New Vrindaban, West Virginia is a Spiritual Destination with Beautiful Scenery

New Vrindaban is an unincorporated area and an ISKCON (Hare Krishnaintentional community located in Marshall County, West Virginia, United States, near Moundsville. Photos by Rebecca Pickens Clise

By Rebecca Pickens Clise

New Vrindaban, located in Marshall County, West Virginia, near the Town of Moundsville, is an ISKCON (Hare Krishnaintentional community  It is named for the Indian city of Vrindavan.

According to its website, New Vrindaban was founded in 1968 in pursuance of Srila Prabhupada’s mission to give Westerners an alternative to the materialistic way of life and to teach a lifestyle based on the principle of “simple living and high thinking.” The project is named after the holy land of Vrindavan, India, the place of Krishna’s birth, where life is centered around the service and glorification of Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada’s vision was to re-create the same spiritual atmosphere in order to uplift and inspire Westerners to embrace Krishna consciousness. In the pioneering years, from 1968-1978, life was austere, but enthusiasm was high, and much was achieved. Devotees built two temples, established a cow protection program, cultivated the land for food, started a school, built the first guesthouse, and began construction on Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold.

There is a variety of birds and animals roaming the grounds.

It is often assumed that the final goal of Indian spirituality is nirvana – the extinguishing of individual existence and the simultaneous absorption into an amorphous Absolute. The Bhagavad Gita reveals that this is only the preliminary stage of self-realization. Beyond this is the awakening of the soul’s eternal consciousness of Krishna, the personal form of the Absolute Truth.

Soothe your soul at the Lotus Pond.

ISKCON New Vrindaban is strictly vegetarian and believes that meat consumption creates negative karma. Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances (such as drugs) are prohibited in the main holy sites around the Temple of Understanding Circle Drive.

In 1973 devotees decided to build a home for Srila Prabhupada, where he could write his books and enjoy the clean country air. A location was chosen for its potential beauty, the land was cleared and construction was started on a simple house. The plan was a rough sketch drawn on a scrap of paper. That simple beginning became the Palace of Gold you see there today.
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Lotus pond.
One of the many beautiful views.
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