HARE KRISHNA RURAL LIFE
jaya sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda
Almviks Gard, New Caitanya Candrodaya mandir, is beautifully sitated in the peaceful countryside south of Stockholm, Sweden. Ours is a stable grhasta community originally established in 1980 as an ISKCON farming community. Since then we have developed into a village of grhastas, about 15 families, in the middle of which the temple where our Deities Sri Sri Pancha Tattva preside. The setting is simple and rural, a good place for simple living and high thinking.
Our Lords of the Pancha Tattva are very beautiful, medium large brass Deities who are famous for Their mercy upon Their devotees. Come here and avail yourself to Their mercy!
The northern-most city Srila Prabhupada visited was Stockholm in September, 1973. HDG lectured from the as yet unpublished teachings of Rshabhadev: ”. this human form should not [be employed to] work hard day and night simply for sense gratification.”
Prabhupada applied this teaching practically: "All these factories... I understand that in this country the farmers are taxed so heavily that they are forced to work in the factory. This is a policy of the government leaders to engage people. If anyone wants to live peacefully, save time for developing Krishna consciousness, then the leaders of the society or the government will not allow him to do so. This is the position."
So, you are all fortunate, or you are so kind that you have joined this movement despite all these obstacles in this country. Not in this, all over the world.
A few years later (1980), the Swedish ISKCON devotees acquired the Almvik farm, 65 km. from Stockholm. At that time, the devotes learned that the city of Stockholm was demolishing some green houses. The devotees were permitted to dismantle them and bring them to Almvik. You see one in the background. Here in the foreground is Ajaneya dasa, a disciple of HH Smita Krishna Swami, who taught himself organic gardening by which he since years maintains his wife and their two sons. Ajaneya finds time to regularly go downtown to Stockholm with the harinam party for chanting on the center-city shopping mall.
The proprietors’ inspection
The Panca tattva's temple in the background. See
The oxen, Sabastian and Damien, rescued from the slaughter industry, like to work.
Autumn is the harvest time for Jivakesa and family.
Youngsters prepare the soil in the Autumn
Traditionally the farmers in Sweden do forestry during the long winter. From the hectares of Almvik forest, devotees selectively fell fewer m3 of timber than the forest annually grows. Watch your fingers! Yours truly lifting a small stick.
A Finnish expert taught the Almvik devotees how to mason effectively burning fireplaces in the homes. Wood heating is not particularly exempt from harmful environmental gas from the chimney smoke unless the furnace completely consumes the firewood by the three t’s: time, turbulence and temperature which is accompmlished by the special design from Finland, where wood heating is commonplace.
Ajaneya’s professional pride.
During the fall, there is a farmers’ market on Saturdays in the middle of Stockholm. Ajaneya and Astasakhi have regular customers there eager to purchase Almvik’s organically certified produce direct from the farmer.
"We are not against machines," Srila Prabhupada told the New Talavan devotees during HDG’s visit in 1976. Dhruva, holding the pitch fork, has lived at Almvik since ISKCON acquired the farm in 1980.
WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers. These young men spend some time at Almvik for mutual benefit.
Bir Krishna Goswami disciple, Jayananda dasa / Janne Kontala, PhD, author of Inner Yoga (2016) assists his wife, Astasakhi devi, an ambitious gardener when she has time from raising their 5 children.
In the hilly parts of the forest the oxen drag firewood and logs for the lumber mill to roads where tractors can access.
Lokanatha dasa, a disciple of HH Smita Krishna Swami, grew up in the harsh climate of northern Sweden – the ”Land of the Midnight Sun” in the summer season, in the countryside 700 km north of Stockholm. Lokanatha helped his grandfather farm nonetheless, despite the land of the midday moon in the Winter season. Here on the Almvik ISKCON farm, Lokanatha works with his son Laksman in their family greenhouse. In the background is their house which Lokanatha
built himself with lumber from trees felled in the Almvik forest and cut into planks and boards on the farms circular sawmill.
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare