All Glories to Parama Karuna Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurachandra

World Tour Interviews
and a Venezuelan Paradise

Caracas, Venezuela, November 24, 2004

Interviews and web-page by Vaidehi Devi Dasi

During the visit of Srila Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, to Venezuela, devotees from all over South America were present as well as devotees from several other places around the world. The devotees would go back and forth from Srila Gurudev's quarters, to the Ashram. With so much going on, maybe some were unaware of the plans for a future temple in a place called Los Cafetales, about two hours away from the temple in Caracas. Antarjami Prabhu, and Krsna Bandhu Prabhu, were kind enough to take my mother, Kalindi Devi Dasi, and I, to that new rural land where they hope to construct a large and charming ashram nestled in the tropical mountains of Los Campitos.

Currently, three devotees live at the new land to help enrich the cultivation and take care of the new house.

Above, from left to right: Krsna Bandhu Prabhu, Dhira Krsna Prabhu, Chintamani Devi Dasi, Kalindi Devi Dasi, Antarjami Prabhu, and myself, Vaidehi Devi Dasi.
These four Venezuelan devotees, including Antarjami Prabhu, will share with us some of the plans for the new year, and the daily activities occurring for the maintenance of the terrace.


Here we have Antarjami Prabhu from Caracas, Venezuela. Encumbered in seva for the pleasure of Srila Gurudev and his devotees, Antarjami takes this moment to tell us a something about Venezuela.

Vaidehi: "What was spiritual life like in Caracas before the Parama Karuna Temple?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"We already had a center in Margarita, which is outside of Caracas, and a few devotees would get together. We were aware of the uncertainties that Srila Gurudev had in regards to recuperating the spiritual lives of the devotees in Caracas. The temple had disappeared for more than eight years for some reason or another. Purujit Prabhu then had the idea and some resources he had prepared, to recuperate everything that had disappeared in relation to Krsna consciousness, in the city of Caracas.
"I was passing through the city one day when he expressed this idea to me, and proposed that we get together and make it happen. So with his ideas and some of my support, we started this ashram about two years ago. It has gone so well that the majority of the devotees have come back, and feel very happy to have this ashram here. Many come to help out as much as possible, which makes us very happy because we see that above all, it pleases Srila Govinda Maharaj and has in a way, fulfilled his desire to bring back the life of the devotees in Caracas."

Vaidehi: "We all know that already, there are many devotees in Venezuela but how do you preach to the people outside?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"In the beginning, since it was only three devotees, they would bring friends and then they would bring their friends; that is how we would bring people. But now, since several months back, we have started to implement small fairs with vegetarian food, books, everything that is a complete presentation of Krsna consciousness in the line of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. It has been very successful and it gives the people a chance to see different aspects of Krsna consciousness in the form of kirtan, music, worship, prasadam, and more than everything, contact with the devotees. This is what we are organizing now. We do it in parks, universities — any place where we can reach the masses."

Vaidehi: "The devotees from Venezuela are very enthusiastically doing their service. They seem to never want to stop cooking, cleaning, and anything else that might be needed. How is it that they stay so fired up?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"We think it is because the majority of the devotees are fanatic about Srila Gurudev. This is their main motivation. Since Gurudev arrived, their enthusiasm has especially incremented. Many continue to step forward to offer their service and ask what they can do to help. It is something very natural in the devotees since for such a long time everything was asleep due to the illusory energy, Krsna's will, who knows why, but now the recuperation of devotional life in Caracas is spreading."

Vaidehi: "How has Srila Gurudev's visit changed the environment?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"He has changed it a lot. Srila Govinda Maharaj's visit to Caracas has established the fact that there is an Ashram here. He has attracted the devotees living afar to come and take the opportunity to see him. They now understand Gurudev's desire that there was a need to have an Ashram in Caracas. They have seen him with their own eyes, and they have heard him express his happiness with their own ears."

Vaidehi: "It has been only two years since the Ashram began, and it has already grown so much. What are the plans and hopes of the future?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"Obviously the plan is to train some of the devotees to expand Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math to other states and keep establishing the future of Krsna consciousness in Caracas. For example, this new land that we have in the countryside is meant for the expansion of another beautiful ashram. We want to establish schools for the future generation and plant, now that we can, the future of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. The plans are interminable. We want to print books, magazines, etc. but everything will come gradually according to the eagerness of the devotees, which is evident because so many are offering their service and collaboration."

Vaidehi: "Is there any message you have for the devotees around the world?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"We want to tell the devotees around the world what they already know. The success of a devotee is to find a way to make Srila Govinda Maharaj happy. Primordially, we know that we have to keep in mind that an Acharya has descended just to save the fallen souls. Obviously, the principal points are to try and preach, establish Krsna consciousness, and find a way to maintain harmony amongst the devotees, which is an especially crucial point Srila Govinda Maharaj has made."

Vaidehi: "Can you tell us something about the relationship between Srila Gurudev and his disciple?"

Antarjami Prabhu:

"On one occasion we had the opportunity to read a paragraph from The Benedictine Tree of Divine Inspiration where Srila Gurudev explains how it is sometimes easy to find a pure spiritual master, but it is sometimes not that easy to find a good disciple.
"That means that we have to try to at least become good servants of the good disciples. We must give honor to the praise that Srila Govinda Maharaj gives us. Although we all want to be close to him, we have to find a way to keep doing our duty. No matter how insignificant it is, we must always think that it is our necessity because it is for the pleasure of Srila Gurudev. He doesn't necessarily have to personally see you doing that service to receive it. Either way, whatever service you are doing He will hear about it through someone else who, for whatever reason, has the fortune of being close to Him."


Next, we have Krsna Bandhu Prabhu. He is a very friendly and humble devotee who is constantly taking care of the Vaishnavas. He currently lives at the new land to help maintain it and begin the next center of Venezuela. Let's ask him how he was introduced to Krsna consciousness and what he does on a day to day basis at this future ashram.

Vaidehi: "How were you introduced to Krsna consciousness?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"My first relationship with Krsna consciousness was reading the Mahabharata. After reading the Mahabharata I decided to become a vegetarian. I kept in contact with the devotees, and just five months ago I took initiation and decided to live at the temple."

Vaidehi: "How was it that the Mahabharata came to your hands."

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"Through a devotee. I went to the devotee's house, began flipping through the pages, liked it, and decided to read it."

Vaidehi: "What part of Krsna consciousness attracts you the most?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"That God has a personality. I can know how He looks, what His tastes are, His Pastimes... that is what is most attractive."

Vaidehi: "How did you begin to do service at the temple."

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"I started going every day and doing one thing here, another there, and then asked if I could live there. One day, thanks to the association of the devotees who helped me, Antarjami Prabhu gave me permission to stay."

Vaidehi: "What did you do at the temple each day?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"I would paint, I would do plumbing — whatever I was asked to do, whatever service that was needed, I would do it."

Vaidehi: "What can you tell us about service? Service to the Guru, to the deities, to the devotees?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"It is the most important thing to maintain oneself in spiritual life. Without service, knowledge is worthless. The most important thing is to do service for Srila Gurudev."

Vaidehi: "At this moment, we are surrounded by so much beauty. There are exotic fruit trees, mountains, singing birds, fresh warm air, we are in the country. How did you get the opportunity to arrive at this rural temple-to-be."

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"Previously, before I was initiated I had my own land in the countryside, so I have some experience with country life. First, Dhira Krsna Prabhu arrived with his wife Chintamani Devi Dasi, and then it was decided that I would come here and help them."

Vaidehi: "Tell us, what is it that this new land is for? What duties do you do?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"This land is here to hold the most beautiful temple of Latin America. Every day I am here to simply maintain the land. Everything is ready in terms of cultivation, what we are doing here is trying to keep it looking nice. The land is two hectares, and about 8–10 hours of work is needed on a daily basis to maintain it. Every morning we wake up early, and after a morning program and breakfast we cut all of the weeds with a machine. Some of the trees are sick at times, so we tend to them and plant new ones. The trees also give fruit, so we prune them when they are ready. Really, we have just started. I have been here for just about a month. There are many plans for the future, and there will be more things to do later on."

Vaidehi: "Srila Govinda Maharaj was in Venezuela for about ten days and left just recently. How did his visit impact you?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"I dedicate myself completely to Srila Gurudev. I realized that it is crucial to obey him and serve him. I never want to leave this. I know for sure that this is my place to be."

Vaidehi: "Do you have a message for the devotees around the world?"

Krsna Bandhu Prabhu:

"Yes. Be obedient to your Gurudev. Surrender yourselves to him and do service. To surrender yourself is not to live in a temple, but to render service onto Gurudev."


From left to right: Krsna Bandhu Prabhu, Vaidehi Devi Dasi, Dhira Krsna Prabhu, and Chintamani Devi Dasi after the interviews. Dhira Krsna Prabhu will also tell us how he joined the Krsna consciousness movement, what his daily routine is at the new land, and what the most difficult job is.

Dhira Krsna Prabhu:

"About eight years ago, a friend that I new from Iskcon had a Bhagavad-gita with directions to different temples in Caracas on the back page. After finding the address to a temple in an area called 'La California' I made a trip to the city and went directly there. At that moment the temple was moving, so they asked me to stay and help with the work. In the end, I stayed there for several months. That was the root of meeting the devotees. Staying there for a while I tried to forcefully become a Hare Krsna, and that is when I met the grace of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and the devotees. I had the opportunity of getting initiated and a few days later, I surrendered to the temple. First, I lived at the Parama Karuna Temple for a year, and then went to another land that we have, and stayed there for a few months. At last, I was asked to come and help out here."

Vaidehi: "What is the difference between the two lands?"
Dhira Krsna Prabhu:

"When we first got to the other land in San Cassimiro, everything was rural and overgrown. There weren't any houses or roads, and we had to pay for the land we needed to sow. The land also, was not documented so we can't construct a temple for the deities on a land that isn't securely documented. There are many differences between the two lands. This land on the other hand, already had houses and big trees. There are 1,500 trees of various types: orange trees, mandarin, lemon, peach, apple, pear, nispero, plantain, banana, avocado, guanavana, corn, giant mango trees, and guava trees. Apart from fruit trees there are moriche trees, palm, palmeras, and three different kinds of pines. There are also flowers, and many decorative plants. There are these ratlike animals too. They are not rats though because they are not wild. They let you get close to them and pet them."

Vaidehi: "What work do you do throughout the day?"
Dhira Krsna Prabhu:

"From 7am we begin to rake all of the leaves strewn about from the wind of the previous night. Then, we cut the weeds and water the land. Since this is a very humid zone, the weeds grow constantly. We spend the day sweeping, painting, and doing all of these different things. Apart from working, we chant rounds every morning at 5am. Our goal is to chant as many rounds as possible until breakfast time. Then we make garlands and arrange flower vases. In the evening, we have arati. We have arati only once a day since the rest of the day goes by very quickly."

Vaidehi:"Do you have a message for the devotees around the world?"
Dhira Krsna Prabhu:

May the devotees always unite for only one purpose: Srila Govinda Maharaj's Mission.

Vaidehi Devi Dasi: "So, there are two devotees here taking care of the land, but who is taking care of you? Who is cooking? Let's ask Chintamani Devi Dasi, Dhira Krsna Prabhu's wife, who is also living at the land working hard to keep the devotees strong and healthy."


Chintamani Devi Dasi made delicious guanavana juice the day we all visited. This guanavana is the biggest I have ever seen. Picked from the land and juiced immediately, it was very fresh. The prasadam was exquisite and she made sure that everybody was satisfied.

Vaidehi: "You are living here at this land while the two Prabhus are doing the agricultural labor. They prune the trees, cut weeds, dig the land, and so forth. Previously, you lived at the Caracas Temple and cooked for the deities every single day. What is the service that you are doing here at the land?"

Chintamani Devi Dasi:

"First of all, we arrived to simply take care of the house. As the days continued the work became more difficult. The rain began, the weeds began growing, and the devotees were outside working constantly. I keep the house clean, cook each meal for them, water the plants, and I help remind them what they need to do next. I feed the animals, and I cook, cook and cook, to keep them strong for all of the seva-work they need to do."

Vaidehi: "Have you learned something about the different plants that are growing here?"
Chintamani Devi Dasi:

"I have learned to prune them, when to prune them, and when to water them. You can't water them in the sun because they get burned, so I water them before the sun rises. I also pick fruit here and there. I maintain everything clean so that the devotees can work without having to worry about it."

Vaidehi: "What is your perspective on the future plans for the temple?"
Chintamani Devi Dasi:

"The principle plan is to make a very spacious temple, since in Caracas there is not much room for the quantities of devotees. We want a remote place so that we can play the karatals very loud and chant without having to worry about the neighbors or causing any disturbances. They are going to bring some deities if Srila Gurudev gives us the mercy, and over all, it will accommodate many devotees. They are going to build an ashram so that many devotees can live here and form a community. It also appears that we are going to plant more vegetables and thus provide our own bhoga for subji, juice, whatever is needed."

Vaidehi Devi Dasi: "As all of you become more accustomed to living here and the community begins to grow, how do you plan on sharing this with the nearby villagers. Will you preach here?"
Chintamani Devi Dasi:

"Yes, we are going to preach but we have to start bit by bit. I don't think they know anything about the devotees but we will start with Harinam, then entertainment, and then we will distribute books. Maybe we will even have a fruit stand in the village and then the villagers will get to know us."

Vaidehi: "Thank you all! The devotees on Srila Gurudev's new land in Venezuela ki jaya!!"

Click here to see Pictures of the New Land

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip | What's New? | Venezuelan Website