Diary of a New Mayapura Vasi
Posted January 22, 2004
Hare Krsna. PAMHO. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I have been reading so many nice articles coming from diaries of travelling preachers, padayatris, Prabhupada men and so following in their footsteps I would like to the same. The reason for this diary is because I feel that here in New Mayapura we are completely left on our own and that, in my opinion as well as that of other devotees here and in other parts of France, the local GBC is not taking full responsability for what is happening. This is diary is not to point a finger at anyone in particular. Its just that I sometimes wonder if the devotees who are running Iskcon actually know what is going on here. So many times things have happened that made me wonder, "What would the GBC say if they knew that this happened, what would devotees in general think if they knew about this thing" etc.
Now New Mayapura, and France in general is a rather special place as most GBC members who have been in charge of France at some time or other would tell you. Special in that the French mentality is a bit different from hte rest of the world and that us french excel in revolution and refusal of authority. New Mayapura is also different to most Iskcon temples in that we find all kind of devotees here; those who are initiated in Iskcon, those who are initiated in some Gaudiya Math, those who follow babajis, those who have done all three insitutions,those who don't follow anyone in particular and those who are like bees and fly from one flower to another. I think the only thing misssing is a local ritvik (we do have visiting ones). On the temple council for example we find one Narayana Maharaja disciple, one who is a freelance devotee, one only-Iskcon devotee, and the rest are more or less open and symphatetic to other gaudiya vaisnava groups. I find that most of the temple devotees are not so much bothered by these different institutions nor do they get into all the political aspect of things as it tends to happen in some places.
Recently we had a series of different things happen which made me think of starting this diary and actually getting me down to doing it. For example, and again this is not to point the finger at anyone but to show how the lack of proper leadership ( and by this I don't mean fanatical and sectarian attitudes) brings up so many strange ways of doing things. So for example :
- there is constantly a lack of pujaris, so to show that they had enough of this the pujaris undressing Sri Radha Govinda Madhava and Sri Krsna Balarama didn't undress Gaura Nitai
- the pujari doing the lunch offering is late on a daily basis of at least 15 minutes, sometimes forgetting to put Tualsi leafs or hurrying up the offering to catch up on lost time
- the pujaris asked if they could use money from the sale of maha to go and see the newest Lord of the Rings movie (finally one devotee payed for them)
- the morning programs are not very well attended
- prasadam time is basically everyone comes when they want to and serves themselves
- the temple room has not been cleaned for 3 days
- often prasadam lies around in a dirty prasadam room
- we don't often hear Srila Prabhupada bhajans or even traditional bhajans in the castle or on temple grounds
- we often hear western music being played even in the kitchen while cooking for Krsna
What all this shows me is that there is a total lack of spiritual shakti for all these devotees who are mostly rather new to the movement. So I'm hoping that this diary will mirror some of this and get something or somebody moving to our aid.
Devotees here live in pretty austere conditions and without proper nectar I wonder how long we will hold out.
a New Mayapura Vasi