Dhanurdhara Swami May 20th, 2002
Harish, one hour from Tel Aviv, is now the center of Krishna consciousness in Israel. Initially, the government laid the structure for a nice city to develop there, but since the city is so close to the violence coming from the West Bank, it has never become a popular place. As a consequence, its development has been stalled. The houses are therefore very cheap and the devotees can easily afford to settle there.
The devotees living in Harish all work at outside jobs except for Gunavatar and Varshabhanavi, who are maintained by the growing congregation of devotees that they have developed throughout Israel. As such, they are free to preach and constantly travel throughout Israel, teaching seminars on philosophy and establishing nama-hatta centers?each traveling separately and covering different places.
I like the missionary spirit here. Although the devotees have careers and work outside, they are very active in the development of Srila Prabhupada’s mission?especially the devotees from Harish. Several times a year they organize a strong devotee presence in several of the country’s alternative retreat festivals. I asked Varshabhanavi how she was able to maintain such a spirit of preaching among the householders. She thought that perhaps because there is only one small community for preaching Krishna consciousness in Israel, the devotees feel more responsible for the mission, as compared to America where there are so many centers and communities.