Did Srila Prabhupada promote living dependent as consumers in New Vrindaban or living dependent on the land and cows?
Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban. Vrindaban is also known as Gokula. Go means cows, and kula means congregation. Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser.
Letter to Hayagriva 14 June 1968 (Montreal)
My idea of developing New Vrindaban is to create an atmosphere of spiritual life where people in bona fide order of social division, namely, Brahmacaris, Grhasthas, Vanaprastha, Sannyasis, or specifically Brahmacaris and Sannyasis, and Vanaprasthas, will live there independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplified without being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding. The New Vrindaban idea is that persons who live there will accept the bare necessities of life to maintain the body and soul together and the major part of time should be engaged in development of Krishna Consciousness.
Letter to: Hayagriva — Montreal 17 August, 1968
Gradually try to develop that place, there is immense potential and immense land for development. I saw so much land, but there were no men working the land or raising crops. That is our purpose for keeping so much land, to utilize it in the service of Krsna. So next year you can raise so many kinds of fruits and vegetables there and keep cows, and that will be the ideal Krsna Conscious community of living.
Letter to: Kirtanananda — Los Angeles 23 September, 1972
Prabhupada: Yes. Anyway, just inquire. These are our garden flowers.
Jayatirtha: Oh, very nice.
Prabhupada: This is also?
Prabhupada: Yes. Anything grown in the garden, that is hundred times
valuable than it is purchased from the market.
Room Conversation With French Commander — August 3,
1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
They have been advised to turn San Francisco gradually into New Jagannatha Puri, and I have advised Kirtanananda and yourself to convert West Virginia into New Vrindaban. I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda. Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village. They completely depend on nature’s beauty and nature’s protection. The community in which Krishna preferred to belong was Vaisya community, because Nanda Maharaja happened to be a Vaisya king, or landholder, and his main business was cow protection. It is understood that he had 900,000 cows and Krishna and Balarama used to take charge of them, along with His many cowherd boy friends, and every day, in the morning He used to go out with His friends and cows into the pasturing grounds.
So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness. It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved.
Letter to: Hayagriva — Montreal 14 June, 1968