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Health, travel, environment and other related topics. Tips and tricks for keeping your body in shape for spiritual life. Taking care of your health while traveling in India.

Changes in the Dham - Better or worse?



nabadip - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 22:51:54 +0530
QUOTE
t is no secret that for a variety of solvable reasons, the delivery of municipal services in Vrindavan is collapsing and that transformation and better governance is essential for the long term management of the water, land, forest and world renowned cultural heritage of Vrindavan. All of that, in the absence of a robust community organisation, is dependent upon the municipal management or lack of it, in Vrindavan.


from the present news section
http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...t=0&#entry18599

I know, the Dham is eternal, and there will always be the Holy Dham. That is not in question. What is in critical condition, however, is the survival of the natural environment of the Holy Dham, especially of Vraja Dham. Since raganuga-bhaktas have their main focus on this Dham, they also should feel to be called to special responsibility regarding this particular place. and this is a call to give it at least some thought, what could be done and how it could be implemented wisely.

Last time that I talked to Michael Duffy who lives permanently in Vrindavan, he was pretty hopeless about the implementation of various policies and practices in the Vrindavan area. He had started for instance a program greening Vrindavan by planting trees; of dozens if not hundreds of trees planted, not even one young tree survived. There are many factors that make such efforts a fruitless affair. One of them is the mentality of sitting back and waiting that is prevalent much among Indians. Other factors include the difficult climate, the masses of pilgrims overpopulating a relatively small community at times, the many monkeys and just a general lack of social concern of the people living there.

I think we Westerners have a large share in the responsibilty regarding the degradation of the Holy Dham, not only directly in as much as we contribute to the type of waste disposed, the behaviour with the environment, and other aspects that Westerners bring to places like this, but also indirectly simply by us being part of a civilisation that has invented the plastic bags, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, that are now sold in India as the latest advancement that the West has to offer. Each time a Westerner shows up anywhere in India, he or she brings also a cultural and social message with them. We are able to travel, our economies are that modern that we can go live elsewhere for shorter or longer times. The first sign of modernity is the medicine which we possess, and for Indians fertilizers as well as poisons are often called with the word medicine, since they have no other word for artificial stuff.

As Westerners going to Holy Dhams we should therefore also contribute to taking positive steps to save the environment there, to make that place a special place apart from the rest of the world. If the Holy Dham was a place, where also nature was treated like a holy being, people who go there for pilgrimage would take that message back into their lives as well, and in this way the Holy Dham would become truly exemplary for people in general.

I'd like to post a few ideas later in this respect, and for now invite you to give some thought to the present environmental condition of India, and to the possibility that there won't be much left of a Holy Dham for future generations, if we do not act now, even if we are only a few people taking this seriously at present.
Jagat - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 23:11:31 +0530
Actually, this is something I have been thinking about for a long time, though I have not been in direct contact with Michael for some time. I think we need to become members of FoV and perhaps even engage in some attempt at fund raising in our local areas. There are four or five Hindu temples in the local area. The last time I talked to Michael, I talked to him about setting up some kind of Powerpoint presentation that could be used for that purpose.

I know that money is not the only consideration, but it certainly is an important one. Mandala is the current publisher of Ranchor Prime's Vedic Ecology, which is a worthwhile attempt to find mythological antecedents in Indian traditions for a green outlook on life. It contains material from modern Indian ecologists as well, but the prognosis is certainly bleak.

Let's keep this thread alive, and perhaps get Michael to come on here, if he can find the time away from his more immediately pressing engagements, to see how we can be of use and to keep in closer contact with his activities.

(The Friends of Vrindavan icon at the top of the page in the news section is a link to their website.)
Madhava - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 23:30:41 +0530
Last time I was in Braja, we had a vision of bringing Radha Kunda a bit closer to what it was even a couple of decades ago, and so we purchased and brought in a truckload of trees, one to two meters in height, to be planted wherever each baba desired around their kutirs or anywhere.

But alas, some members of the Panchat made a mad show out of it, the main underlying issue being that we were Westerners (and tat this was a part of a scheme to eventually take over the place), so in the end we could not get a single tree planted, but they were left standing out in the open. At night, though, some babas came, as we had wished for, and secretly grabbed some trees and planted here and there.

Now, a year and a half later, sadly many of them have been cut down either just because some official there happened to spot a Western-donated tree, or wanted to make some space for the ah-so-beautiful brick and cement kutirs that fill up the place (and for which the Panchat gets rent paid) of practically the entire property of Das Goswami around the Kundas. Some are still in place, fortunately!

Next time, if there will ever be a next time, we will take it up with the Vrajavasis who can hopefully cooperate a bit better in this regard. My Baba was himself fond of the idea, but as he is not a quarrelsome and political individual unlike some others, he did not have much to say in the end in this regard.
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nabadip - Mon, 28 Jun 2004 02:48:06 +0530
To do anything effectively, the sense of responsibility has to be aroused in the locals of an area. Development work makes sense only with their cooperation and full attention. It was seen in the earlier work of aid-organisations, that helping by giving donations actually impoverishes the locals and takes away their motivation to do anything for themselves. So instead of donating amounts or things, waves of activity have to be started, in which the recipients take active part. They should have an interest to participate, and that means some gain with it. It should be a win-win situation for all sides.

Madhava seems also to allude to the fact that if you give some support to a Mandir, they just build another wall. Walls seem to be of major interest in India where so much intrusion happens all the time.
Jagat - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 02:35:50 +0530
QUOTE
This was at a time when there were quite a number of Greatly Realized Sadhus - old school (way before Giriraj Parikrama path was paved - when was it paved?

The parikrama path is paved! Aargh! What next, trucks?

Nice to see and hear from you, JD33. I will always remember you for introducing me to "The Way of a Pilgrim" and the hesychast prayer. I hope you have forgiven me for stealing your sweets.
braja - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 02:53:33 +0530
QUOTE (Jagat @ Sep 14 2004, 05:05 PM)
The parikrama path is paved! Aargh! What next, trucks?


You can still walk on the earthern path next to the road--better for the feet, especially when hot--and many parts are still rustic, especially the inner path from Govinda kunda on. But on busy days they now have loud speakers (loud being the operative word!) announcing pain linaments at a dozen places, besides the usual music sellers.

JD33-ji, was that Mouni Baba from Surya Kunda?
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 03:00:59 +0530
QUOTE (Jagat @ Sep 14 2004, 10:05 PM)
The [Giriraja] parikrama path is paved! Aargh! What next, trucks?

Now they've also made an asphalt road all around the Vrindavan town parikrama path. A couple of years back only some sections after Keshi Ghat were like this, but recently they spoiled the sweet sand path of the first half of the parikrama, too. You'll find narrow areas of sand on the edges. I'm sure it's cool for the rickshaw dudes, but as far as a pilgrim is concerned, it's really the worst possible choice, short of having pins scattered all over the place.
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 03:08:54 +0530
QUOTE (braja @ Sep 14 2004, 10:23 PM)
You can still walk on the earthern path next to the road--better for the feet, especially when hot--and many parts are still rustic, especially the inner path from Govinda kunda on. But on busy days they now have loud speakers (loud being the operative word!) announcing pain linaments at a dozen places, besides the usual music sellers.

The thing is, the local Vaishnavas don't take the inner path in fear of stepping on Govardhan-shilas. At least that's what the folks there say these days, though I never confirmed this with my Baba. I, too, enjoyed tremendously the rustic paths between Govinda-kunda and Puchari, and also in the section starting soon after Dana Ghati leading to Govinda-kunda.

The nature is disappearing. This is very alarming and disturbing. Sadly it seems that the average videshi can't really do much about that. We tried to plant a truckload of trees around the Radha Kund area, but met with considerable resistance even from some members of the Panchat two years back.

Someone with enough capital should just buy the whole place and break down all those ugly cement kutirs. They just build more and more of them, cutting down trees. Whoever came up with the master plan to start building stuff right next to the banks of Radha Kund Shyama Kund, anyway? Why not leave ten or twenty meters of nature surrounding the lakes? Seriously I am very disturbed over this.
Jagat - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 03:11:06 +0530
Oh man! There were parts of both parikrama paths that were just made to be sandy! How sad for all those who will never have those memories...

I too loved the section between Govinda Kund and Puchari. Actually I kind of liked the bit from Govardhan to Govinda Kund as well, all the poverty-stricken huts of the outcastes. I don't know why... it was like they were all camped by the side of Giriraj waiting for Krishna to show up.
braja - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 04:30:30 +0530
When I was in Delhi last month I was reading the business sections of the paper and came across a full page color advertisement for luxury housing at Govardhana--with only electric vehicles allowed on the campus, a library, a theater for "Vedic discourses," guaranteed electricity, etc. The place was called Brij Vasundhara or something like that. I have the email address somewhere.

The Dhama is being bought up and built out. The saddest part was seeing housing built some 150 feet or so behind Lalita Kunda. And the kunda itself was filthy, possibly as a result of the new impediment to the water system.
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 04:34:40 +0530
QUOTE (braja @ Sep 15 2004, 12:00 AM)
The Dhama is being bought up and built out. The saddest part was seeing housing built some 150 feet or so behind Lalita Kunda. And the kunda itself was filthy, possibly as a result of the new impediment to the water system.

It's not just the water system. People use it as their dump. Some bhaktas throw in their prasadi-flowers there, and that's all right, but many local folks throw in literally anything there. Plastic bags, bottles, your old chair - just name it. I don't know of any babas do that, but judging by the fact that some think it is all right to shave your head and go flush the hairs off into Radhakunda, or wash your dirty kaupins there, I wouldn't be surprised.
Satyabhama - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 04:48:14 +0530
I like the way they've managed Tirupati's Swami Pushkarini, with water treatment facility, etc.

JD33 - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 05:17:11 +0530
Jagat,

Thank you - what sweets? guess you owe me then! biggrin.gif

Braja,

No.
braja - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 06:55:42 +0530
Here's something on the project I mentioned above:

QUOTE
NEW DELHI: The Shri Group of Mathura, which forayed into the real estate sector eight years ago, has already delivered Shri Jamuna Dham (in 2001), a self-sufficient township in Mathura. It delivered another residential township, Shri Radhapuram, in 2003.
At present it has launched Shri Brij Vasundhara, a project comprising of luxury cottages. This is located opposite Govardhan Hill in Mathura. It offers one and two-bedroom units and duplex cottages.

Amongst the amenities provided here are a separate temple and pravachan hall, regular Vedic discourses, amphitheatre, meditation centre, facility for yoga and ayurvedic medicine, library, multi-cuisine restaurant, a club with swimming pool, gym and tennis courts, high-tech security, etc.

Another project they are still selling is Shri Radhapuram Estate. They will launch Shri Radha Orchids, a township project, soon.

Retail:

Shri Groupís retail project is called Highway Plaza and is located on the Delhi-Agra highway in Mathura. Construction of this project is complete and itís ready for fit-outs. Another retail project - SJP Mall - is on the anvil.


From: The Times of India

From this it sounds like it might be closer to Mathura than Govardhan but the color ad had it pictured within close view of Giriraj.

gopidust - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 22:52:46 +0530
I thought Lalita kunda was cleaned. Oh how I would LOVE to bathe there!
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 23:56:47 +0530
QUOTE (gopidust @ Sep 15 2004, 06:22 PM)
I thought Lalita kunda was cleaned. Oh how I would LOVE to bathe there!

Well, now and then someone dives in and cleans it up a bit. I remember once Mahanidhi Swami tried to do something to that end. However I don't think there has been any systematic attempt at a thorough cleansing.
babu - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 03:13:20 +0530
I think to blame are those enthusiastic preachers and book distributors who are reviving everyone's dormant Krishna consciousness throughout the world and thus inspiring so many to make pilgrimage. biggrin.gif
Babhru - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 03:25:03 +0530
Boy, this really burns me. I haven't been to Vrindavan since 1982, but I've heard how built up the area has become. I've heard that the area around ISKCON's Krishna Balaram Mandir has become downright urban (well, maybe suburban), with residents enjoying cable TV and such. If true, it just seems to me that it's antithetical to the whole idea of living in Vraja. Paving the parikrama path and the Giriraja parikrama seems nuts to me.

I think Paramadvaiti Maharaja has also led some cleanup efforts around Vraja, but I don't know how successful he has been in this, or how persistent.

This is just a drag. My wife would like to grow old in Vrindavan. However, she's never been there yet, so she'll never remember how it was to go on parikrama barefoot on Ekadashi, etc.
Elpis - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 04:57:17 +0530
QUOTE (Babhru @ Sep 15 2004, 05:55 PM)
I think Paramadvaiti Maharaja has also led some cleanup efforts around Vraja, but I don't know how successful he has been in this, or how persistent.

Is Paramadvaiti involved with or heading the cleanup efforts of Friends of Vrindavan (see here)?
Talasiga - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:03:48 +0530
QUOTE (Madhava @ Sep 14 2004, 09:38 PM)
........
The nature is disappearing. This is very alarming and disturbing. Sadly it seems that the average videshi can't really do much about that. We tried to plant a truckload of trees around the Radha Kund area, but met with considerable resistance even from some members of the Panchat two years back.
........

sad.gif
What were their objections?
Madhava - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:22:03 +0530
Well, at the bottom of it, the fact that we were Westerners, and there was concern we might gain some influence, or as one mahatma said, to wrap up Radha-kunda and put it into our pockets. On top of that, the fact that they didn't seem to care if the place turned into a concrete hell. Additionally, the more kutirs they build, the more rent they will get for them, as they own the land surrounding the kundas. That's about the top three reasons I can think of at the moment.
Advaitadas - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:19:35 +0530
QUOTE (babu @ Sep 15 2004, 09:43 PM)
I think to blame are those enthusiastic preachers and book distributors who are reviving everyone's dormant Krishna consciousness throughout the world and thus inspiring so many to make pilgrimage. biggrin.gif

No, not just them. They have done their 'work' mostly in Ramanreti. It is a global issue - India's population grows and its economy booms too. So more people plus more money spells - building building building. Both Indians and westerners build. I am sure the building industry is the biggest industrial branch in India nowadays. For those recent devotees who have never seen the sandpaths around Vrindavan or Govardhana, perhaps Madhava should open a gallery on raganuga.com with pre-21st century pictures of Vraja, to aid not only their visualisation, but also that of us old bulls. I have a few I could contribute. Of course, in the ultimate end the eternal Transcendental Vraja is safely on record in the Gosvamis books and in the Bhagavata, and as transcendental experience grows, the visions of the Eternal Rustic place will also come to us......
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Advaitadas - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:25:34 +0530
QUOTE

The parikrama path is paved! Aargh! What next, trucks?


Well I was speeding past Kaliya Ghat and Madanmohan and Sringar Bat in a Tata Sumo last March, yes. Giriraja Parikrama by bus is already an option for years.
The Indian Govt. or the UP State Govt could still make it a national heritage site and bring back the green but I suppose it is too late for that now. Besides I can imagine the power of the developers' lobby in the state capital or in Delhi.
Anand - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:11:40 +0530
QUOTE
Paving the parikrama path and the Giriraja parikrama seems nuts to me.


Well, asphalt can always be removed...
Madhava - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:12:33 +0530
QUOTE (Advaitadas @ Sep 26 2004, 12:49 PM)
For those recent devotees who have never seen the sandpaths around Vrindavan or Govardhana, perhaps Madhava should open a gallery on raganuga.com with pre-21st century pictures of Vraja, to aid not only their visualisation, but also that of us old bulls. I have a few I could contribute.

Hey, good to see you around! Jay Radhe!

Yes, I would gladly do that. However I only have two pictures of old Radha-kunda here, I'd need someone else to fill me in with pictures too. If you can contribute some, that'd be great. You all know my e-mail address.

I haven't seen the old sand-paths, but seen enough of what's been done over the past five years or so to be pretty melancholic about it. Below, a picture of one of my favorite sand-paths from the Raman Reti area. Starts from the very edge of the Raman Reti area, beyond the tree they call Krishna-Balaram tree, and the story goes that's the path the cowherd boys are walking when they come to Raman Reti. We walked the whole way through. About an hour down the path, there was a small village there with some friendly villagers. One of them, enthusiastic to see visitors, gave us the grand tour of the place, introducing us to his uncle, his fields and his sweet old cows. A very memorable event. And yes, without asking a single paisa. Genuine warm-hearted hospitality from this young Vraja-vasi man.
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Advaitadas - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:43:48 +0530
Sparky's pic - Radhakund in the 70s. I remember it like that too. In the 1987 Kunda-samskara they destroyed most of the trees around both kundas.
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Advaitadas - Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:47:17 +0530
QUOTE (Anand @ Sep 26 2004, 03:41 PM)
QUOTE
Paving the parikrama path and the Giriraja parikrama seems nuts to me.


Well, asphalt can always be removed...

Indians are not ready yet for a Green Party. For them grey (asphalt, concrete) means progress, status and money, and green means backwardness and poverty. It is a developing country.
Madhava - Mon, 27 Sep 2004 00:37:41 +0530
Not much green here, as the technology wasn't around yet...

If you have higher resolution originals of old pictures of Vraja, please by all means send them over to me.
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Madhava - Mon, 27 Sep 2004 00:42:39 +0530
I merged in another recent thread on this topic that became the four first posts of this topic.
Advaitadas - Mon, 27 Sep 2004 16:21:41 +0530
Syamakund, Mahaprabhu sitting place. In front of the group of Vaishnavas is the silhouet of Krishna Das Madrasi Baba. May, 1987
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Advitiya - Wed, 29 Sep 2004 02:40:29 +0530
QUOTE
Giriraja Parikrama by bus is already an option for years.

As much as I would like to see the sandy paths along with paved paths this is certainly an option for a poor soul like me. There is still hope!

Welcome back, Advaitadasji! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and the informations about the Dham.
Talasiga - Wed, 29 Sep 2004 08:08:55 +0530
QUOTE (Advitiya @ Sep 28 2004, 09:10 PM)
....There is still hope!

.......

Where is that hope other than in concerned devotees buying plots in Braj and reforesting them in the spirit of Banamali seva?
Advaitadas - Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:10:05 +0530
Manasi Ganga, Govardhan, in 1906.
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Advaitadas - Thu, 30 Sep 2004 14:42:47 +0530
Between Pucchari and Jatipura, Mount Govardhan in 1988. This spot has actually become greener, because the trees planted there by the State Govt of UP or Rajasthan have grown. On the other side of the Parikrama path, however, many big mansions and ashrams have been built. Peace and quiet is gone there too..... sad.gif
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Advaitadas - Sat, 02 Oct 2004 13:44:38 +0530
At around the same period, Govinda Kund at Mount Govardhan. Unfortunately the Ghats here have been removed instead of renovated. New, higher walls were built around the Kund and some more building has taken place in the area. Over all, though, it is still relatively peaceful and austere.

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Jagat - Sat, 02 Oct 2004 16:59:03 +0530
Thanks for these pix, Advaitaji. Do you happen to have one, by any chance, of the Dauji temple at Puchari, where I stayed for a chaturmasya one year, of Apsara Kund or Surabhi Kunds, which are all around the same area ?
Madhava - Sat, 02 Oct 2004 17:51:17 +0530
QUOTE (Jagat @ Oct 2 2004, 12:29 PM)
Thanks for these pix, Advaitaji. Do you happen to have one, by any chance, of the Dauji temple at Puchari, where I stayed for a chaturmasya one year, of Apsara Kund or Surabhi Kunds, which are all around the same area ?

Here are views from a few years back (2002), with several pics from around Apsara-kunda and Puchari. Attached, a small Dauji-mandir on top of Govardhan near Puchari (however I don't think this is the one you staid in!). Indeed the Puchari-area is still gracefully peaceful and unharmed. In that gallery, you can also see the renovated walls of Govinda-kund. I noted that they had moved away some tomb-stones to make space for the wall, and the stones were just lying around on the side of the construction. I do not know if they were factual samadhis or just memorial stones. The wall is pretty bright there.
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Advaitadas - Sat, 02 Oct 2004 22:09:40 +0530
QUOTE (Jagat @ Oct 2 2004, 11:29 AM)
Thanks for these pix, Advaitaji. Do you happen to have one, by any chance, of the Dauji temple at Puchari, where I stayed for a chaturmasya one year, of Apsara Kund or Surabhi Kunds, which are all around the same area ?

Unfortunately I dont remember any Dauji Mandir in Pucchari; I myself stayed at Jagannath Baba's kirtan Mandir in 1985. This Dauji Mandir must be a very small place then. Was it perhaps close to Pucchari Ka Lota?
Elpis - Sun, 03 Oct 2004 21:57:36 +0530
Some nice thoughts from Srivatsa Gosvami about nature and the natural environment here.
Madhava - Sun, 03 Oct 2004 22:14:51 +0530
http://www.fov.org.uk/history/history.html#agencies

QUOTE
Another participant is the government of the state of Uttar Pradesh. As a result of growing concern about the plight of Vrindavan they have recently announced a grant of 40 crores of rupees (£8m) for restoring the cultural and environmental heritage of the region around Vrindavan.

Nice! smile.gif
Madhava - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:18:24 +0530
Mountains - where? God, I really need to find some good mountains near Vraja, sometimes we are so badly in need of some fresh air...
JD33 - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:28:00 +0530
Sorry - the mountains were in California! sorry (LOL). Actually Madhava - when you take you daily bath in Radha-Kund at 3:30 am in the winter time - that will give you quite a bit of 'fresh air'! (Love).
Madhava - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:42:46 +0530
QUOTE(JD33 @ Nov 27 2004, 10:58 PM)
Sorry - the mountains were in California!† sorry (LOL).† Actually Madhava - when you take you daily bath in Radha-Kund at 3:30 am in the winter time - that will give you quite a bit of 'fresh air'! (Love).


You bet that'll freshen you up! However I am in particular longing after some sand-free air. Not that I have anything against the dust of Vraja, but I would be happy if the dust only flew around when Govinda left to graze his cows. Not that it is all over the place 24/7. Imagine, we left well sealed containers inside a room for storage, and when we returned to Vraja they were filled with sand. Whenever you sneeze your nose you'll have sand coming out, it penetrates everywhere. I must be spoiled by the lush forests of Finland. I miss the prana you get from the pine forests here.
JD33 - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:51:21 +0530
Yeah I hear you about the forests - but what is the sand thing in Radha-kund - how have things changed there and so much?
Anand - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:57:41 +0530
QUOTE
Imagine, we left well sealed containers inside a room for storage, and when we returned to Vraja they were filled with sand. Whenever you sneeze your nose you'll have sand coming out, it penetrates everywhere.


Ah, for the fortune to get but one grain of that sand on my perfectly vacuumned carpet... rolleyes.gif
Madhava - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 04:08:44 +0530
QUOTE(JD33 @ Nov 27 2004, 11:21 PM)
Yeah I hear you about the forests - but what is the sand thing in Radha-kund - how have things changed there and so much?


When was the last time you were in Vraja? Everybody is just busy building. Now all around Govardhan, every other group, movement and what not are building their branches. At Radha Kund, everyone is building. Everywhere, people migrating in and building. Roads are built, trees are cut down. Bundle that with Rajasthan nearby, and there you have it.

My Baba once told about the earlier years at Radha Kunda. In his younger days, he would often go from Radha Kund to Vrindavan. You then had two ways to go, one was to walk through the forest straight to Vrindavan, the other was to drive by bike en route Mathura to Vrindavan. Forest! Now just about the only thing left of that forest is an area inside walls few hundred meters in each direction, plus some random forest patches here and there. There are still some nice bits of nature here and there around Govardhan, see here, but it's shrinking. Increase of roads, fields and habitation drives away the forests.
JD33 - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 04:16:51 +0530
In the last 18 years I was there for 10 months, about 10 years ago - already it was so changed - with the Gobardhan parikrama path having been paved - It was all very depressing for me - thats a major reason I have not been back. I am sorry I have kept away for so long as many of the great Saints/Guru-Bhais have passed away. I will be going back sometime in 2005. I was graced to be in Vraja in the late 70's and eaqrly-mid 80's. It was an incredible time to be there living the Babaji life with many Saints I use to see regularly.
Madhava - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 06:05:18 +0530
I migrated posts above into this thread.

I can see why you might be depressed over that. I most likely would, too, had I been fortunate enough to visit Vraja some two decades ago. Sadly at that time I was still preoccupied with pooping into my pants. Who knows, I may have been there prior to that, but that's a slim joy for the here and now we live in.

Sadly it seems that our options in influencing the situation there are a bit limited at the moment. One of the major challenges is to get the local population to take the issue seriously.
JD33 - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 06:17:36 +0530
It seems like you are in a good position, Madhava, to do that! Good luck! Kindly keep me informed on it.
Jagat - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 09:38:00 +0530
I was listening to a radio series on CBC, The Short History of Progress, in which Ronald Wright shows how environmental degradation is the single most important cause of the downfall of civilizations. Rapid expansion, urban growth, building on farmland, depleting other farmlands until finally it is unsustainable.

There is a lot of talk these days about rapid economic growth everywhere, even in yesterday's NY Times David Brooks was saying how great it was that poverty in the world was down, thanks to globalization. After listening to Wright, I hardly felt encouraged.

I hope that some consciousness of ecology can be instilled, not only in the Brijbasis, but in everyone. But I think that since by Radharani's mercy we have been given love for Vrindavan, we should try to make it an issue. Certainly it is something that concerned devotees should inform their godbrothers and gurus about.
Madhava - Mon, 29 Nov 2004 04:04:10 +0530
QUOTE(JD33 @ Nov 28 2004, 01:47 AM)
It seems like you are in a good position, Madhava, to do that!† Good luck! Kindly keep me informed on it.


At least I am in a position to gather information and make it available, and possibly tie up some loose ends in coordinated efforts. I believe in information. If there is none available, or it is very scarcely available as we see at present on the internet, it is unlikely that the concern of people out there can be kindled much beyond the occasional concern. We should start a website documenting the issue in detail, and directing people where to head with their offers of assistance. I doubt I am currently in a position to start coordinating efforts myself, as I seem to be keeping a tad busy with all the ongoing things already, but I can always make information available. Expect to see a piece of documentary coming up in a couple of months.

Hey, I should go around and interview people who have been living in Vraja since a long time, and record their comments, and then collect some footage contrasting the untouched regions with the ones that have had the civilization run over them.