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Vraja Journal & Collecting varieties of media - Plans and donations

Madhava - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 01:03:07 +0530
Vraja Journal & Collecting varieties of media

Those of you who have been reading the forums for a while may remember earlier discussions about collecting varieties of media related with Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The content -- varieties of video, audio and photos -- will be collected during our upcoming four-month visit to Vraja, beginning November 30th.

On video, the following main topics are in plans to be covered:

1) Parikrama -- Various pastime places
2) Bhakti-sadhana -- Various devotional activities, including festivals
3) Culture -- Daily life in Vraja, different traditions and sampradayas
4) Interviews with different sadhus, lectures
5) Nature -- Animals of Vraja

We will also be taking photos of most of what's listed above, with emphasis on quality pictures of various deities, temples and pastime-places along with objects of historical importance. And yes, of the flora and fauna of Vraja, along the lines of Malati's topic, all of which will eventually be compiled into a book of its own.

As for audio, I will try and record some good quality kirtanas and lectures as well.
Madhava - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 01:22:40 +0530
user posted image

Much of the content we collect will be available at Vraja Journal (, which I have recently coded together. Currently, some sample content is there to demontrate how the site works. The website is not active as of yet, but will begin filling up with content as soon as we hit the road. It is divided in three main sections:

1) Blog -- Varieties of news and thoughts from Vraja, travel diary, messages from sadhus, narrations, philosophical reflections. The main blog page contains three latest full entries (left side) and the monthly index of entries (right side). To be updated on a daily basis.

2) Daily Views -- Photos of basically whatever we come across during our travels, along with a short story. The main page contains eight latest full entries and thumbnails of the monthly index. To be updated on a daily basis, likely a couple of photos per day.

3) Media -- Some of the video and audio we collect. Ultimately the quality of the videos that will be possible online during the said four mnonths will depend on how much our internet connection can handle. High-quality versions will become available on VCD and DVD, once we get to the point of editing and mastering the raw footage we have. Many of the lectures we attend will be available in their entirety on this page.

(Please note that the site's search engine will only work after I do a database software upgrade at our server, the current version does not support boolean full text search, which is necessary for an effective search engine -- which will become necessary as the site starts filling up.)
Madhava - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 01:45:00 +0530
As we are not that wealthy ourselves, and as the endeavor is undertaken as a service to the community of devotees out there (and in here), I am coming forth and asking if people would be willing to donate.

Below is a summary of the current equipment at my disposal:

After the CPU-upgrade, I am a bit short (well, frankly very short) on funds for upgrading some of the above and purchasing something more. Here are the upgrades that would be helpful:So that's the upgrades part. The first I think of as necessary, especially in terms of the flora/fauna project, and the second as "nice". Then, some smaller things that add up to the total bill. These are things I need to get regardless of whether people donate or not.That should be about all. Unless you are within EU limits, monetary donations will be the most convenient alternative, as they add a 22% VAT here on top of anything shipped in from outside EU, and if you're lucky, an extra 14% or whatever at the customs. Those donating will naturally receive complimentary copies of some/all of the content produced. smile.gif
Madhava - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 02:20:44 +0530
Then how do I donate?

For example, with PayPal. You can either transfer funds directly from your PayPal account, or donate using a credit card. If neither of the two is an option, you can also send a registered letter or wire the payment to me. To donate with PayPal or credit card, click below:

You can donate both in Euros and US dollars. 1 EUR = 1.25 USD. For alternative methods of donating, please PM me. If you wish to specify what the donation is for, you are welcome to do so.

Below is a list of our kind donors. Please remember, any small donation will help us onwards with this. Not everybody has to match Rasaraja's -- though I'm sure he won't mind if you do! flowers.gif

1. Rasaraja dasa - DV-camera + shipping - 320.00
2. Dharmachakra - 40.00
3. Vamsidas - 310.00
4. Anonymous - 2 x 60.00
5. Anonymous - 30.00
Rasaraja dasa - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 08:17:20 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

As a token of my appreciation for all that Madhava and Malati do by their work with Gaudiya Discussions I have given $1,600 US to pay for their travel to Vrindavana.

I will also donate a brand new Sanyo SCP-7300 cell phone if that will meet your needs (

All in all I have been greatly moved by Madhava and Malati's work here and as I cannot offer much in regards to devotional contributions I hope that giving what I can to help them maintain this site will do.

I encourage you all to give what you can, regardless of how little, as everything helps. Maybe we start a monthly donor program where a little monthly contribution by many member's will greatly empower them in their service.

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
Madhava - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 18:12:49 +0530
I am very touched by the positive response from our good community. Thank you very much! All that will help us a great deal and make our seva much easier and less stressful as the burden of worrying about getting all we need for it decreases. Rasaraja has been very helpful indeed in this regard, so if anybody ever thought of saying thanks to me for something I did, then say it to him, too, as chances are I wouldn't have had the time for it without him.

All in all I have been greatly moved by Madhava and Malati's work here and as I cannot offer much in regards to devotional contributions I hope that giving what I can to help them maintain this site will do.

I certainly cannot vouch for the devotionality of our (or mine, anyway) endeavors, but the time we have, and while we have it, why not occupy ourselves in a way that is meaningful for everyone.

The donation from Vamsidas will be used for the Minolta Z2, I am arranging for it as we speak. The possible surplus from that, along with DharmaChakra's donation, will be used for the various small accessories enlisted in the post, such as an extra battery for the DV-camcorder. I will follow up on the use of all donations both in this thread and in person with the donors to ensure everyone that everything is being used exactly as intended.

In this vein, I would also like to thank Karunamayi das & dasi for their earlier kind donation towards my work in maintaining and building the MadrasiBaba.Org website (with the abundant content they have put collected). I am currently working on a major overhaul of the site which should be complete by the end of the week, and which will introduce a media library with several hours of video footage included.
Madhava - Sat, 23 Oct 2004 03:52:54 +0530
My heartfelt thanks to Anonymous for his kind donation of 60.00. We will do our best to export a piece of Vraja-dham to the cyberspace during our stay (and hopefully beyond).
Madhava - Thu, 04 Nov 2004 03:37:32 +0530
I would also like to thank Braja for linking me up with some interesting business contacts of his, allowing me to make some extra income (and hopefully, in the future, main income) by coding and design to cover up many of these expenses.
Madhava - Thu, 25 Nov 2004 03:43:00 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Oct 19 2004, 09:50 PM)
2. Dharmachakra - 40.00
3. Vamsidas - 310.00
4. Anonymous - 60.00

Following up on these three donations, the order has finally been shipped. The final contents of the order, as far as the donations above are concerned, were:

Minolta Dimage Z3 - 345,00
Sandisk SD-card 1GB - 75,00

Since the Z2 was hard to acquire, I decided to go up one model and get the Z3, which has a 12x zoom and a built-in image stabilizer to ensure sharper photos even without a tripod, especially when it's a bit darker.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The following have also been purchased (funded by myself):

10 blank DV-tapes - 30,00 (got a good bargain)
12 high-capacity rechargeable AA-batteries - 40,00
A high-capacity spare battery for the DV-camera. - 55,00 (couldn't get one shipped in from abroad, so it was a bit more expensive)

Then there are the internet costs, some 250,00 total for the duration of the visit. That makes the total for me as 375,00 . Fair enough! Again, my heartfelt gratitude for all the kind Vaishnavas for bearing half of the burden of the project.
Madhava - Thu, 25 Nov 2004 05:00:55 +0530
And sincere thanks to Anonymous, who just donated 30 euros more for the cause. smile.gif
Madhava - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 20:07:39 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Oct 22 2004, 11:22 PM)
My heartfelt thanks to Anonymous for his kind donation of 60.00. We will do our best to export a piece of Vraja-dham to the cyberspace during our stay (and hopefully beyond).

And our gratitude again to Anonymous, who just donated another 60 for the cause. smile.gif

Be sure to check in often at . We hit the road Tuesday morning, so the regular updates should begin on Thursday, if not Wednesday.
TarunGovindadas - Sun, 28 Nov 2004 23:11:55 +0530
Dear friend Madhava,
i hope i can also help you.

i just sent you some money, too.
its not much, i know.

thank you for doing this wonderful seva to all the Vaishnavas here and fools like me.

all the best
and i am eager to meet you in Vraja.
we will arrive on December the 26th.