New Vrindaban is managed by two legal entities, ISKCON New Vrindaban and ECO-Vrindaban. These two entities are working cooperatively to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s vision for New Vrindaban as a sacred village known worldwide for cow protection, simple living, holy pilgrimage, spiritual education, and above all, loving Krishna.
Governing Body Commission (GBC) Members of New Vrindaban
ISKCON NV Board Members:
Anuttama Das (GBC), Dayavira Das (Chair), Jaya Krsna Das (Temple President), Gopisa Das, Ranaka Das, Vrsni Devi Dasi, Nama Kirti Devi Dasi, Ranaka Das
ISKCON New Vrindaban Departmental Heads:
GBC: Anuttama Das
Temple President: Jaya Krishna Das
Accounting: Madhava Kanti Dasi
Communications: Anuradha Dasi
Construction: Isana Das
Deity Department: Vilasini Dasi
Devotee Kitchen: Shivraj Das
Devotee Relations: Sukhavaha Dasi
Festivals: Anuradha Dasi
Govinda’s Restaurant: Brihat Kirtan Das
Palace Lodge: Olivia Browning
Pilgrims: Lakshmanesvara Das
Water & Waste Water: Tejomaya Das
Palace of Gold: TBA
ECO VRINDABAN BOARD MEMBERS:
Anuttama Das (GBC), Ranaka Das, Chaitanya Mangala Das, Vraja Dasi, Olivia Browning, Makhara Das, Jamuna Jivani Dasi
ECOV VRINDABAN MANAGEMENT TEAM:
Administrator: Ranaka Das
Milking: Lalita Gopi Dasi & Ananda Vidya Das
ISKCON NV Board Member Biographies:
Anuttama Das is the Director of Communications for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He has served as a member of ISKCON’s International Governing Body Commission (GBC) since 1999, and is currently the GBC Chairman and one of the three GBC representatives of New Vrindaban. Anuttama served as President of ISKCON temples in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., and was founding Board Member of Children of Krishna, an organization created to assist victims of abuse. He was twice Vice President of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), a New York based interfaith organization, and serves on the Board of Religions for Peace USA. He also serves as Trustee of the Bhaktivedanta College, ISKCON’s first accredited College, located in Belgium. Anuttama Das travels extensively teaching seminars on Communications and Leadership both for ISKCON and other non-profits. He is the founder of the Vaishnava-Christian Dialogue in Washington, D.C., now in its 17th year, and was the guest editor of the special 2012 edition of the scholarly Journal of Vaishnava Studies dedicated to the Vaishnava-Christian dialogue. He has appeared on multiple national and international media programs, including Larry King Live, Dateline, PBS and BBC. Anuttama is currently on the ECOV Board in NV. Anuttama and his wife, Rukmini, live in Rockville, Maryland, near their son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Chaitanya Mangala Das
Chaitanya Mangala Das’s parents, Danakeli Das & Sankara Dasi, first became a part of ISKCON in Michigan in 1970. Then, 10 years later, in 1980, they moved to New Vrindaban, where Chaits took first initiation and attended the gurukula until 1988. Throughout that time, he performed many services, including the cow barn, tractor dept, mold shop, construction, heavy equipment, winter wood crew, accounting, and more. Chaits’ mother passed away in NV in 1985. So, along with his four siblings, Makara, Veena, Sesa & Bhima, he had a memorial bench erected for his mom on the Parikram path, situated at the feet of the Gaura Nitai statues.
Then, later on, from 1994 to 2000, Chaits lived in NV again. His oldest son, Airavata, was born there in 1994. He served as assistant pujari for the two Salagram Sila deities, under the tutelage of Amburish and Radhanath Das (now Swami). Chaits was also one of the original “youth” pujaris who daily “played” with Sri Gopal Nathji each morning on the altar, during Greeting of the Deities at the current RVC Temple when He was first installed in 1983. He also regularly worshiped Lord Nrsimhadeva after He was installed in 1986. Chaits has always been a very active guy. In his “free time” he has a long history of doing volunteer service for New Vrindaban, as well as the global devotee community, having organized or helped to organize, about 22 Gurukuli-related Festivals and a few Holy Name Festivals over the years. He continued to visit NV at least once or twice a year, and, in 2010 and 2011 got even more involved by becoming a member of both the ECOV and the INV Boards. Today, Chaitanya Mangala Das currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Kathy and their three children, where he is Financial Controller for an international apparel and fashion company, with an MBA and 15 years of professional and managerial experience. Regarding his fond connections with New Vrindaban, Chaits tells us, “I’m blessed with an opportunity to participate in our ongoing efforts to manifest Srila Prabhupada’s grand vision for New Vrindaban, Along the way, we may fall short and fail at times to live up to all of the ideals. At the same time, I’m confident that as long as we continue to sincerely participate and persevere – through this cooperative process – we become stronger and eventually we do succeed.”
Dayavira Das started reading Bhagavad-gita in 1975, when he had bought a copy at a bookstore at a local mall. Dayavira comments, “I was immediately drawn into the priceless knowledge contained in this classic. It gave birth to a whole spiritual awakening that I never before experienced in this life.” He relates that about six months later he discovered there was a society of devotees in the US. It wasn’t until December 1976 that he was finally able to make his way to a temple, ISKCON Miami. After a short stay he came back to N.C. and then in 1979 he first visited New Vrindaban. He became a full time resident Brijbasi in early 1980 and stayed about ten years, where Dayavira worked on the construction of the Lodge and the Temple before returning to N.C. At one point he became temple president of ISKCON of NC for four years. Dayavira tells us, “I’m currently working on building a new temple here in NC. It will be a LEED project. (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design is a green building certification program that recognizes best -in-class building strategies and practices.)” Dayavira has been on the ISKCON New Vrindaban Board for about three years, and has been the chairman for the last two years.
Gopisa Das joined the Krishna consciousness movement in 1973 in Miami. He was initiated by Srila Prabhupada on Henry St. in N.Y. He was a welder when he joined the movement. While visiting New Vrindaban in 1979, he helped work on metal gates that were ultimately installed in the wall of the Palace of Gold and at the entrance to the Bhagavad-gita Road. Gopisa has a great story connected with this, while helping to install those gates on a late summer day in 1979. It happened to be the day before the big festival for the opening of the Palace. Up in the rear guard tower of the Palace wall was a locked freezer with 40 gallons of New Vrindaban home-made mango blueberry ice cream! As Gopisa was working with the crew near that tower, a couple of industrious members managed to illicitly procure one of the five gallon buckets. After a short time, when some devotees drove by the crew working on the gates on that hot summer evening, they didn’t notice the empty five gallon bucket, but they did wonder, “Why are these devotees wearing their winter coats in the middle of summer?” In 1981, Gopisa moved to New Vrindaban with his wife, Kalindi, where he was put to work on various welding projects, such as the guest lodge, other gates, and, most notably, the current RVC temple building itself. He also ran the brickyard that produced the pavers on New Vrindaban’s road and parking lot. Gopisa Das is currently the Vice-President in charge of Design and Facilities and sits on the INV Board of Directors, the Land Board and the Palace Restoration Committee.
Jaya Krishna Das
Jaya Krsna Das, New Vrindaban’s temple president, took up his post on the auspicious day of Gaura Purnima in 2011. Originally from Switzerland, Jaya Krsna brings a wealth of both ISKCON and life experience to the table, having worked in business out in the world for twenty-five years before becoming a devotee.
Jaya Krsna began his service in ISKCON as an administrative director of Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, for which he is still an administrator.
At the beginning of his service in New Vrindaban, Jaya Krsna expressed that he plans to set up a proper structure and processes for the big operation of the New Vrindaban temple so that there is stability in the future, as well as to heal some of the traces of New Vrindaban’s past.
Jaya Krsna is focusing on how to better implement Srila Prabhupada’s instructions for New Vrindaban, together with ECO Vrindaban, namely through cow protection, self-sufficiency, as well as the development of the place of pilgrimage and offering spiritual education. Jaya Krsna currently sits on the ISKCON New Vrindaban board. Jaya Krsna sees a big potential and foresees a great future for New Vrindaban. He always recounts what Srila Prabhupada had written to the New Vrindaban devotees: “I pray to Krishna every day that this New Vrindaban attempt is more and more successful and ideal for your country.”
Ranaka Das first joined the Krishna Consciousness Movement in Denver in December of 1976. He was initiated by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami 1977, and currently lives in New Vrindaban with his wife and fourth son, Josh, down by the “big barn” in the Valley Goshalla. Ranaka is a member of both NV’s ECOV Board and the INV Board. Ranaka is a long-time resident of NV, having dedicated his life to Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Candra’s cows and agriculture for 37 years. When asked what he likes to do, Ranaka simply replied, “Chant Hare Krishna and garden.”