The Saragrahi Daily

Madan Gopal Das - April 26, 2011 3:32 pm

Many of you know that during Guru Maharaj's recent visit to North Carolina he looked at and is currently working on purchasing a piece of property in the Asheville area. Here is a note that he wrote to us, naming his project out here:

...the new project that I will name Saragrahi. So within Sri Caitanya Sangha we have Audarya, Madhuvan, and Saragrahi... I am very excited about the prospect of Saragrahi. It means "one who is capable of extracting the essence." So it should be a place/project that represents the essence of spiritual life in general and Gaudiya Vaisnavism in particular inhabited by essence seekers who can separate the wheat from the chaff.


I thought I would start this Saragrahi Daily thread as a continuing update about GM's visits to NC, developments with the project, realizations/reflections of devotees involved with things out here, etc. and to keep it all in one nice place - like our Audarya Daily. If you are agreeable, please post NC related news in this thread.


As a suggestion, I think it would be nice to see a "Madhuvana Daily" also. And who knows, what about a New York Times? :Just Kidding: The Finnish Flyer? The Poland Post?

Bhakti-rasa - April 26, 2011 5:32 pm

Madan prabhu, wouldn't it be better to start this as its own forum which could then have its own topics, as opposed to a new topic in the Audarya Notes forum? It could be set up like the Audarya Notes: Saragrahi Notes (or whatever you would like to call it) - then within that forum, the topic of Saragrahi Daily, Photos, What I'd Like to see at Saragrahi, or whatever, etc.

Madan Gopal Das - April 26, 2011 6:28 pm

Sure, but I don't know if we'd have enough news to fill our own section of the forum. The Audarya Daily is one thread in a whole section titled "Audarya Notes" which contains a lot of threads not necessarily Audarya-specific but I think has become the place to put things related to inner mission kind of news (i.e. Madhuvan info is there, previous NC, Finland, Poland news, etc.). So, I don't have admin privileges to change anything in the board, but I think either we can

1) put everything NC related in this Saragrahi Daily thread

2) an administrator could change the section title from "Audarya Notes" to "Mission Notes", "Sri Caitanya Sangha Notes" or something similar to contain all the mission related news and these "daily" news threads could be part of that, and new threads could be started titled Saragrahi photos, Madhuvana photos, etc. like you are suggesting.


Admin's wanna weigh in?

Bhakti-rasa - April 26, 2011 7:14 pm

We might not have much now, but it will grow. Have you ever tried to find anything in the Audarya daily. It IS where everything has ended up because there isn't any other place created for it. If three months from now you want to locate those awesome photos of GM on the trampoline, you will have to sort through many buried pages to find them, unlike the ease of finding photos lets say of "Cheese in Progress". Audarya daily has ended up something different than its original intent (according to GN prabhu's original posting) and I foresee that the same will happen with this, perhaps even more so, because this would a whole project squeezed into one looooong thread. The topics within the Audarya Notes should be about....Audarya. Another Forum could be made for Madhuvan and for Saragrahi, with all topics included within that forum pertaining to that particular yatra.


ex.) Vrindaranya prabhu created a topic "Gaura Purnima"(in Audarya) within Audarya Notes Forum and not as a posting in Audarya daily. http://tattvaviveka.ipbhost.com

ok, I'm done. :Just Kidding:

Madan Gopal Das - April 26, 2011 7:28 pm

I agree Bhakti-rasa. I'll write Nitai and see what their thoughts are. This whole board was started before the name Sri Caitanya Sangha was really manifest. "Audarya Notes" was THE section for mission notes because it was the only organized, established physical place at the time. The Audarya Daily kind of took over as the thread for all things going on close to GM. So, this may be a good time for update. The admins are super busy, but lets see what they think. Sorry I'm kind of a communication organization freak... :Just Kidding:

Bhakti-rasa - April 26, 2011 7:39 pm
Sorry I'm kind of a communication organization freak... :Just Kidding:


Oh, good. I am glad it's you, because I thought it was me. :He He:

Syama Gopala Dasa - April 26, 2011 8:11 pm

Saragrahi is a great name, love it! May the swans fly in.

Nitaisundara Das - April 26, 2011 9:38 pm
Oh, good. I am glad it's you, because I thought it was me. :He He:


I think it's both of you :Just Kidding:


I think it's a good idea and we should make it happen shortly. In other words, "Just now coming..."

Bhakti-rasa - April 26, 2011 10:07 pm
I think it's a good idea and we should make it happen shortly. In other words, "Just now coming..."


Thanks Nitaisundaraji

Tadiya Dasi - April 27, 2011 8:51 am

Exciting! I love the name of the project :Just Kidding:

Guru-nistha Das - April 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Exciting! I love the name of the project :Just Kidding:


Same here! A great name.

Gopala Dasa - April 27, 2011 10:13 pm

Maintain thy post in spirit world

As firmly as you can

Let never matter push thee down -

O stand heroic man.


O Saragrahi Vaishnava soul

Thou art an angel fair;

Lead, lead me on to Vrindavana

And spirit's power declare.


From Saragrahi Vaisnava, by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Shyamananda Das - April 28, 2011 8:51 pm

This is great news!

Madan Gopal Das - May 27, 2011 1:56 am

Yay! Just noticed that the TV forum has been re-arranged. Thank you forum gods! Well this is fitting time for an update:


Yesterday I picked up Nitaisundara and brought him to Greensboro where he was supposed to meet Guru Maharaj, Vrindaranya and Gurunistha flying in from CA. GM's flight from NY to NC was cancelled and so they were put up in a hotel overnight. GM called me last night in a jolly mood, greeting me with "RAMA BOLO!" He sounds very excited to explore his new playground and to meditate on the possibilities for this project Saragrahi. GM has told us before arriving that he is in development mode and we'll see a different side of him than his acarya-lila. :Idea: He said that he's looking forward to a "fun weekend" as we'll be exploring the land, a few of us families will be staying down close to the land with him and on Sunday we'll have a picnic with the majority of the sangha down at the land. Don't know if we'll have internet access where we're camping, so you might not hear anything for several days. We'll keep you posted. Rama bolo! Hari bolo!

Guru-nistha Das - May 27, 2011 8:03 pm

The flight from San Jose to Greensboro North Carolina wasn't without problems. The first leg of it was fine. Guru Maharaja and Vrindaranya were reading up on quantum mechanics and discussing interesting points about the nature of science, the narrowness of classical physics and the place of consciousness in it all.

Just as we landed in New York City, Bhaktirasa called Guru Maharaja to let him know that our connecting flight had been cancelled. We went to the US Airways counter and got three rooms at one of the airport hotels. We stepped into a bus that we thought would take us to the hotel and when Guru Maharaja asked the young driver if it was the airport shuttle, the guy simply shook his head slowly with a bored look on his face. Guru Maharaja turned around and said, "Nothing like being a country bumpkin in New York City!".


Next morning we were able to get to Greensboro where Bhaktirasa was picking us up. We drove straight to the campground that is right next to our property. Dristha, Rudrani, Dulal Chandra and Nitai arrived a little later.

We moved into two cabins with the monks in one and the two couples in the other, made some curd sandwiches and met the realtor at the propery.


Things sure looked different with leaves on the trees! Very lush and beautiful. We walked the property with Robert, the brother of the seller (whose dad used to own all the land), and their realtor. Robert is a fine man with a fine southern accent. He seemed very pious and reminded us a lot of the Garcia family members who we bought the Costa Rica property from.

basically we went through the right side of the property and Robert showed us where the corners of the property lie so that we could get a better handle on it. The more we walk around, the more we are realizing that there's a huge amount of flat or next-to-flat land on the property. In that sense it's very different than Audarya or Madhuvan.


In the night we were scared by a strong thunderstorm and were out of electricity for a few hours. We had dinner wearing headlights and as usual, the different types of maps were spread out on the living room floor several times as ideas were bounced back and forth.

Tadiya Dasi - May 28, 2011 5:47 am
We stepped into a bus that we thought would take us to the hotel and when Guru Maharaja asked the young driver if it was the airport shuttle, the guy simply shook his head slowly with a bored look on his face. Guru Maharaja turned around and said, "Nothing like being a country bumpkin in New York City!".




Thanks for the updates. Keep them coming! :D

Nitaisundara Das - May 28, 2011 8:39 am

I am in the Asheville airport right now at 430 am getting ready to head back to Audarya. My visit here was very brief but exciting too. The last time I was in NC with GM was about 3.5 years ago and there is a big difference. The enthusiasm surrounding GM seems to be continually increasing.


The land is massive. I have a terrible sense of direction and therefore could not even begin wrapping my head around it all. But it is much different than Audarya and Madhuvan in the sense that the percentage of usable land is much much more. You don't have to search for building sites, they are all around. In the approximately 30 hours I was there we must have spent 4 or 5 looking at the maps and theorizing about the future. I will hold off on saying anything as I am sure things will be refined and changed in the following week that GM is here in NC.


It is also very fascinating to me because so many of the devotees I knew growing up (my mother's friends), which is relatively few, are now in some capacity or another involved with GM, and a number of them directly with this project.


Perhaps I will post more of an update when I get back to Audarya.


Jaya Guru Maharaja!

GopalNandini - May 30, 2011 10:54 pm

We got back from Saragrahi late last night and had the greatest time. Spent hours and hours walking the land with so many sweet devotees. Toward the end of the day yesterday we went with Gurumaharaja to check out what might be Grhasta land and it was so hot, and I was so tired, and I had been carrying Avani the whole time (she just got a cast off her leg :Idea: and my back was screaming and I wanted to jump in the water, and then I thought, when will I get to walk around this land with Gurumaharaja and the sweet devotees? And I found a second wind and kept on going and it was sweetest sweetness. The land is beautiful and the people involved are beautiful and I'm still floored by Gurumaharaja's powers to get things done! It was a wonderful time and we can't wait to get there for good.


I didn't take but one or two pictures of the land due to carrying the little monkey most of the time, but I got a few nice shots of the picnic. Including special guest (and one of my all time favorite earthlings) Varshana Swami. Hope you all will like them.















GopalNandini - May 30, 2011 11:00 pm

Here are a few more, not so good at adding pics, sorry those first ones are so little, trying something different this time.

IMG_9698.JPG IMG_9697.JPG IMG_9663.JPG IMG_9699.JPG IMG_9700.JPG




GopalNandini - May 30, 2011 11:33 pm

sorry about the doubles, it wouldn't let me edit them out.

Braja-sundari Dasi - May 31, 2011 3:03 pm
sorry about the doubles, it wouldn't let me edit them out.



There is never too many! Thanks, GopalNandini! :Idea:

Guru-nistha Das - June 1, 2011 12:35 am

On Saturday we met with a couple of guys who make roads. They were giving us an idea of what it takes to make roads, how wide they should, what kind of drainage and ditches are recommended, details about pavement, gravel, county codes, soil disturbance restrictions per property, and whatnot.


Also a well guy came to look for a place for a well. He did in the old fashioned way. Someone in the business told us that he has never spotted a failed place for a well. Unfortunately I didn't see him in action but Guru Maharaja told me later that he had a coat hanger that had two tines sticking forward. He would walk around property with it and when the tines would start pulling apart, he would stop and approach the same spot from a different angle and every time he would approach the same spot, the tines would pull apart.

It made me think about how different elements like water etc. have an actual physical effect on a subtler level and how surely humans are affected by it too on a mental level. I suppose that's what feng shui, vastu, and similar traditions are all about.


Later in the evening Levi, Audarya-lila's son-in-law, flew in from Berkeley California and showed up at the cabin in the evening. He wants to move out here with Christina and their little kid and start an organic berry business right by Saragrahi. They want to be part of what's happening. It's quite enlivening to see how Christina (Audarya-lila's daughter) is coming forward and getting more serious about bhakti. She was a 15-year-old feisty teeanger when I met her the first time. Now she's a mature 22-old mother with a nice family and their future will most likely be entwined with Guru Maharaja and his mission. This is the beauty of Saragrahi: so many different kinds of people on different walks of life can participate and take advantage of the flow of Vraja-bhakti that's coming down from Mahaprabhu through the acharyas and the parampara. Some stay a little further from the water fall and some dive right in but everybody benefits on the level they are ready for.

Guru-nistha Das - June 1, 2011 1:16 am

Sunday was the big day. Many of the people who have been involved in this project from the get go haven't seen the land and all the interested people (and some of their friends) came together driven by their enthusiasm. It was also the appearance day of Vrindavana dasa Thakur and Varsana Maharaja gave a short talk on him. Guru Maharaja went around with several groups of people, infecting them with his excitement. About 40 people showed up and the atmosphere was very relaxed and warm. We had a top notch potluck picnic lunch topped of with Gopal and Krsna Caitanya's homemade raw milk ice cream with chocolate syrup. What else would a bunch of cowherd boys have for lunch in the woods?


The temperature was getting really high and we decided to go swimming. Varsana Maharaja rode in our car and Guru Maharaja made the point about Vrindavana dasa Thakura's seemingly illegitimate birth and how that corresponded with the birth of Veda-vyasa (Vrindavana dasa is said to be the Vyasa of Gaura-lila). Varsana Maharaja liked the point very much and the Swamis went on to talk about different points.

I had never met Varsana Maharaja before but immediately took a liking to him. He's a genuine sadhu. Quiet and deliberate and clearly passionate about what he is doing. There's a certain quality about the presence of people like this that I can't put to words. It's purifying. I guess that's the simplest way of putting it. I was in the car with Guru Maharaja, Vrindaranya and Varsana Maharaja and it actually felt quite special. Sadhu sanga is not just some theory, an abstract principle. It can be felt.

After being driving out of the river by two cops (trespassing on private property) we headed back to our cabin at the campground and Guru Maharaja and Vridnaranya had extensive talks about self-sufficiency and cow protection with Varsana Maharaja. Maharaja has spent almost all of his life in the New Vridanvana farm community and has an incredible amount of knowledge of and feeling for the above-mentioned things. It's clearly painful to him that devotees are not taking these things more seriously and he was visibly enlivened by the discussions. Maharaja also agreed to be the "Minister of Agriculture" for Saragrahi, which basically means that he's willing to oversee and consult the agriculture and cow-husbandry.

Guru-nistha Das - June 1, 2011 1:27 am

One person that I wanted to especially show my appreciation for regarding this trip is Bhaktirasa. She's a non-stop service machine. She arranged everything, made sure everybody were satisfied, cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and so on, while never looking for praise or recognition.

It's a fortune in deed for our sanga that she came on board.

Syamasundara - June 1, 2011 2:58 pm

Thanks, how did Varsana Maharaja get to know about this?


Any youtube quality videos?

Madan Gopal Das - June 1, 2011 8:51 pm

Our Dulal-chandra prabhu here was a long time treasurer and land acquisition master in New Vrndavana. He has a long term relationship with Varsana Maharaj who was the primary land mover in New Vrindavana. GM asked Dulal to contact VM.


I don't think anyone took video...

Madan Gopal Das - June 24, 2011 1:41 pm

Today is the closing on the land, Saragrahi. Big future! :Party:

GopalNandini - June 24, 2011 5:10 pm

Today is the closing on the land, Saragrahi. Big future! :Party:


Big Like!!! :Applause:

Braja-sundari Dasi - November 11, 2011 8:12 pm
Under Swami’s able guidance much was also accomplished on Saragrahi’s eight plus acres. Land was cleared sufficiently to proceed with a master plan for placing proposed buildings—temple, guest cabins, retreat center, monastery, etc. Four acres of mountaintop pasture were also cleared and planted and four acres for organic vegetables have been plowed and are ready to seed. Fruit trees have also been planted. Nine one-acre lots have been identified and are for sale. A devotee family has purchased 20 acres across the street form Saragrahi and another devotee in now looking for one hundred acres in the immediate area to develop a biodynamic farm and dairy to serve the budding Saragrahi community.



:Cow: :Cow: :Cow:

What trees have been planted? Who wants to start this biodynamic farm?

Madan Gopal Das - November 14, 2011 8:52 pm



:Cow: :Cow: :Cow:

What trees have been planted? Who wants to start this biodynamic farm?

I think Kanupriya and Blake planted some fruit trees, and Kanupriya is looking into starting the biodynamic farm.

Bijaya Kumara Das - December 11, 2011 4:54 am

what is the address, elevation and plot for I may be interested in one of the acres