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Vrindavan Dham - Your Paricipation Is Needed

Dear devotees of Lord Krishna and Sri Vrindavan Dhama,
Let me first offer my obeisances to you and to all the divine masters who have preached and observed the glories of the holy abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham. Let me also offer my obeisances to Sri Vrindavanesvari the queen of Vrindavan and her eternal associates such as Lalita Visakha, Vrinda devi and so many others. Without her mercy life would not be worth living and service to Vrindavan and the divine couple would surely be impossible.

As all of you who have personally visited Sri Vrindavan Dham know, the ecological condition of the dham is not in very good conditions. Due to the lack of intervention from the government and simultaneously the explosion of the population combined with the appearance of plastic and water toilets etc., the system of the local administration to cope with all this problems has collapsed.

This is of cause for all of us both from the point of view of worship the holy Dham as well as from practical consideration of organizing pilgrimages to Vrindavan Dham a great obstacle. Every visitor comments on these problems and proposed wise suggestions before leaving again to their respective residences. Also local people want to change the situation which is beyond the single handed effort of anyone.

Actually there are so many pious souls in the world interested in Vrindavan that it is not impossible to create and apply an action plan that will actually provide the help where it is needed. My own spiritual master Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada told his disciples the following instruction:
"Help to clean Vrindavan, to fix the broken temples and to reestablish the deity worship to its former glory." (Vrindavan Days- Howard Wheeler) Many attempts have been made both by the NGO's as well as private donors and the local government to coordinate an effort to tackle the quite complex situation of the Dham.

It is only now, that the situation has brought about the firm determination to work together with all interested parties under the protection of the government. District Magistrate, SDM,ADM and MVDA secretaries are all calling for the participation to form the action committee of local missions, municipality, action groups such as Balarama Eco Sena and Friends of Vrindavan. These committees will assure that the help will be properly administrated. Many new laws have been issued by the authorities. For example, the selling of plastic bags was banned in Vrindavan. The usage of speakers to create sound pollution was also banned. Throwing any garbage at the Yamuna by local cleaners was prohibited. The Committee is decided to turn Sri Vrindavan Dham into the most attractive holy place of pilgrimage and to preserve the atmosphere and image of the old temple town as much as possible. Considering that Sri Vrindavan Dham is a living place of religious practice with many visitors and new ashrams opening all the time it is more difficult and more necessary to act quickly.

Local social workers such as Vineet Narayan & Mahesh Khandelwal have organized the Balarama Eco Sena to help to put all these new laws into action and to provide a group of coordinators who will look after a list of improvements of the Dham and also protect the visitors from any unwanted situation.
This project was started in 1998 and will soon open their doors for international help to sponsor further volunteer to help in this way.
On the other side a recycling plant was approved for Vrindavan and areas for land fills which supplies garbage processing.
The waste water situation is managed by the Yamuna action plan which promises to stop black water running into the Yamuna by the end of the year 2ooo or before. That is the most important part considering that the Gokul Dam will be finished in by that time and the water levels will rise at the cost of a very slow flow of the water. If dirt still goes into the water it would become a poisonous breeder of diseases and public danger.

Already the water is a very bad conditions and we can only pray that the Delhi Government will do what is required to save the Yamuna life line for the land and millions of people. Investment is required for so many projects. This letter is meant to make all of you aware of the situation and of the work which is being done right now.

It is urgent that all of you get involved in one way or another in these projects as your Dham seva. Here is a list of thing you can do right now depending on your particular situation. There is no space here to get into many details, but if you look here into the Vaisnava news services you will find invitations to join particular projects in the near future.

1. You can sponsor one or more of the Balaram Eco Sena participants. Each volunteer in this project receives monthly US $20, for pocket expense. (Call Mahes Khandelwal at 0565-444393 or 442874).

2. You can send a representative of your mission to the Action Committee mentioned before to be on top of all the projects and decide where you want to put your help. (For information about the next meetings you may call Saksi Gopal in Vrinda Kunja at the number 0565-443623).

3. You can help Friends of Vrindavan with their Vrindavan cleaning plan. (Call Michael Duffi at Gambhira, Jai Singh Ghera, Vrindavan, UP pin code 281121, Tel (0565) 442- 087 Fax (0565) 442-216, E-mail: gambhira@del2.vsnl.net.in

4. You can help to plant trees in Vrindavan. (Call Sevak Sharan of the WWF in Chota Munger Mandir: Sevak Sharan, Anup Sharma, Chhota Munger Mandir, Mathura Road, Vrindavan, UP pin code 281121, Tel (0565)442-771).

5. You can adopt a temple or a public park or ghat. That project has been started on several projects and helps to restore old abandoned temples. It is complicated. But with a strong will it already had proven possible. (Contact Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Maharaj from the World Vaisnava Association Temple Adoption Committee: Munger Raj Mandir, 1 Madhav-Vilas, Mathura Road, Vrindavan, UP pin code 281121, Tel (0565) 443-064 Fax (0565) 442-172)

6. Come to Vrindavan and visit adopted temples and parks. See the projects, talk to the people, find your service opportunity.

7. Send donations to Vrinda( The Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava culture and studies. Department: Vrindavan Dham SEVA). We will transfer your donation to whatever part of the Dham Seva you like to support. Write to Vrinda:
Vrindavan Dham SEVA
Vrinda-Kunja, 230 Bhut Galli, Gopeswar Mahadev Mohalla,
Vrindavan, UP pin code 281121
Tel (0565) 443-623 Fax (0565) 442-172

or send on E-mail to vrindak@nde.vsnl.net.in subject Vrindavan Dham Seva.

Send your donation to the Bank: Union Bank of India, A/C No.: EV 1251, Branch Vrindavan, Disctrict MAthura, UP pin code 281121 in India.

Send your donation to the Citybank International Account No.4233603 Miami Florida USA. ( Donations send to this account are taken every six month by a person to India. Make sure you send an Email or letter to specify the destination of your donation.)

Send a letter to the District Magistrate of Mathura asking him to get Sri Vrindavan Dham and Vraj Mandal or at least particular buildings such as the Radha Govindaji Mandir and the Radha Madan Mohan Mandir on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. (The District Magistrate Office Mathura Dist. Mathura UP India).

I humbly suggest: Do not make things too easy for you. Get involved. Help to see that every area is covered. Donate your knowledge as well. Previously kings from all over India with all their experts came to Vrindavan. They built wonderful temples and ghats. They also built Dharmsalas for the pilgrims and beautified the Dham with so many efforts. When the kingdoms were abolished and the previous projects did not even receive any more maintenance monies, slowly everything started to fall apart.

We all love Vrindavan. We do not want the rest to go the same way. We still want to see a beautiful Yamuna side with old Ghats and many trees. This will only take place if we all start to join hands to look after it. Just comments alone will not do. And governments have their hands full with earthquake victims, unemployment and other modern ills. They have to much secular orientation and obligations in first order before they can focus heavily on the preservation of Hindu Shrines which has many different ownership parties involved.

We, the aspiring devotees of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna can easily do this service to Vrindavan Dham. It would be my pleasure to meet you along the way of Vrindavan Dham Seva. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed the dham to the whole world. Now his followers may help to make it look as it is supposed to look.

Please do not take offense by my intruding into your service world with this letter.

Your servant
Swami B.A.Paramadvaiti


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