Here’s a letter received from Anuttama devi dasi on Friday. A very generous offer. My reply to her follows.
I just was looking at the site stats for my blog and noticed that I had 88 referrals from your site yesterday. Thanks!
It is looking like the world situation is heating up: the things going on seem to be at about the pre-WW2 level, so we’re likely looking at the war Srila Prabhupada predicted is going to happen soon. I’m not sure if you heard, but Krsna has kindly given Billy and me a really nice farm with over 15,000 sq. ft of buildings under roof. It is in a beautiful valley (population 1500) and has great soil and a high water table. Our well, which has served this house for 50 years is only 10′ deep. We are expecting to be in a position to offer rudimentary shelter to Prabhupada devotees who manage to escape the chaos. Unfortunately no one has joined us at this time and we don’t have any living facilities to offer. When things get bad, devotees might appreciate a stall in the barn, but most people need more comforts now. I was just letting you know this because we’ll probably need a good kirtan leader. We are asking any devotee who might come to bring a year’s supply of food (about 400 lbs of grains/beans) so that we can be sure to have at least the necessities. There are several hundred acres of top farmland very close that is currently a wildlife refuge that could be put into production in an emergency. And there are plenty of building materials in the area: trees and clay. Please give a thought to coming here when the war is imminent and keep in touch.
Dear Anuttama Prabhu, Obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your letter and flattering invitation to come to your farm and 15000 ft of out buildings. I don’t know Billy, but my regards and good wishes for him, and of course yourself.
I am now just about 4 months short of 71 years. (Born May 27th, 1941, Germany near Berlin), so it is not practical for me to shift easily from one place to another, but I do thank you for the invitation. Lakshmi speaks highly of your service and determination to give “hands-on shape” to Srila Prabhupada’s teaching in regards to local, simple, cow-centered village life. In California, Lakshmi is also unique in this determination. I am not aware of any other devotee-centered farm in California.
Probably there are some differences of opinion on the details of how to pull on by her, Balabhadra, yourself, etc., but Prabhupada writes in first Canto about the different opinions between the gathered assembly of rishis, sages, yogis and devotees there to give support to the King Parikshit before his death. However, when Shukadeva Goswami appeared on the scene, everyone deferred to him, even Srila Vyasa Dev, his father. Shukadeva Goswami went on to recite the glorious Srimad Bhagavatam. So Prabhupada writes, “Doctors differ, and still they are doctors.” There may be some slight differences, but that does not mean they cease to be doctors.
If I came there, I would be more than happy to bring 400 lb of rice and beans.
Your place sounds ideal and well situated for whatever may come. Regarding your question, the same question I posed to Srila Prabhupada on a morning walk in Mayapur, India when Prabhupada was talking of World war III and related matters. I asked, “Is there something we should do to prepare for this war?” He replied “Prepare to chant Hare Krishna.” So he had no detailed list of things to do. Ultimately, we have to die, so we have to prepare for that, and for that preparation, chanting and hearing are priority (as was demonstrated by King Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami). Chanting and hearing everything related to Krishna. Especially the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is priority. I don’t know more than this.
Again, thank you for your letter. Mostly I was a city boy, and even when I was a Village boy in Germany, I never cared for the hard work of picking potatoes, beets, berries and so on. I am not a good farm candidate. Lakshmi is just the opposite. She thrives in the country village setting. Her place is full of animals of all description, flowers, fruit trees and of course her children.
Your humble servant,