Hare Krishnas proud to remain in district

Keshava Jenkins, pictured with wife Atulya, says Krishna Valley Hare Krishna retreat at Bambra has become a valuable part of the community.

“Initially there was a lot of objection, but now, just after being here for 30 years, now we’re kind of loved by the community.”

Keshava Jenkins has been managing a Hare Krishna retreat at Bambra for the past 10 years, and says that despite initial objection to the spiritual group’s settlement, the residents of Krishna Valley have become a valued part of the district’s community.

“I’d been based in the Hare Krishna temple in Melbourne since 1989, and basically in 2007 they asked me to come down and manage, we’ve got 200 acres down here in the Otways, and they asked me to come down and manage it as a retreat centre,” he said.

But Keshava said the property had belonged to a Hare Krishna community long before he arrived.

“It’s been there since 1987, it was first run as a Hare Krishna community and school, and we ran the school until about 1996, then the school got relocated to Mooloolaba, which is our other farm up near Byron Bay,” he said.

“So the place was pretty dormant for about 10 years, but they’ve got 200 acres here and all these facilities so then they asked me to come down and transform it into a retreat centre.”

Keshava is among the six permanent residents at the retreat, which offers people a “cultural experience” in an Otways “wildlife haven”.

“Basically peace, relaxation, getting in contact with their spirituality and higher knowledge, basically it’s a whole cultural experience; we’re an Indian-based philosophy, so basically people come to learn about Eastern culture and ways of living,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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