I sat in on the meeting, which only ran into a little controversy when Shrivatsa mentioned the difficulty he had in getting a certain pandit to come to San Francisco to participate in a conference. This man insisted that he be able to see the very cow that he would drink the milk from. This was of course impossible to arrange for someone staying in a hotel in the downtown of an American city, and so he refused.
Ms. Mehtab, a joint secretary at the IGNCA, then said, well this is precisely the kind of person we should refuse to have... And let's have a session on whether this is actually good for anyone... and what about the widows of Braj? And how come 90% of them come from Bengal? After all, isn't that where Ram Mohun Ray and the rest began the movements against suttee and for allowing widow remarriage, etc.?
It turns out that one of the people there, Ramakar Pant, did his doctoral research on Braja's widows, which I managed to get a brief look at. It will be published in the very near future. It seemed rather more positive; in his assessment, since most of these widows seem to feel as though they are getting a chance to live a devotional life. In other words, they have faith in bhakti. An interesting discussion might have ensued, but Molly Kaushal and Shrivatsaji were disciplined enough to stick to the agenda. They agreed to have Ashish Nandy come and speak one day on the issues of tradition and modernity where Braj is concerned.
Afterwards, I met with G.C. Tripathi, who is in charge of publications, and the person in charge of the web page. We did not actually get anything settled. We still need official approval.
I was in no mood for sightseeing, even though the IGNCA is right in the middle of New Delhi's India Gate area. I thought I would look at the Iskcon temple, but I went by and saw and left. It reminded a bit too much of the Kanpur railway station. It was just the wrong time of day, I guess. They are making big preparations for Janmastami. I left on the first train Tuesday morning. Arrived exhausted.
Fascinating satellite views of Rishikesh: Wikimap of Rishikesh with Sadhak Gram.