“From your letter I can understand how nice this farm is. I am very happy to see fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, the devotees taking sumptuous prasadam and chanting Hare Krsna. This is the actual meaning of human life. It is a very good farm, from your letter I can understand.

“Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Build up bamboo frame, and on it place tiles. In any event get everything locally. I wish to make a farm tour and then I shall surely visit your farm.”

Letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami, on behalf of Srila Prabhupada
to Hari Sauri dasa, ISKCON Melbourne,
10 August 1977

Here is an example of someone taking the point Srila Prabhupada made by creatively using locally available materials:

“Thai monks from the Sisaket province have used over one million recycled glass bottle to construct their Buddhist temple. Mindfulness is at the center of the Buddhist discipline and the dedication and thoughtfulness required to build everything from the toilets to their crematorium from recycled bottles shows what creativity and elbow grease can accomplish.

“The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple is about 400 miles northeast of Bangkok in the city of Khun Han close to the Cambodian border. Using Heineken bottles (green) and Chang Beer bottles (brown) the monks were able to clean up the local pollution and create a useful structure that will be a visual reminder to the scope of pollution and the potential we can make with limber minds.

bottle temple

“The water tower and tourist bathrooms are even made from beer bottle litter. The monks were able to have the local people bring them the building materials which beautifully reflect the Thai sun.”

beer bottle temple

Check out the Temple gallery on the next page…

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