Dear Sri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India-Bharatvarsa,
Please accept my humble respects at your exalted feet. I am writing to you from Jagannath Dham in rural Belfast, New York, aware of the momentous occasion of your recent stunning victory and elevation to India’s top post and of your imminent triumphant arrival to the U.S. to greet your loving well-wishers, supporters and friends at the Madison Square Garden on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
My family and I are caretakers of the Jagannath Dham retreat center owned by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in Belfast, two hours southeast of Niagara Falls. You may have heard of us as the American family that went to court to protect cows, with the combined support of the Vishva Hindu Parishad of America, BAPS, Arshya Vidya Gurukulam, VRAJ Dham and other Hindu groups in the US. During the legal case we met leading members of HSS and we have been running the Govinda Goshala across the street from Jagannath Dham since 2007.
We are concerned to note that life in America provides little to no opportunity for children to interact with cows. The goshala fulfills a deep need for members of the Indian American community to share memories of their youthful days in India with their children. Visitors tell us the time spent playing with live animals and seeing first hand where their milk comes from is a life changer for their children.
It is my hope that you will someday be able to visit Jagannath Dham and Govinda Goshala for the purpose of spiritual promotion (‘As the great man acts, the common man follows…’). If your Grace would use your influence to promote this noble Vedic and universal cause here in America by giving impetus especially to the new generation of Bharatiya children who don’t have the same connection with cows and land as their parents and grandparents did back in India, then a miracle could begin to happen in the US. Expanding the template of this most unique East-West Cultural ‘experiment’ to many other temples and Hindu communities all over the country so that the concept of a ‘compassionate food source’ namely milk coming from protected cows, can be gradually introduced to America. (Please refer to our E-Book for more details of this endeavor). https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvozxkv6g1i8bxg/section%201.pdf?dl=0
Such model cultural centers are needed here in the west to provide these opportunities to children. Otherwise they will grow up with no understanding of the importance of mother cow in their cultural heritage. It is a heritage that is quickly being lost to this generation growing up in America. Often when we give a milking demonstration, we start by asking if the children know where milk comes from. Many dedicated, devout parents are astonished to know that their young children think that milk comes from the store. Not from a cow.
To remedy this situation, the bala children at SSV camps visit the Goshala to take part in milking our Mother Cow Chintamani and Shanti; churning their cream into butter; also hand-grinding
wheat berries into flour and helping to mix flour with the milk , whey and butter from said protected cows’ into dough and baking bread. Then offer the bread to Lords Jagannatha, Baladeva and Lady Subhadra and finally partaking of this prasadam.
Many parents of small children have expressed their profound appreciation for the chance for their children to see, touch and groom the cows and calves up close, now knowing that “beef comes from a living cow that was killed,” and children have vowed that, “never shall I touch beef!” Just hearing such sincere and realized testimonials, both my wife and I feel that struggling for Sanatan Dharma & Cow Protection was a very essential, worthwhile endeavor.
I am sure that you will be happy to celebrate with us the success of this most unique, East meets West, cultural offering for families and children provided by HSS and Govinda Goshala. I hope that you will be willing to promote this joint endeavor (with your words) to the NRIs in this country who are trying to raise their children here amidst so much degrading influence.
I have been studying your character and personality in light of my awareness of Prabhupada’s (Bhaktivedanta Swami’s) Vedic Teachings, and it is clear to me that you are indeed attempting to follow in the exalted footprints of the Rajarsis, saintly kings, from India’s glorious age. This is not flattery at all, because if God were here today Himself, He would also spread peace in every way possible.
The Vedas state that the two main responsibilities of the King or Executive Head of State are: to maintain the citizens properly by helping them to always feel secure in their lives and property; and to see to it that they are engaged in their proper Dharma duties according to their own qualities. And also to see that all the living beings in the land are protected as Praja, or citizens of the state… including the animals and even the trees, not just the human inhabitants.
As Chief Minister of Gujarat, you not only uplifted women, minorities, etc., but even cows, making it a criminal offense to kill these valuable creatures. Since Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita, especially to guide “the saintly kings” in their management of human society, the fact that you are acting on Sri Krishna’s maxim of samah darsinah (Equal Vision), giving protection to valuable animals also, is proof of your profound integrity to follow Vedic principles.
It is most wonderful to see your example of living the Bhagavad-gita, not only promoting it in Book form. Because Vedic Culture can only be revived by Good Example – Example is better than precept. Thus we again request your Goodness to give impetus to our combined attempts to promote Vedic Culture in the West via Protection of Cows and spreading Sanatan Dharma. It is a very very difficult thing to do in this polluted age. It has taken many years and the supportive help of dozens and hundreds of Bharatiyas to bring it to this stage; they are too numerous to enumerate here (we’ve tried to thank most of the prominent ones in our E-Book,
which spans 1992 to the present chapter of our life – here’s the link to it for your viewing pleasure). But if you were to visit Jagannath Dham and Govinda Goshala and Vedic Hospitality Center or only mention it to the NRIs in the U.S., we believe it would begin an important chapter in promulgating the important message of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam in the United States. A catalyst such as this is required at this point to bring it to the level of greatness, by encouraging the NRI community in America to dedicatedly support cow protection in the USA.
We read with pleasure that India put a small spacecraft in orbit around Mars for around $70 million, roughly one tenth of the NASA’s cost to do the same – an incredible achievement! Now if the government of India can dedicatedly take up supporting the cause of cow protection, to help the Indian farmers learn natural farming techniques, (of Subhash Palekar and others) and, to promote/subsidize the use of bullox for draught power on farms (rather than being forced by poverty or lack of manpower to surreptitiously send Dharma’s descendants to slaughter and instead using petrol dependant tractors), it would resolve so many unemployment and social issues for a certain section of the population. “An idle mind is the devils workshop.”
It is better to subsidize employing people to utilize the bullock than to subsidize dangerous petrol chemical fertilizers and pesticides and petrol guzzling tractors at the expense of Mother Bhumi. Those who are reconnected with the land and cows will have immediate access to life’s needed resources, namely food and lively hood, thus ending so many social disturbances.
Similarly, if the NRIs in the west can be convinced to contribute their energy, time and money in the service of implementing the above-mentioned idea of supporting the creation of a widespread compassionate food supply by starting goshalas at each Indian and Hindu cultural center, we could immediately organize such thing into a workable plan, hiring and training persons interested to give proper respect to cows and growing food with concentration on utilizing oxen for draft, growing food grains in a sustainable Vedic Agri-Cultural manner; deriving medicines from the urine and dung of the Cows, bio-fuels, etc. – combining ancient and modern natural/ spiritual farming technologies with the help of the great minds in India, thus ushering in a mini Golden Age, Satya Yuga, running against the current of the age of Kali.
We do not suggest going backwards, but rather, using modern (non harmful) technologies – guided by the principles of Vedic wisdom to create a compassionate food supply based on careful stewardship of the earth and its resources, providing employment and access to basic necessities to all people, and lifetime protection for mother cow.
We pray to remain sincere servants of Sanatan Dharma,
Stephen and Linda Voith