Mayapurcandra Das –
Growing up amongst spiritualists of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, it was natural for Campaka and me to see ourselves someday doing something to serve in Vraja. Inevitably, we moved to Govardhana in 2005 with our daughter eventually settling near the village of Anyor (this is where the Annakut festival took place during Krishna’s time). At first we found ourselves in the role of tour guides taking pilgrims on parikrama around Govardhana Hill. And for a time, we were involved in “Go Seva” (feeding a great many street cows their morning and evening meals).
The “Radha Kunda Seva” project was first conceived of when we undertook a daily vrata (vow) for Purusottama Masa in April of 2010, of going around Govardhana and stopping at Radha Kunda for contemplative prayer. We felt great pain seeing how people come to Govardhana and Radha Kunda to have a spiritually cleansing and enlightening experience, and then dump trash everywhere. The sheer numbers of pilgrims who come from all over India to do parikrama inspire awe, but so does the amount of trash they leave behind, and not in a good way. It seemed like no one cared. It broke our hearts every time we walked outside. And who was taking care of all the widows?
We were sitting at Radha Kunda one morning immersed in prayer and wondering what we could do that would actually make some difference. As we prayed to be instruments of change, the idea came to us that we could find sponsors for different spots. Right then, we saw a local baba working with the people from his ashram attentively cleaning the platform surrounding Radha Kunda. All of the sudden the idea flashed into our minds to ask the baba if he could manage the work of taking care of finding other local residents who would be willing to maintain neglected areas if we found sponsors.
Now we are organizing not only daily cleaning but also restoration and food distribution, employing and feeding local widows and others who would otherwise be street beggars. Check the other sections of this site for how the service is progressing and how you can be a part of it.