MY VISIT TO NEW JAIPUR IN FIJI
Recently I visited New Jaipur in Fiji. Headed by Nityananda Prabhu and his good wife Sridevi Mataji, who are under the guidance and in service to our most merciful master His Divine Grace Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the most beautiful Sri Sri Radha Govinda, the presiding deities of New Jaipur.
ARRIVAL: I arrived in Nadi and was greeted by Nityananda Prabhu. Catching the next flight to Labasa. All I can think of is how warm it is and how pink my face is going and how beautiful the ocean looks down below....grateful to the air hostess man for the cool bottled water. Nityananda Prabhu had to pick up building material for New Jaipur like cement and pipes, so I tagged along and got a tour of Labasa. I spot at least 3 Mosques and see a lot of Indian influence. Heading to SavuSavu, Fiji so far reminds me of India, with out all the pollution and masses of people. Lots of trucks stacked with sugar cane are frequently spotted.
Next up - New Jaipur! The road is gravel and it's great! One bus refuses to let us pass..."New bus driver," reckons Nityananda Prabhu. We finally reach New Jaipur and this 800acre farm is beautiful, peaceful and the perfect place for simple living and higher thinking.
We reach the house...THE HOUSE. I was expecting little grass huts or something, but no, it's a lovely house, build with wood milled on the farm, from the farm and has guest facilities. Enough bathrooms to avoid early morning queues and A VIEW! A view of the pacific ocean...how can you not think of and remember Krsna here?
Greeted by the gracious Sridevi Mata, I immediately feel welcome. The children Saradiya, SriGovinda and Shyamananda are friendly and introduce me to their pet Hari, a musk parrot who can say his own name. Vrnda (a Native fijian young woman who has taken up the process of Krsna Consciousness, chanting 16 rounds a day and attending mangal arti every morning) greets me shyly and continues with her service. Sridevi offers me some delicious prasadam and I take darshan of the most beautiful Sri Sri Radha Govinda. Srila Prabhupadas murti form looks on and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to come here. Thank you Krsna!
THE FARM: Fiji is a perfect place for simple living, as the native people live simply and off the land mostly. The soil at New Jaipur is fertile and the farm has a fresh water spring and river. So far, they have planted citrus orchards and different vegetables, including Mung beans! Also while I was visiting, I got to help thresh the rice that they had grown and harvested.
Morning programs and japa are the order of the day and fresh papaya prasadam for breakfast if you like! :) Picking fresh water crest from the creek. Swims in the river after a hot day. Coconut and papaya trees everywhere. Weeding and watering the garden. How beautiful is Lord Krsnas creation. Eggplants growing and workers clearing the land for the Temple. Star fruits strewn across the lawn. There is talk of cows coming soon! Flowers blooming for tomorrows artike.
PREACHING: But if you think it's all too much simple living and not enough opportunity to preach, it's off to town (SavuSavu) on Saturday morning. Sixty minutes later we're in town and setting up the Sankirtan table. Srila Prabhupada’s original books, little packets of prasadam sweets (delicious!) and of course the Holy Name. The whole family takes part in this preaching activity. Saradiya is on mrdanga, with Vrnda on kartals chanting.
Sridevi mata preaches, sells a Bhagavad Gita As It Is!!! (Jay Haribol!!!) and sells the prasadam sweets at the table while the boys, Sri Govinda and Shymananda do a bit of book and prasadam distribution on the main street. Nityananda Prabhu dashes here and there to collect different things needed to continue to develop New Jaipur. The fresh market here in town, is open all week and the stall holders are friendly. A Ratha Yatra in this cute little town would be wonderful! Padayatra in Fiji will be really successful too! So much mercy to be had! We are all invited to one devotee ladies house for a little program. Class, kirtan and prasadam. Great way to end the day.
TRANSCENDENTAL MUSEUM: Just when I thought I could not be wowed anymore by the sincere efforts of this family I get to take a tour of Srila Prabhupadas museum. I will not spoil it and describe what you will find inside this room of treasures...so, you have to go there, if you want to get the mercy. :)
VISIT NEW JAIPUR: This project has great potential. I would recommend any devotee who is serious about simple living and higher thinking and fulfilling the orders of Srila Prabhupada to establish these varnashrama communities to check out New Jaipur in Fiji and to bring your simple living and higher thinking skills. Obviously, it is a work in progress and thus far there is only Nityananda Prabhu and his family living there.
But with the input of more sincere Prabhupada disciples, who are really into simple living and higher thinking, this project can become a huge success and in my mind, it already is. So if you are craving simple living within the association of like minded devotees, book your tickets today! :) You won't regret it. Since I've been back home, all I can think of is going back, so you may regret one thing...leaving New Jaipur. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, who inspires us all to live in Vrndavan villages! All glories to Sri Krsna, the eternal cowherd boy, who cares for His cows, who frolicks on the banks of the Yamuna and plays with His friends in the forests of Vrndavan!
Auckland, New Zealand