Friday, January 22, 2010

Court orders temporary injunction against building bridge

This news that the Allahabad High Court has ordered a temporary injunction against the construction of the bridge over the Yamuna is most welcome.

We can rejoice and thank the devotees from around the world. Their massive sigh of despair has no doubt influenced the way that the karmic wheel is turning.

More and more people have become conscious of the issue and have been deeply affected emotionally at the thought of the wanton desecration and destruction of our beloved Vrindavan Dham.

But we are far from winning this war. It is only lull, a break, a little bit of time to mobilize our forces for the even greater obstacles that need to be overcome.

This war will not be won by mind vibrations only, nor even by Harinam alone. It will require convincing people on a massive scale in India and around the world.

When we started in Krishna consciousness so many years ago, we thought that the whole world would turn to Krishna in a very short time. We were so enthusiastic and convinced. And yet, it did not take very long for us to see how strong Maya is and how she can undermine our efforts in so many ways.

The biggest weapon Maya has is to weaken our faith and make us passive. Maya will say, "God is in control. He has no need of your seva. He has already determined the results. You only need to be a detached and passive observer."

I say that this is Mayavada philosophy. Devotees take pleasure in serving and enjoy the apparent challenge that comes when they have to dig deeper into themselves and their practice to find the strength and intelligence to serve in the ways that Krishna asks them to serve.

Now this is really a very amazing moment in the history of the Krishna Consciousness Movement.

This issue cuts across all sampradayika lines. Whether you belong to Iskcon, the Gaudiya Math, another Vaishnava parampara, or even to any Hindu sampradaya... it goes beyond even those who have purely religious interests and extends to all who are into the protection of the environment and that of human cultural and historical heritage.

As such, it can and should take us out of our tiny parochial universes and make us see how we share common values with so many others.

It can and should remind us that we need to put aside our petty egoisms about being the best or purest or most representative of Krishna or Mahaprabhu, or God Himself, and work together to achieve a goal that is both concrete and realizable.

I will say that again: This is a goal that is concrete and realizable.

Making everyone into Mahaprabhu's bhakta may or may not be. Making everyone recognize Srila Prabhupada as the Yuga Acharya may or may not be. All of our biggest goals have a potential date of realization so far in the future that they are, in a sense, neither concrete nor realizable.

But this is a goal that is both concrete and realizable.

Not only that, but it can be seen as a stepping stone to our higher and more longterm goals, for all of us.

If Vrindavan is preserved as a sacred place, will that not inspire people from India and around the world to see it a source of inspiration, and to chant the Holy Names and recognize the saints who lived and worshiped here as preceptors of a truly beautiful and valuable mode of religious thought and practice?

And if the Yamuna is preserved as a sacred river, will that not function as an important stepping stone to a return to the consciousness of the sacred nature of the world as the manifestation of God's energies? Is a pure and clean Yamuna that can be bathed not an essential brick in the reconstruction of the Dham as a sacred land?

And if we accomplish these things, will not Iskcon, the Gaudiya Math, all the Gaudiya vamshas and parivars, all the Vaishnava sampradayas, all Hindu sampradayas, all religions and environmental groups, indeed all human beings, not benefit from the achievement?

John Donne said that no man is an island. Neither is any sampradaya. This is a worthy goal for all of us and we must work together to do whatever is necessary to achieve it.

This is a goal for which the tools that we have already become trained are so eminently useful, whether it is writing, speaking, convincing the public, doing the footwork, going from door to door, creating enthusiasm, etc.

So please, keep on using the tools at your disposition to network, to publicize the issue, to push forward the letter writing and petition work.

We will win this war only on the field of public opinion and that is where we must descend and do battle. We must inundate all the offices of responsible parties, of influential people, with letters that let them know the way we feel. Give concrete ideas and proposals, but never forget the essential:

Vrindavan is OUR sacred place and we will not allow shortsighted business or commercial interests to destroy it.

Jai Radhe! Jai Krishna!! Jai Vrindavan !


Duffy said...

This injunction against the bridge was actually co ordinated by Jagannath Poddar of Friends of Vrindavan, a local 11 year old NGO active in Vrindavan, without affiliation to any sampradaya or spiritual organisation.

Jagat said...