News, 2015

December 2015

A Blessed and Happy New Year to you all!

It is cold in Vraja now which makes that hot, fresh and wholesome meal all the more valuable to our Radha Kunda ladies. With your support, we are slowly and steadily feeding more and more widows. They enjoyed their usual monthly feast on the 23rd of December, and then were treated by special sponsorship to a Christmas Day feast of puri, sabji, hot pakoras, and vegetable pulau! Our rented facility is a cramped and tight place to serve them, but by splitting them into two shifts, we’ve been making it work. We are excited and hopeful about the up and coming kitchen-building project and we will keep you posted on the progress of that.

Cleaning continues, and as always we feel so fortunate to have a service that keeps our hearts, hopes, and dreams firmly planted in the most sacred place in the universe, Sri Radha Kunda.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com.
Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, Padma Gopi Devi dasi, and Urmila Devi Dasi.

 

November 2015

November began with the robust bustle and hustle of Kartik. First, there was Bahulastami, the Appearance Day of Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda. And then Diwali and Govardhan Puja. It was a month of joyous festivities and oodles of extra cleaning!

We feel privileged to play a role in serving the pilgrims who flock here during this time of year and we pray that Srimati Radharani is pleased with our efforts.

The architectural plans are being drawn up for the kitchen, office and guesthouse planned for Padma Charitable Trust’s land. We will be sharing them with you shortly. Looking at a 3-D rendering of the plans so excited and inspired us, we felt as if the buildings were already there. Only time separates us from realizing their construction. The good news is we have a construction manager and a building team ready. Any day now work can begin.

As we watched our 75 widows cram into our tiny rented facility to partake of their monthly feast, we deeply felt the need for this kitchen to materialize soon. Plus, the Sandipani Muni School is on the verge of being built on the adjacent land. And they need a kitchen to feed the hundreds of children who will be educated and cared for there. With your blessings and Srimati Radhika’s mercy, we pray to be instruments in this service of the Dham Vasis and the Dham itself.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com.
Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, Padma Gopi Devi dasi, and Urmila Devi Dasi.

 

October 2015

It is Srimati Radharani’s special month, the month of Kartika, also known as the month of Damodara. During this holy month, when devotees are converging in Radha Kunda from all over the world, we revel in the fact that we have been given the opportunity to do some small service in this most sacred of places day after day, year after year, 365 days a year. Since our service is here, our thoughts are here also. And what a blessing it is to have our thoughts, like busy bees, buzz from one place to another and one service to another in our Swamini Radhika’s holy land.

Our happy news this month is that, finally, after a full year of endeavor, we have an India bank account in the name of Padma Charitable Trust! Now people residing in India can donate straight to PCT.

The next step is to obtain the final architectural drawings for the kitchen, office, and a guest house for volunteers and donors so that fundraising can begin in earnest. Again and again we are recognizing the great urgency of having our own land and kitchen.

We did a lot of painting at various spots around Radha Kunda in preparation for Kartika. The acrylic latex paint for which we waited with great anticipation and applied with high hopes to the walls of Sakhi Kunda unfortunately adheres to the local plaster just as poorly as normal paint. So we’ve switched back to the way everyone else does it …normal paint and painting every so often as needed. Welcome to India.

Meanwhile, the cleaning continues. And prasadam is daily finding its way to those who need it. Thank you, dear friends for being a part of our Radha Kunda seva efforts. We are so grateful.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com.
Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, Padma Gopi Devi dasi, and Urmila Devi Dasi.

 

September 2015

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Jai Sri Shyam! This hallowed month which marked the sacred ashtami birthdays belonging to Srimati Radhika (Radhastami) and Her Shyam (Janmastami) also brought great joy and good fortune to our ladies in Radha Kunda.

We were overwhelmed by your outpouring of support, dear friends and family. Thanks to those who recently joined our efforts (a great, big, hearty WELCOME!) and to those who were already part of our Radha Kunda Seva family and who chose to give even more (we LOVE YOU!), we reached our goal of full sponsorship for the 68 widows we were already feeding! And then, your loving generosity kept flowing! And we have now reached 75 widows sponsored! …Which means we can feed seven more! We were feeling so inspired and optimistic, that we raised our goal to 100 widows! Please visit this link for more information… http://radharani.com/daily-meals-for-widows/

We have split the daily meal serving into a morning group and an evening group. It is difficult to accommodate cooking for all of them in one go in our temporary kitchen building. But we found out who preferred a morning meal time and who wanted an evening meal time and split them accordingly. We celebrated Radhastami (Radha’s Appearance Day – September 21st) by treating them all to a feast of rice, dahl, puri, two varieties of sabji – cauliflower and paneer, and boondi raita. And the day after Janmastami (Krishna’s Appearance Day – September 5th), on Nandotsava, we made and distributed a fancy potato/paneer sabji with the rotis (chapatis) along with jalebi sweets.

Meanwhile, we are feeling pressure to begin construction of our kitchen and office on the land that was donated to us. The kitchen will accommodate a feeding program for all the hungry of the Radha Kunda and Govardhan areas (up to 10,000 people per day!). And, it will also fulfill the prasada needs of the children attending the Sandipani Muni School being built adjacent to it. Sandipani Muni School is a project run by Food For Life Vrindavan to provide food, medical care and education to needy children. And we will be providing the food aspect of that. Please visit this page for more information… http://radharani.com/reveal-the-beauty-of-vraja/

Now that the high quality latex acrylic paint has been applied to the walls of Sakhi Kunda, the garden has been planted and the kunda has been filled! Check out the photos in this album to see Sakhi Kunda coming to life.

Jihva Mandir is getting yet another artwork painting! This time it’s in the rear of the temple and is the work of a new artist who recently joined our team. Check out his beautiful handiwork in the album.

Guru dasi is preparing to leave her body soon. She is peaceful and talkative despite living off of a few teaspoons of Pomegranate juice and water per day. And because of your support, the final months of her life were spent in relative comfort. Thank you! Please say a prayer to Srimati Radharani that Guru dasi finds shelter in Radha’s loving embrace.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com.
Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, Padma Gopi Devi dasi, and Urmila Devi Dasi.

 

August 2015

What a joy it has been to welcome so many of you on board to help feed our Radha Kunda widows! Our 68 ladies are now 80% sponsored! 54 of them! http://radharani.com/daily-meals-for-widows/

The new kitchen facility we rented has been working well for serving their daily meals. And we’ve continued to use the Lalita Kunda temple facility for the once per month feast for the widows. Our ladies are well-fed and happy. Thank you!

The papers for our “Padma Charitable Trust” Bank Account in India have been submitted and are under review, (yes that’s a BIG deal) and the acrylic latex painting work at Sakhi Kunda is complete. (more pictures to come)

Meanwhile, cleaning and garden maintenance are continuing through rain and heat, clouds and shine.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com.
Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, Padma Gopi Devi dasi, and Urmila Devi Dasi.

 

July 2015

What a busy month this was! Purusottama Adika Masa (the very auspicious extra lunar month which comes once every three years) brought unprecedented crowds. Even at midday under the scorching sun, there was no diminishing of the throngs of pilgrims doing parikrama around Govardhana and Radha Kunda.

And then to top off the joyous madness, the month ended with Guru Purnima, Govardhan’s biggest parikrama day of the year. With your support, we were able to distribute thousands of bowls of prasada to hungry pilgrims in the days leading up to Guru Purnima, and especially on Guru Purnima day. On that day, we distributed 100kgs of sweet Bhoondi prasadam which was hugely popular amongst the crowds.

We are happy to report that we finally received a shipment of the high quality acrylic latex paint we had been trying to obtain for months. Painting of the walls at Sakhi Kunda is well underway and we plan to paint other areas as well. We are hopeful that this type of paint will stand the test of time, inclement weather, and salty plaster.

Daily cleaning continues in spite of the daunting amounts of refuse left by the record-breaking crowds. And our 68 widows are still being fed daily. Our deepest, heartfelt gratitude goes to you, our many sponsors for facilitating this seva. After we lost a substantial donor, many have stepped forward to feed our ladies in his stead. Currently, 26 of the 68 widows that we are committed to are now sponsored monthly. And the one time donations you gave carried us through last month. Thank you!
Please go to… http://radharani.com/daily-meals-for-widows/ to help us feed these worthy ladies.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com

Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padma Gopi Devi dasi.

 

June 2015

The most auspicious month of Purusottama arrived in the Dhama on June 16th. And the inflow of pilgrims in spite of the oppressive heat has been relentless. In fact, we are seeing record-breaking crowds this year. Doing our seva this month has meant both braving the heat and navigating the crowds.

Giving in charity to the devotees of the Lord during this hallowed month reaps great multiplying spiritual benefits and powerfully attracts Krishna’s attention and affection. Earlier this month, we began offering a morning meal of sabji and rice to our widow prasadam recipients at a new location in Radha Kunda. And on June 17th, just as Purusottama Masa began, we served our monthly feast to all of our Radha Kunda widows. We are presently serving 68 widows. However, we have just lost 80% of our funding since it was all coming from a single donor who recently lost his job. Your support in this endeavor is desperately needed. We don’t want to deny food to those we have started feeding. Please go to… http://radharani.com/daily-meals-for-widows/ to help us feed these worthy ladies.

The “banking logistics” we mentioned last month, the only challenge preventing us from collecting funds to develop a kitchen on our land are slowly being ironed out and may be resolved sometime in this month. As always, we’ll keep you updated.

Meanwhile, we have a potential supplier of acrylic latex paint which will hopefully resolver the issues we’ve faced with fresh coats of paint peeling and looking grimy within months of application. We are eager to get started on painting at Sakhi Kunda’s garden area and all the other places around Radha Kunda.

As always the cleaning is continuing in spite of the challenges posed by the increased crowds and the heat. We pray for the blessings of all of you, our friends and supporters that we may attract the attention of the Divine Couple through our small attempt at service during this special month of Purusottama.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padma Gopi Devi dasi.

 

May 2015

It’s hot, hot, hot in Govardhan and we have. …Breaking News! Our Govardhan land is officially in the name of Padma Charitable Trust! We are excited to actually get moving on the construction of a kitchen and office there. The plan is to build a kitchen with the capacity to feed 10,000 people a day. Right now, we are working through some banking logistics in order to get this project rolling. We’ll keep you posted!

We are now feeding 67 widows in Radha Kunda daily! Sadly, our Sakhi Kunda prasadam distribution had to be discontinued this month because of some difficulties with the owners of the home we were serving prasadam out of. Having our own kitchen on our own land will resolve these types of issues. Only time is separating us from realizing the building of this kitchen.

More and more, we see prasadam distribution, and devotee care as our primary focus. Cleaning, we view also as a part of devotee care both in terms of employing residents of the Dhama and keeping their places of residence and worship clean. And we expect that expanding the prasadam distribution will facilitate an expansion of our cleaning mission also. We still hope to eventually place “cleaning patrols” around the entire periphery of Govardhan and Radha Kunda …along with feeding every hungry resident and pilgrim there.

The residents of the Dhama are Srimati Radharani’s people, and the Dhama itself is Her pastime place. And it is with Her pleasure in mind that we are attempting to serve the devotees of the Dhama. We realize that this is your hope as well and we are so very grateful that you all have joined us in our endeavors.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padma Gopi Devi dasi.

 

April 2015

Cleaning is continuing steadily in Radha Kunda and Govardhana. And prasadam distribution is increasing steadily particularly in Govardhana. While our prasadam distribution in Radha Kunda has focused entirely on the many widows there, prasadam distribution at Sakhi Kunda in Govardhana has found a diverse group of recipients, from old babas (sadhu men) to mothers and children.

Negotiations are ongoing to fix the leaky pipe at Sakhi Kunda. And we are still navigating the process of getting the land that was donated for the kitchen transferred to our Trust’s name.

The garden in Sakhi Kunda is now waiting for the acquisition of latex style paint for the walls and flower beds, though we are happy to report that when the plants are placed, they will be safe from marauding monkeys thanks to the recent installation of razor wire.

We’ve actually been researching what kind of paint to get for months, paint that won’t simply fall off the walls within two months of being applied. As with so many endeavors, patience is key. And in the meantime, we are continuing, by your mercy, to serve in little ways – providing hot, fresh, nutritious meals daily with feasts occasionally and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padma Gopi Devi dasi.

 

March 2015

Our prasadam distribution has expanded! In addition to the elderly widows in Radha Kunda, we will now be able to take care of feeding 35 more Govardhan residents, both widows and old babas at a location near Sakhi Kunda. As in Radha Kunda, we are serving them a daily meal of sabji and roti. We are grateful to the Bengali Vaishnava family who have come forward to cooperate with our efforts and are cooking the prasada daily.

Some progress has been made with getting permission to fix the pipe which is leaking sewage into Sakhi Kunda. We will keep you updated as more progress is made. We’ve temporarily postponed planting the Sakhi Kunda garden as efforts are being focused on fixing the sewer pipe.

Temperatures are increasing and bringing occasional storms to the Vraja area. Luckily, Govardhan and Radha Kunda were not affected by the violent hail storm that hit Vrindavan.

We felt enlivened by your response to Prananatha Prabhu’s video about the service we are trying to do. If you didn’t see it yet, please follow this link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lnINHuUyJA&t=29

As always, the cleaning and prasadam distribution are continuing daily.

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padma Gopi Devi dasi.

 

February 2015

Happy Gaura Purnima, dear friends! On this most auspicious day of Mahaprabhu’s 529th appearance anniversary, we would like to announce that Prananath Prabhu has shared the amazing video he put together for us!

(Note: You can watch the video in high resolution if you select it by clicking the settings icon)

We are praying to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for His mercy so that we can do some service in the Dhama. He asked the six Goswamis to restore the Dhama and reestablish the sites of Radha and Krishna’s pastime. If we can play some small part in this desire of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, we feel ourselves to be most fortunate.

We are still working to transfer the land that was donated to the name of our trust. We will keep you informed as to the progress of that. (any time now)

Raised beds and benches were built at the Sakhi Kunda Garden area this month and we are really excited to put plants there soon.

We’re trying to get government cooperation to fix the leaking pipe. We’ll keep you informed on that too.

The prasadam distribution to pilgrims and residents of Radha Kunda has expanded. Besides their daily meal of roti and sabji, the widows are now getting two feasts per month. And we’ve added puris to the bi-monthly kitri distribution.

As always, by your mercy, daily cleaning is continuing. Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padmavati Devi dasi.

 

January 2015

Dear Friends, We are pleased to announce the launching of our re-designed and re-formatted website for your browsing pleasure. The new site went up the auspicious appearance of Lord Nityananda (it might have a few bugs but it was such a nice day!). We are praying to Him for His mercy so that we can continue and expand our service at Radha Kunda and Govardhana.

The New Year began joyously with the Badrinatha Baba’s 108 tons of fruit offerings to Radha Kunda. And when the festivities ended, it was back to the cleaning, gardening, renovating and prasad distribution as per usual.

We were thrilled to find a way to whiten and brighten the marble on the walls of Jihva Mandir. Cleaning wouldn’t do it, but polishing with a machine did. And now we plan to coat the walls with a protective sealant to protect them from further handprint and incense/lamp offering stains.

January was cold …as it always is. And then it stormed and rained! The cold proved difficult for many Radha Kunda residents. Many came down with the flu including some of our workers and some of the widows we feed. And the rain proved troublesome for our renovation work at Sakhi Kunda. We are attempting to meet with the Govardhan Nagarpallika (mayor of Govardhan) to see if there is a way to fix the pipe that is leaking dirty water into Sakhi Kunda. So far he is enthusiastic with our work.

We are happy to report that the Sakhi Kunda garden area is ready for planting! YaY!

And, we grateful that, thanks to your support, we were able to treat our widows to a feast this month, not once, but twice!

Please browse our latest photos and join our efforts by visiting www.radharani.com. Your servants, Mayapurcandra dasa, Campakalata Devi dasi, and Padmavati Devi dasi.