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Our Kids in Vrindavan - There for What, Exactly?

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Our Kids in Vrindavan - There for What, Exactly?


Feb 11, CANADA (SUN)


I appreciated Bhaktidhana devi's piece, "
", especially the following;


  • "I ask you...when was the last time you went to school, or to work, or to the shopping mall, or even to your non devotee relatives and were greeted with the resounding cries of affection such as Radhe! Radhe!? Or when last did you step out into the street while a descendant of Krsna’s pet Surabi cow passed you by with a sidelong glance of affection? Or have you awakened recently to the sound of the cuckoo singing his fifth note for the pleasure of Radha and Krsna in their forest grove? Did you hear the thousands of arotik bells ringing this morning in the thousands of ancient temples within walking distance, to awaken the thousands of dieties being worshipped for hundreds and thousands of years? This is Sri Vrindavan Dham!"


To create bhakti samskaras and facilitate one's entrance into deep bhajan is precisely why Mahaprabhu had Vrindavan excavated and "created", so to speak.


It is not the fault of young people if they want to hang out, chill out and have fun. These are requirements of their age. However, if one's child is at that age (teens and twenties), why not set them up in a place like Goa or just keep them in the West and bring them with you to Vrindavan for short pilgrimages?


Srila Rupa Goswami advises in the last 5 slokas of Sri Upadeshamrta what the Dham is for and in what manner one should reside there. Since most of the readers have the book, I will not elaborate beyond "
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami
". Reside in Vraja under the guidance of
anuragi jana


If one is not putting themselves or their child under the close guidance of any
anuragi Vaishnava
in order to facilitate their entrance into deep
, then why set up residence in the Dham to begin with? You can come and go on short pilgrimages and carry on with regular family life elsewhere.


Air-conditioned restaurants and fancy resorts that rival the West can be found elsewhere in India. I see no need to construct and maintain such atmospheres smack in the middle of a Dham that was created for serious
. A moderate level of austerity is conducive for bhakti as only persons serious enough about bhakti to withstand some hardships will be willing to take up permanent residence there. For those whom it is "too austere", they will stay for short periods, which is preferable.


A resort type of atmosphere in the Dham attracts all sorts of personality types who come there to do what they cannot in their own neighborhoods - make "friends" with the opposite gender.


The Vrindavan area is still very orthodox and local youths are not allowed "friends" of the opposite gender. For that they go to ISKCON.


Where else in the area will they be approached by young girls and women trying to sell them books? Come on people! Know your environment before you carry on behaving like you do in Western Europe or North America.


Knowing what I know about the state of Uttar Pradesh, there is no way I would allow my child, male or female, to approach a stranger out of the blue and start talking to them about anything - whether it's bhakti or not.

Uttar Pradesh is second only to Bihar in crime statistics.


Apparently Lila devi and her family knew the murderer for several years. May I ask what Western devotees are doing in the Dham making acquaintance with local people who are not "
anuragi jana
"? Shouldn't the only people we know for "several years" in the Dham be
Vaishnavas? I think it's time that we as a society question exactly what we and our children are going to the Dham for and what type of sanga we are seeking once we are there.


Hare Krishna!


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Excerpted from the television comedy show "Seinfeld" --

from the episode titled: "The Betrayal"


Setting: Elaine is at Pinter's parents house)

ELAINE: Hi. Mr. and Mrs. Ranawat?

ZUBIN: Please, call us Usha and Zubin.

ELAINE: Oh. Well, Usha..

ZUBIN: I'm Zubin.

ELAINE: (Shrugging it off) Anyway, your son is marrying my friend, Sue Ellen Mischke..

USHA: You're not going to the wedding, are you?

ELAINE: Well..

USHA: Don't go. India is a dreadful, dreadful place.

ZUBIN: You know, it's the only country that still has the plague? I mean, the plague! Please!

USHA: Here's the registry. Send her a gift, and be glad you did not have to go.

ELAINE: (Soaking it in) Right. Don't go. Send a gift. I think I understand.

ZUBIN: If I had to go to India, I wouldn't go to the bathroom the entire trip.

ELAINE: (Leaving) That's fantastic.

ZUBIN: And I'm not so crazy about Manhattan, either.

(Scene ends)

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Vrindaban Dham is where people who are liberated from material consciousness go so they can engage in intense bhajan. If Gurudev takes you to Braj or gives his blessings for you to visit there then you can enter Vrindaban.


Indeed. These days, the impurity of human activities are in the process of turning Vraja-bhumi into a veritable cesspit, and there seems to be little anyone can do about that. Krishna help us if one of the last oases of a modicum of bhagavata-dharma on earth goes to the dogs the way the rest of the world almost has. It appears that in future, those devotional practitioners who long for some solitude and tranquility in order to tend to their bhajana and scriptural study are going to have to retire to less accessible spots such as the Himalayan holy towns of Badrinath, Devprayag or Rishikesh for that matter.


Radhe Radhe

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