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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.

Going to India - Tips for the Journey - Practical notes for traveling to Vraja M

Madhava - Sun, 21 Jul 2002 02:49:35 +0530
A friend is going to Vraja soon and asked for some tips for the journey. I did a brief brainstorm with my wife and we came up with the following list of things to consider. Feel free to add to the list or elaborate on anything therein.

Mina - Tue, 23 Jul 2002 05:12:37 +0530
You are actually recommending sipping water from a pond in India?  Is that really very wise?  There are all sorts of micro-organisms that can make you seriously ill, and it does not take more than a drop of water containing them to do the trick.  I used to filter Ganga water through one of those camper devices with activated charcoal, without ever getting sick, but that was over twenty years ago.  Boiling must be done for close to an hour, to kill any cysts that certain amoebas and other protozoans can encapsulate themselves in.  I remember that the babajis strained Yamuna water through fine silk cloth back in 1980, before using it.
Madhava - Tue, 23 Jul 2002 16:19:59 +0530
I've taken drops from kundas a couple of hundred times and survived fine up to date. My stomach problems in Braj have been due to food whenever I've had any problems with it, mainly due to eating too much (which is really not much with me).

Some do recommend to avoid bathing as well in fear that people will become sick. I bathed at Radha Kund on a daily basis for the one and half months we spent there last spring, and the only disease I got is once I caught cold because of later in the evening and not having sufficient clothes to put on after that (I stayed on the banks of the kunda with a gamcha on to chant for a good while after bathing). Really, if one goes to India, taking a two or three drops of water from any sacred kund is likely among the smallest factors which make you sick. Of course this means two or three drops, not palmfuls.

Why I'm not making a big issue out of it is because I see so many things which everyone does which have much more potential for making you sick. People purchase yoghurt, milk, sweets and so from the bazaar, which have been standing there for hours, often visited by a good number of flies, ants and what not. Even washing your mouth with tap-water can cause a serious disease if you have a bad luck. For instance, we discovered a dead small animal and monkey-stool in the water-tank on the roof of our building, which had been there for a good while, and added their flavor to all the water that came down the pipes to our pots, shower and so forth. Luckily no-one in the building got anything serious out of it.

Oh, another note missing from the list above, just to make it sure no-one forgets:

- Always wash your hands before touching your mouth.

That's probably obvious to everyone with a decent standard of hygiene, but you never know -- we see people having the strangest habits in the West. I've seen people come out of public toilets, going to tap & mirror, and only setting their hair straight without washing their hands! Speak about mleccha-desh.
Radhapada - Tue, 23 Jul 2002 16:51:46 +0530
I admit I'm a little paranoid about sipping a lot of Kunda water, though I take it everyday mixed in caranamrita. I know one devotee who drank a whole 1 liter bottle of it thinking it was Bislery bottled water. Nothing happened (materially speaking). I think it is a matter of faith.