also visited some of the families who do farming in their land. One man, who has served in the military, now has a very beautiful garden of about half a hectare. He has many kinds of vegetables, also corn, grown organically in his garden. Mr Sophat’s NGO is the main supporter of these families. They provide these families with well, seed, etc. for their farm. These families are now able to harvest a lot of food for their families’ need, and also some excess for selling. After having some conversation with them, we gave them some prasadam cake from Bali, and they in exchange gave us a lot of vegetables, bananas and corn.
Next Project of Yasodapura Eco Village
HG Kisora Krishna Das Prabhu came with one more devotee Jagadishanada Das Prabhu from Indonesia. Both of them will spend some time to help development in Cambodia especially our Yasodapura Eco Village. Beginning 2018 we plan to start the fencing project for our Ashram compound. We consider this fencing very important in order to undertake construction according to Vastu sastra, and at the same time it will protect the plants inside the compound. Now there are many bananas inside, soon the mangoes would start flowering and will give fruits, then we need to protect them from animals and other thieves.
Now the summer season has just started. We need internship-work to water the fruits there. We have just reinstalled one well which was broken, and will later install one tank and pipe for the water system. In March, the families will start to clean the farm for the next growing season, for rice and other crops. This month two families will continue to plant the rice. Meanwhile, the brahmacaris will work on fencing and cleaning the ashram area, along with growing more bananas and fruit trees in between. Kisora Krishna Prabhu will leave for India for a month and when he returns we will start the fencing.
We seek your prayers and for mercy for our Cambodia yatra .Thank you very much.