BY GAUR NATRAJ DAS
On November 10th, The IRGB passed a resolution establishing the national ministry for varnasrama development in India.
This is good news for devotees who are trying to push the Varnasrama development movement in ISKCON. With the world everyday slipping into Recession and stock market crashes, the days are not far when people will have to simplify their lifestyle, rather adopt the village or rural model for a happy living.
Below is a wording of the resolution.
Proposal Adopted by the Regional Governing Body for India
Dated: 10 November, 2009 at Jagannatha Puri Dham
Whereas the India RGB established the India Varnasrama Development Committee in September, 2007, for the purpose of helping promote varnasrama development in India.
Whereas the Varnasrama Development Committee has drafted a Position Paper on varnasrama which was officially endorsed by the India RGB leadership in September, 2008, entitled Promoting Vrindavan Village Development in India.
Whereas in their meeting with Bhakti Raghava Swami in Mayapur, Sivaram Swami, Devamrta Swami, and Romapada Swami suggested that it would be advisable to establish Varnasrama Ministries at national levels before officially forming a Global Varnasrama Ministry.
Whereas the India Varnasrama Development Committee has recommended establishing a national ministry in India for the purpose of promoting varnasrama-based rural development.
Whereas there is an urgent need to train and educate our devotees about the varnasrama mission, to establish model rural projects based on varnasrama principles, and to develop a resource base to support the concept that “I want the world to see by our example that life can be lived naturally, peacefully if one is self sufficient with land, some cows and chanting Hare Krishna.” (SP Letter to Jagadisa, 74-06-18)
Whereas the 2009 GBC resolutions (1) “310. GBC Participation in Farm Projects” and (2) “311. Purchasing from ISKCON Farms and Farmers” both lend support to the need for promoting the varnasrama mission.
Whereas Bhakti Raghava Swami has been active in promoting the varnasrama mission both here in India as well as in other countries and is agreeable to help set up such a ministry.
Therefore, the India RGB hereby establishes the Varnasrama-based Rural Development Ministry with the following mandate:
1. To encourage the establishment in India of models of Krishna-conscious rural communities (villages):
a. to demonstrate in a practical way how the principles of varnas (aptitude based occupations) and asramas (phased lifelong spiritual emancipation) are universal and standard principles meant to be implemented
b. To demonstrate the principles of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and localized economy based on proper utilization of land and cow protection.
2. To encourage, wherever possible in India, varnasrama-based rural development centered on the land, cows, and Krishna.
3. In order to accomplish the above, to establish training programs, publish resource materials, organize conferences and seminars, establish libraries and resource centers, etc.
Bhakti Raghava Swami is hereby appointed as minister.
The existing RGB Varnasrama Development Committee will continue with the following mandate:
1. To regularly review the activities of the ministry and advise on its
2. To organize periodic assessments of the work of the ministry when
requested to do so by the IRGB.
3. To be available to advise the IRGB on any varnasrama development
issue that may be brought to its attention, whether related directly to the ministry or not.