Purifying the Holy Places That Purify Us
Posted January 26, 2007
I read the article "Cleaning Vrindavan" by Karuna Purna dasi, and I was very moved by her concern for the sacred land of Vrindavan. It struck me also, the contrast she pointed out between the degradation that is going on there side by side with the peaceful lives of devotees "chanting japa and chatting in the manicured MVT gardens." It is true; all too often we get caught up in the peacefulness that devotional life affords us, not seeing the immense responsibility that we have as citizens of the world to combat the degradation and negativity that goes on around us.
One may say, "How is it possible? It is the Age of Kali. These things are meant to happen." That is true, but did that stop Maharaja Pariksit from taking up his sword to threaten Kali with his very life? Did it stop Srila Prabhupada from spending his life's blood on travelling the world, writing books, taking disciples, opening up temples, and managing a worldwide society, all in an effort to combat Kali?
It is the Age of Kali, and how much can we do? We are so few, and so small. The devotees of Kali are so many. The four regulative principles are broken everywhere. They are the way of life for the people of this age. How can we expect to combat them? How can we expect to change them? How can we? Yet somehow, we must, and how?
Karuna Purna's article is very much to the point on this. One very significant way to combat Kali is to take a strong interest in making the holy dhama a sacred and respected area. It is very important. Devotees from all over the world visit the dhamas in order to gain the strength needed to continue the fight against Kali in their respective areas. It was Srila Prabhupada's plan that the dhamas would give strength to the community of devotees worldwide.
If the dhamas are under the attack of Kali, then that is an attack by Kali at the very lifeblood of our movement. Well, Kali is no fool. He knows where to attack. It is a very heavy and pointed attack on our devotional community. It is not something to take lightly. It is an attack on the very place from where we as a community derive our strength. It is an attack by the master of sin on our holy land. It is something we as a devotional community should not silently ignore.
The first step in any change is awareness. What Karuna Purna dasi has done in raising awareness of the problems in Vrindavan is very much to the point. If these things are just "swept under the rug" and not brought to light, then the problem simply continues. Raising the issues brings them to light -- a light from which action can spring forth.
Thank you, Karuna Purna prabhu, for your nice article. I hope that many devotees will join in the effort to make the holy dhamas sacred and free of sin and degradation.
Thank you, Karuna Purna prabhu, may Krishna bless you, and may He bless
us all with the intelligence and the determination to do whatever we
can to preserve and protect the holy dhamas, that these places may
become places of enlightened, advanced behavior and thinking -- not of
sin and degradation.