Rainy season update from Dwadash Mandir
We are in full rainy season mode and that is tree-planting time, but not much is going on in that respect here as we already live in a forest, even though it is one that is rapidly being closed in on by urban development. (Not the worst kind, though, as we are still far enough from Kolkata to be a bit protected from urbanization's worst ravages.
The problems with the land occupation appear to be coming to an end. There is a new municipal chairman who favors the temple and there is a great deal of support for us in the community. So we have the green light to throw the occupiers out with police backing in a few days.
The first item on the agenda is to finish building the boundary wall.
The encroachers cleared out part of the mango garden on the other side of the pukkur (actually a good thing). Once that area is freed, we will make a parikrama route through the mango orchards and around the rest of the perimeter. It will be very nice.
I am also thinking that we should build a couple of nice mud huts there for people who want to come and do bhajan for a few months at a time in a traditional atmosphere and study Bengali and Bhaktivinoda Thakur's writings, etc.
There is an old ashok tree that feels like it is the center of gravity of the property. It is near the pukkur and surrounded by a chabutara, It used to be intertwined with a malati vine, but that is gone now. I can tell you, when the ashok flowered with the malati, it was an amazing site. It always made me remember Jaiva Dharma, Siddha Krishna Das Baba, Pandit Ramkrishna Baba kind of lifestyle, where bhajananandis would have ishtagoshthi in the late afternoon in the shade of a broad, spreading tree.
I am not eager to have crowds of people here, but some kind of guesthouse will have to be built. As it is, a couple of rooms have been built on the ground floor of the Durga temple building, and another two rooms out by the kitchen. But all that is still within the built up compound and 9/10ths of the property will remain green cover, with flower gardens, orchards, a vegetable garden and the goshala.
Jai Gaur-Gadadhara, Radha-Madhava!