Even the rocks are alive for the pleasure of Govinda the trees are swaying hairs twisted in a dance with the Lord
Birds fly in and out of the window of my adobe hut In Vrindavan animals and humans interact geckos on walls sparrows in the houses monkeys swinging on electrical wires bats flying owls eating peacocks calling buffalo soaking donkeys hauling cows mooing camels snorting elephants trumpeting horses neighing as fathers watch their children play riding on a water buffalo’s back in the Jamuna river
A clay pot made of earth is used and broken merging back into the earth A pair of shoes or winter hat are tailored from start to finish children learning numbers spiritually one God two to love three Dieties Brahma Shiva and Vishnu four Kumaris five Rishis six Goswamis seven Temples eight Gopis nine gates of the body ten directions
Auspicious guides talk to me within everything in order exemplified by all the new baby animals that come out seasonally when it’s their time
Positive portents flags waving full water buckets elephants spewing water saints singing
Ill omens show too empty water pots flags drooping owls screeching barking dogs clouds raining blood the left side of a face twitching people cheating
We are minor players darkness to light eternal prayers all day and night We see the stars and dance in the full moon
Goswamis and ancient sadhus walked these sands and form the backbone of our path pilgrims pray while babas laugh
Let my love in compassion’s ray uncompromising as nature’s play come inside me and stay
Elusive Blue Boy whom I don’t know I can feel your shelter in this protective place
Why then do I run away from your home? What compels me in crowded cities? Seduced by secondary illusions accepted as primary importance life’s cosmetic shadows mix with soot neon rays swallowed by cracks in yellowing walls
Oh green hills I hear your call I remember forest groves where divinity romps and magic pastimes abound
I snuggle in Your milky bosom softly I drink your essence security in every drop of holy water
Cows freely give religiosity flowing from Surabi’s milky drops
Chintamani Your touchstone nectar makes the lame walk and the blind to see Your silk like hair is swaying kusha grass the very straw mats that sages pray on
Lying down on golden sands as nearby Jamuna’s river shores black and white striped birds dive into Your watery mouth Kalindi or jamuna you flow to reunite with Mother Ganges getting together in Pravag’s Kumba mela place
Above demigods are pulled by snowy swans and scented water fountains spray in celestial gardens whilst they shower us with rose petals from above
we taste the tears of joy from the great Rasa dance as Krishna dances with the Gopis with each cow girl individually under the full moon light
Chakora birds eat moon beams during all night chanting kirtans I shared my heart with ex-kings and singing saints
Encircling you my holy Vrindavan on parikrima path in fresh morning’s dew my bare feet touching your white sands makes me weep Your sweetened countenance is reflected in your pearly shores or Madhuban forest glen playing hide and seek
You offer Annapurna’s peaks like a babe I wander and drink from mountainous breasts
In mystic forests desire trees abound kadamba and champa hold the stolen clothes of the Gopis as they bathe in the Jamuna River lazily we play and love in your boughs dream in your branches and wade on your banks
Soma elixir divine appears fruits jump into my mouth everyone is cared for like sticks pilgrims pray lying prone praying for the touch of Govinda of Your red lotus feet on their reverent forms
So you can embrace and know us all even the small grasses jump into place
humbly awaiting your foot’s embrace heaven’s grace from Your pores the struggle gone in your sheltering doors ecstasy abounds in chanting dance oh country village a magic romance
George Harrison fell in Love with Krishna. He said to Gurudas: “I wrote something for Krishna”.
By Nicholas Hellen, Social Affairs Editor
A Hare Krishna devotee was sent from San Francisco to the UK in 1968 with two missions: to set up the movement’s first temple in London – and to meet the Beatles.
It was a seemingly quixotic quest, according to Gurudas, 78, otherwise known as Roger Siegel, who has released pictures from the period that will be published to mark the temple’s 50th anniversary.
With the release of The White Album, the Beatles were at the peak of their fame, and, as Gurudas puts it, “were being submerged by self-proclaimed Messiahs”.
When he and six other devotees attempted to make contact, their gifts, including a wind-up toy apple that played the Hare Krishna mantra, were binned by the band’s gatekeepers.
Their luck changed when the American rock band the Grateful Dead came to meet the Beatles in London and their manager invited one of the devotees, Shyamasundar Das, to accompany them.
However, two members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang were also part of the Californian rockers’ entourage. Gurudas said that as they all waited at the Beatles’ headquarters, the Hell’s Angels threatened to attack all four members of the band they had come to meet.
“Shyamasundar Das is in the corner chanting with his beads. John Lennon looked into the room and, being a smart Liverpudlian street lad, he could feel the vibrations, as we said in the Sixties, and he left. Ringo looked in and saw John had left and Ringo followed John; Paul looked in and also sussed out what was going on and he left. George saw Shyamasundar and made a beeline for him, saying, ‘I’ve been wanting to meet you’. It changed the atmosphere and the Hell’s Angels decided they weren’t going to do it.”
It was the beginning of a curious relationship, which saw Gurudas appearing on Top of the Pops to sing the Hare Krishna mantra, which Harrison produced as a single, and spend six months living in Tittenhurst Park, Lennon’s Georgian mansion in Ascot where he went on to record Imagine.
Harrison, who once resorted to chanting the Hare Krishna mantra in an attempt to distract an intruder who broke into his home and stabbed him in 1999, bought Bhaktivedanta Manor near Watford as a gift for the movement in 1973. Such was the ability of the Beatles to reshape the cultural mainstream that the Hare Krishna mantra single sold 70,000 copies on its first day of release. But there were limits.
Something, the first of Harrison’s compositions to be issued as a Beatles A-side single, is supposed to have been written about Pattie Boyd, his wife at the time.
However, Gurudas said: “George said to me, ‘I’m falling in love with Krishna and I wrote it for him. But if I wrote “Something in the way he moves”, they would misunderstand.’ “
For so long, our team members and supporters have dreamed of a Vedic Care facility in Vrindavan. Finally, we’re able to announce: Our Model Facility Is Here!
Our Caring Vision in Images Below
The Vedic Care Vrindavan will pursue Self Sustainable Practices:
We’ll provide ‘donations based treatments’ while encouraging recurring monthly donations to help those in dire need. So, as we establish ourselves with Love & Trust in Vrindavan, we’ll be offering these further services:
‘Assisted Living Care’ starting with five beds.
Holistic clinic & natural treatments, and healing for the foreign devotees who can afford it, via our donations system.
Free Open Holistic Clinic for locals in need (as we’re able).
‘Preventive Medicine’ education for all; with free and paid Seminars.
Intensive Courses on ‘Vedic Farming’, ’Hospice Care’, ‘End of Live Care’, ’Shradha Ceremony’ and the ‘Healing Arts’ for all devotees interested; free and donation based.
Prasadham distribution once per day.
Our first line of business is to carry out minor renovations and repairs to prepare our new facility. We have the will, the skills and the support. Now, with your involvement and blessings, we’ll soon be able to serve many more in need.
These ‘Start Up’ funds are needed to: * Achieve certain refurbishments and upgrades to the building. * Pay the staff in full (for the first two months) so no last minute volunteering issues occur. * Maintain full building operations, offering ‘Assisted Living Care’ (two months) with five beds for devotees in need.
Please note that this ‘Start Up’ amount is for the preparation of the building and two months minimum cost for the care of five devotees needing ‘Assisted Living’. We will grow from there as we’re able.
Below is a Video of the building today and the detailed budget of what is needed and where.
Note: The monthly minimum required to offer five beds to devotees who cannot afford any care in ‘Assisted Living’ or ‘End of Life Care’ is $ 5,005. Amounts will increase as we offer more beds and services. Rough estimate per additional cause, counting their medical supplies, consultations, paid care takers, registered nurse services and all meals, is INR 60000 (USD $872.07).
We have the will, the skills and the support of many volunteers. Now, with your involvement and blessings, we’ll soon be able to serve many more in need.
ALL DONATIONS ARE ANONYMOUS, UNLESS YOU LET US KNOW OTHERWISE, ALLOWING US TO THANK YOU PUBLICLY?
Consider ticking the ‘make this a monthly donation’ box, as the costs of care for those in need will be on-going, once our facility is open.
To serve with us at our Vedic Care Vrindavan Model Facility, or donate via Bank transfer or check for these much needed renovations and repairs, please Volunteer, Contact Us, or Donate.
As this is the Vedic Care Model Facility, we’ll be encouraging, training, and supporting all kinds devotees who wish to start their own Vedic Care Facility.
This facility is dedicated to the memory of Govindji Mulji prabhu.
Here is a glorification of all the devotees who have embarked on the path of Krishna consciousness.
My heart goes out to all devotees — you who have become tenderhearted by hearing ancient, transcendental sounds, and by accepting Sri Sri Radha Krishna’s benediction and effulgence.
We can be compassionate towards one another because we are on the same journey, we have the same goal — to become Krishna conscious.
Prabhupada has been our example, guide, inspiration, beacon, and forgiving father. He has left us instructions in his books. If Prabhupada can forgive us, we can also forgive each other’s mistakes and meanderings.
Lord Chaitanya welcomes everyone and sees past any bodily designations. I respect any devotee who has tried in even the smallest way to serve Prabhupada, Krishna, or another devotee. He or she is special — like the sparrow who drank drops of the ocean to rescue her lost eggs from the sea, or like the chipmunk who was tossing pebbles into the sea to help Lord Ramachandra build his bridge to Lanka. The effort itself is success.
I offer my well-wishes to anyone who gets up shivering before sunrise, and, still shivering, takes a cold shower. I offer my well-wishes to those who chant at least 25,000 names of the Lord each day, who consider all others prabhu, who are humble in their practices, who live simply and think of higher goals, and who overcome the tendency for judgmental thinking.
I offer my well-wishes to those who renounce material comforts and are more inspired by the sound of karatals, by the sight of pink lotus feet — to those who are struggling to overcome the unending, albeit temporary, attractions of material nature.
I offer my well-wishes to those who are eager to hear the nectar of divine pastimes and to serve humanity as brothers and sisters, for again, we are all on the same journey. Let us walk together.
Srila Prabhupada has attracted a fine, diverse, international group of people, and the network between us still continues. There are so many personal connections, all due to Prabhupada. If he hadn’t come here, we may never have met. He changed each and every life he touched. It is his wish for us to be friendly, to cooperate, and help each other in Krishna consciousness.
Devotees are rare, and we must encourage one another rather than criticize and turn others away from the delicate devotional path.
Prabhupada said someone who finds fault is like “a fly on sores,” while someone who sees good, who sees the soul within, is like “a honeybee (madhukara) going from flower to flower, transforming everything it touches into pure sweetness.”
Allowing someone to grow, as Prabhupada did for me, is better than faultfinding, which creates resentment and rebellion. Since we are a small family, divisive behavior is counterproductive. There are so few Vaishnavas. We must unite, because we have the same goal — love of Krishna.
Gurudas has served the community for over 50 years now. In the summer of 2015 he founded the Vedic Care Charitable Trust ~ An international members and volunteer supported organization, working to facilitate retirement homes and holistic clinics for spiritual seekers in need. The VCC also acts as a support mechanism for like minded souls working on their own care initiatives, possibly in isolation.
Dear ‘Vedic Care’ volunteers, well-wishers and newcomers,
‘The Hidden Persuaders’ by
Vance Packard (1957), is a book that exposes the insidious tactics of
the advertising industry and how they’re used to influence political
decisions and to get people to buy products in a consumer society; how
advertisers use psychological methods to tap into our unconscious
desires in order to “persuade” us to buy the products they’re selling.
“A brisk, authoritative and frightening report on how manufacturers, fundraisers and politicians are attempting to turn the American mind into a kind of catatonic dough that will buy, give or vote at their command” — The New Yorker.
The book reveals how “motivational research,” works, or the psychological technique that advertisers use to probe our minds in order to control our actions as consumers. Through analysis of products, political campaigns and television programs of the 1950s, Packard shows how these insidious manipulation practices, that have come to dominate today’s corporate driven world, began.
In another book, ‘The Waste Makers,’ Mr. Packard exposes planned obsolescence, which is the manufacturing of products to slowly break. In other words, the products are designed to eventually malfunction, so the consumer has to buy more and more.
The changing of styles is also planned. Get the “latest” model of such and such. It may not be better, but people are induced to purchase the latest refrigerator, television or car.
This is an indication of what was predicted in the ‘Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam’ as one of the attributes of Kali Yuga. Misinformation and lying become rampant to fool people into doing what is against their nature.
Politicians and dictators have studied and implemented these tactics of “motivation research” and “planned obsolescence.”
In wars, radio and television stations were taken over and announced falsely that troops have retreated to undermine the enemy. It worked. Life, products and ideas become shoddy and watered down.
The difference between spiritual ideas and practices are that they are eternal in nature and made to last, whilst the temporary nature is “planned obsolescence,” designed to break, and not lasting.
Krishna has given us the positive alternative for counteracting material nescience, and the means to make our own life and practices sublime, and lasting. The ends and the means are the same in spiritual life.
For many, the concept of food combining—the idea that some foods digest well together while others do not—is entirely new, and somewhat foreign. But according to Ayurveda, it is an essential part of understanding how to eat properly, just as discovering one’s constitution and state of imbalance is important for one’s Ayurvedic self-discovery. Careful food combining can dramatically improve the quality of digestion, support the body in receiving a deeper level of nourishment, and positively impact our overall health.
However, most people in the modern world are accustomed to eating a number of foods that do not usually digest well together (like fruit with nuts, or beans with cheese). So why does it matter? The Ayurvedic perspective is that each food has a distinct combination of tastes and energies—and a corresponding effect on both the digestive system and on the body as a whole. Combining foods with radically different energetics can overwhelm the digestive fire (agni) and can cause indigestion, fermentation, gas, bloating, and the creation of toxins.1 This is why proper food combining is so important. Of course, certain combinations disturb the digestive tract more than others—an important consideration if this practice is entirely new to you. Regardless of your particular habits or symptoms, paying attention to how you combine foods can provide a valuable opportunity for insight, healing, and improved health. Remember, food combining is not about imposing black and white rules. It is one among many powerful Ayurvedic tools for improving digestive health and overall wellness.
A Balanced Approach to Food Combining
It is usually best to embrace the idea of food combining slowly and gently, allowing plenty of time to make the necessary adaptations. Some of the recommended adjustments are relatively simple; others can require a major recalibration in our habits, or be met with resistance. Often, simply developing an awareness of the improper food combinations that you eat somewhat regularly is a great place to start. Notice which foods you combine that may be difficult to digest together, and how often you indulge in them. Become aware of how you feel afterward. Do these choices affect your energy level, your digestion, your elimination, the coating on your tongue? Are particular combinations more noticeably influential than others? These are all important pieces of information. They can confirm the importance of proper food combining and can help each of us to identify the food combinations that are the most disruptive to our systems.
When you are feeling motivated and decide that you are ready to start adapting your diet to accommodate more supportive food combinations, consider tackling just one change at a time. Perhaps you’ll start by eating fruits alone, rather than in combination with other foods. Over time, you can gradually progress toward the ideal. While it would certainly be nice to avoid improper food combinations altogether, reducing their frequency can also be incredibly beneficial. If you do find that some specific food combinations are more problematic for you or your loved ones than others, focus your efforts on changing just those in the beginning. The most important first step is to become aware of your needs and your habits; from there, you can evolve an approach to food combining that works for you.
Combinations to Reduce or Avoid
The following list highlights incompatible foods and offers suggestions for more appropriate combinations. It is meant to be a helpful guide, not an exhaustive list. In fact, you may be aware of other combinations that do not work for your body. Honor those instincts. Because this resource is meant to help you determine optimal combinations at a glance, there is some repetition. Combinations listed in all caps are particularly challenging.
Compatible and Incompatible Foods: A List
Yes, some of these are staple combinations in many households. Pizza and a number of other beloved Italian dishes combine nightshades with cheese. And who among us hasn’t enjoyed beans with cheese at some time or another? Then there’s the fruit and yogurt taboo… So much for about 80% of all available store-bought varieties of yogurt; next time you indulge in a fruit-flavored yogurt, pay attention to how your digestion feels afterwards.In addition, there are some specific preparations that are challenging when combined with particular foods.
Supportive Food Combinations in Ayurveda All of these rules can feel overwhelming, even irritatingly complicated. But, the rationale behind proper food combining really does make sense. Ultimately, combining mismatched foods generates ama , a toxic substance that is often at the root of imbalance and disease.2 But, for those of you who would like to understand a little more about HOW and WHY these food combinations tax our bodies, here are a few specific examples:
Bananas and Milk
Though commonly eaten together, bananas and milk are challenging to digest together because their qualities are so different. Bananas are heating while milk is cooling. That alone is problematic. Further, bananas become sour as they break down. So now our digestive fire has to process a sour substance and milk at the same time. Ever added a squeeze of lemon to milk? Or maybe you’ve poured a little milk into a tangy, fruity tea… only to watch it curdle instantly? What happens to these mismatched foods in the digestive tract is not much different. When bananas and milk are eaten together, their opposing qualities tend to smother the digestive fire and can disrupt the balance of intestinal flora, which results in the creation of toxins. This combination also frequently causes congestion, colds, coughs, allergies, hives, and rashes.2 A similar situation arises when we combine any sour fruit with milk.3
Eating Fruits Alone
The reason fruits are best enjoyed on their own is that fruit is usually somewhat acidic, fairly simple to digest, and often digests quite quickly. When fruits are eaten with other foods, there is usually a significant discrepancy between the amount of time required to properly digest the fruit versus the more complex food. Inhibited by the more complex food, the fruit tends to move through the digestive tract too slowly and can cause fermentation, gas, and bloating. In addition, the combination typically introduces a number of conflicting qualities into the digestive tract all at once, which has the potential to overwhelm or stifle the digestive fire.
Nightshades and Cheese
This combination is simply too taxing for the digestive fire. A nightshade is a common name for a member of the plant family Solanaceae, which includes potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cayenne peppers, paprika, tobacco, henbane, belladonna, datura, and over 2,500 other plants. Nightshades contain alkaloids, primarily as a means of defense against being damaged by insects. The alkaloids can be anywhere from mildly to fatally toxic to humans. As a result, diverse cultures around the world have long held an intriguing relationship with the nightshade family. Some have been used to make poisons, some contain incredibly addictive compounds such as nicotine, some are mind altering, and others create an incredible sensation of heat in the mouth.4 The bottom line is that nightshades contain a complex array of compounds that, once ingested, lead to a potentially dramatic cascade of chemical reactions in the body. Ayurvedically speaking, all nightshades are believed to be somewhat difficult to digest and to have the capacity to disturb the doshas. When we mix these inherently challenging nightshades with cheese—which is heavy, oily, and also difficult to digest—we can quickly overtax the digestive fire.
Beans and Cheese
Beans and cheese are similar in that they both tend to be heavy and are often difficult to digest. In order to break down properly, they both require a good deal of digestive strength. But, the similarities end there. Beans tend to taste mostly astringent and sweet, can be either heating or cooling (depending on the type of bean), and usually have a pungent post-digestive effect. Cheese, on the other hand, tastes predominantly sour, is almost always heating, and usually has a sour post-digestive effect. The post-digestive effect of different foods occurs once that food has moved into the colon; it affects the urine, feces, sweat and tissues—sometimes even at the cellular level. Two foods with distinct post-digestive effects are typically quite different from one another. This is the case with beans and cheese; when they are eaten together, they tend to overwhelm and confuse the digestive fire. Meanwhile, their combined heaviness makes them even more difficult to process, often resulting in poor digestion and the accumulation of ama.
Ease Into It
Embracing the wisdom of food combining slowly helps us to cultivate a refined awareness around how our dietary choices affect us. This heightened sensitivity can be an invaluable asset, regardless of how quickly we are able to replace improper food combinations with more supportive ones. Be gentle with yourself, progressing at a pace that works for you. You might find it helpful, on occasion, to take a moment to reflect on how your digestion and your overall sense of wellness have changed over time. Proper food combining tends to awaken the body’s innate intelligence, so for most, embracing good food combining habits gets easier with time and practice.
Much of the information contained in this article came from Dr. Vasant and Usha Lad’s cookbook: Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing. Our deepest gratitude to them both for sharing an enlightened understanding of how to eat Ayurvedically.
RECOMMENDED An Ayurvedic Approach to Losing Weight
MORE FOR YOU The Importance of Healthy Digestion The concept of agni, the Sanskrit word for “fire,” is rather essential to the Ayurvedic tradition. Ayurveda views agni as the very source of life. It is said that a man is as old as his agni and that when agni is extinguished, we die. Perhaps even more significantly, Ayurveda teaches us that impaired agni is at the root of every imbalance and disease. So the importance of agni in Ayurveda simply cannot be understated.
Kirtan & Healing Retreat with Gurudas August 1 – 4, 2019 near Madrid, Spain
DON’T MISS …
Four days and three nights at a historical finca near Brihuega, in Central Spain with Gurudas, one of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s earliest disciples.
Gurudas will be sharing a wealth of experience, past-times and his personal seminar, ‘We Are The Healers’.
The location is a beautiful Spanish farm with classic architecture about 100 kilometers east of Madrid, Spain’s capital city.
There’s a small farm community with flower and vegetable gardens, a beautiful goshala – place to care for cows – right across the road from the farm’s central focus, a beautiful temple.
There are approximately twelve cows and two bulls that are pampered, so milk is abundant. The farm is about 300 hectares in size with many hills, so wonderful nature walks are also available.
The Retreat offers: Vegetarian and Vegan Organic Meals, Daily Nature Hikes through Beautiful Country, Bhakti Yoga Classes, Srila Prabhupada Katha, ‘We’re the Healers’, Guided Meditation and Kirtan (Spiritual Music Sessions).
HOSTING AND GIVING SEMINARS
Gurudas, the 7th initiated disciple of HDG Srila Prabhupada. See him in the ‘New York Times’ here. He’s also the ‘Vedic Care’ Founder, an Author, Photographer and Counselor. Check out the Vedic Care’s ‘Back to Godhead’ article here.
The program is being assisted by Aradhana Devi Dasi ~ Bhakti Yogini, Film Actor & Producer and Co-Founder of The Vedic Care Charitable Trust.
ROOMS ~ SEMINARS ~ PRICES
Packages include: accommodation, breakfast, lunch and a light dinner, kirtans, Guruda’s seminars and Srila Prabhupada katha talks.
Not included: Flights, Professional personal consultations with Gurudas (minimum donation of €20), pickup/drop-off at the Madrid International Airport with our transport (upon request).
For seminars only and special packages Contact Us.
A disciple of Srila Prabhupada is in need in Alachua ~ Florida
Jambuvati Devi Dasi (Nadia Miles) was initiated in 1967. She lives in Alachua, Florida. She was renting this apartment cottage dwelling out back of her place to another Srila Prabhupada disciple who was helping her fix it up the rest of the way… and living there also at the same time so she could get it to the point where insurance would approve to cover it.
She was just getting it to that point when he went on a japa walk and came back to see the place he was renting from her engulfed in flames. Complete loss. Burned to the ground and no insurance. There was some kind of problem with the electric. Jambuvati has a tiny fixed income and this unit was her income much needed to pay the bills monthly. Devastating loss for her.
We know her personally in Alachua for a long time and she has a humble dwelling and a real need right now to rebuild her life and get back on her feet so she can maintain her self once again. It will probably take more than $15,000 to rebuild.
In her words:
“My dear friends; I had a beautiful cottage on my property that was burned to the ground due to an electrical situation. My place was started 18 years ago and finally finished ready for inspection… and then suddenly flames coming out of the windows and doors! Firefighters could not save any of it not even the structure! It was originally built for my kids when they need a place. It was finally near inspection. It was a source of income. I know I cannot build another with donations, but I am hoping to be able to build an addition of a bedroom and kitchen into my existing mobile home. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and helpful for any amount. I thank you for your love and support.”
Please give to Jambuvati so she can regain her life as far as this goes. Just click on the donation button below. Thank you!
The Vedic Care is assisting the fundraising. Anyone can donate. In the USA, PayPal’s transaction fees are smaller then other funding platforms, primarily because we’re a 501(c)3 Charity. Also, International donations arrive immediately, and at low cost. Thank you.
I wonder whether the import of our VCC~Vrindavan project is being understood by the Vaisnava community we serve. I really want to see this amazing new facility rise up and function in its full glory and serve all the world’s Vaisnavas.
Every Vaisnava in the world will want to leave their body in the Holy Dham, surrounded by devotees chanting the holy names Hare Krishna and Rama. Who wouldn’t want to be cared for by loving Vaisnavas as their/our time to leave this world approaches? In the last year I had the honour to serve two Vaisnavis, to help them live and to help them to die. I cared for them both for several months and when they passed. I must say it was heart breaking because caring means your heart is in your work, but very beautiful and very sobering. Devotees and loved ones were at their bedsides singing as they passed. Tulsi leaves were put in their mouths and on their eyes, their bodies were annointed with sandalwood paste and tilak put on their foreheads. The most amazing thing that blew my mind was the look on both their faces once they had left the body.
I will never forget it and I never want to. They were lit up in a state of unexpected ecstasy. Wherever they went was beyond their wildest expectations! I was so amazed! I couldn’t check the tears as they ran down my face, I was so happy for them and so glad to have assisted them in their onward journey. After the paperwork was sorted we had the final ceremony with the funeral pyre on the bank of Sri Jamuna. We lifted their bodies into their respective pyres, and as is the custom, poured ghee over them and chanted the appropriate mantras, again tilak and chandan were applied. It rained ever so slightly then the sun shone. Just as I lit the pyre the wind rose up… everything was auspicious! I chanted several Narasimha Kavacas loudly to invoke even more auspiciousness and we sang beautiful bhajans for several hours while their bodies turned to ashes.
In the evening when all was done we scattered their ashes into the Jamuna. The first wonderful vaishnava lady I assisted in this way was Akuti devi about one year ago. I was so impressed by her, even on the day she departed she was preaching like a lioness from her bedside. Amazing…
The second, more recent was Kunja Kishori dd. She was instructing her friend Ananda Duhlal how to better serve her beloved Sri Krishna, she was in an altered state of internal consciousness, then she said ” something is happening, I don’t understand.” Then she left. She was already with Krishna, he just took hold of her hand. My love goes with her all the way back to Godhead and I have no doubt that’s where she went! Both these Vaisnavas had cancer, both were mother’s… both are now most certainly with Krishna.
The VCC, Vedic Care Charity ~ Holistic Clinic and Assisted Living here in Vrindavan wants to offer this same care and attention to the Vaisnavas in the world, so please dear Vaisnava family, get involved. I remember my older brother saying to me, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts!” I couldn’t agree more. I am / we are therefore appealing to all those Vaisnavas who can afford to, to donate and participate to get this facility up and running and thus ensure it stays afloat from here on in!
Always looking forward to serving you in whatever capacity, your humble servant and ever wellwisher, Pranaji. Pranavallabha das.
May Radha and Krishna bless you for your kind service.
Please visit our VCC~Vrindavan webpage here and participate. You can share all from our VCC~Vrindavan Pledge Video here. We’ve a presentation in more detail (upon request on our website) regarding what is needed to get the facility going.
Or just share this article to spread the word. Thank you!
The Vedic Care Charitable Trust (aka ‘Vedic Care Charity’ or the ‘VCC’) was established to offer care to those in need. One may wonder how useful and effective such a small organization can be.
The story of Anasuya Nelson illustrates the importance of the Vedic Care Charitable Trustin the lives of those in need. It tells the story of three people thrown into an impossible and desperate situation—one that could have ended tragically. Yet, thanks to the caring intervention of supporters of the VCC, the desperation was transformed through compassion. By caring about each individual, and treating each situation in its own unique manner, the VCC can help in ways that other organizations cannot—one soul at a time.
To illustrate this point, consider the case of a young woman, Anasuya Nelson, who recently traveled to India from the UK, to visit the holy sites. As she suffers from ‘level 2 mental disturbances’, she also wanted to seek out some holistic treatments for her difficulties in India. While there, she was to be in the caring and competent company of her maternal aunt, Oli Krishna devi dasi.
Sadly, Anasuya’s mental state deteriorated rapidly upon her arrival in Calcutta as she suffered a catastrophic relapse. Her aunt, Oli Krishna, her elder brother and her other family members, quickly found themselves completely out of their depth in knowing what to do, as she retreated further and further into difficulties.
Eventually, the family had to have Anasuya sedated, and driven by ambulance to a mental health care facility in Calcutta. Unfortunately, the mental health facility was woefully inadequate. It lacked many basics, such as having only one bathroom for fifty women. During this time, Anasuya became more agitated, and at one point, had to be tied down to stop her from harming herself.
Concerned family now supported by Rama Nrsimha das (VCC Trustee and UKOut-Reach) back in London, decided that the trio would need help to get out of this difficult situation.
After a harrowing week in this place, Anasuya began to calm down and the family decided to have her flown home to the UK on Jet Airways. She was discharged from the hospital, and planned to fly home with her brother, Sundar Gopal and his friend, Raman. However, before this flight could happen, Jet Airways collapsed and suspended all international flights.
The closure of the airline left Anasuya, in a mentally impaired state, along with her brother and their friend stranded in a small, sweltering airport hotel. Without a flight home, and with dwindling finances, these three were left to deal with the situation alone.
Anasuya, who was already mentally overwhelmed, began to spiral back into a disturbed condition, leaving her traveling companions bewildered and perplexed at what to do next to extricate themselves from this seemingly unending series of misfortunes. They tried to board another flight, hurriedly offered to them by Qatar Airlines, but when the booking staff saw Anasuya’s condition, they refused to allow the trio to board.
In desperation, the two boys and Anasuya visited a more highly reputed mental health care facility, called Antara, run by a group called The Missionaries of Charity. They wanted to have Anasuya admitted for therapy; however, she was not admitted. Instead, she was given some medicine to stabilize her mind.
Rama finally called Pranaji, a member of the VCC Out-Reach Team and an old family friend, who was in Vrindavan. Upon hearing of their terrible situation, he immediately traveled to Calcutta to offer assistance.
Pranaji found them still living in the small hotel room in Calcutta, almost out of money, and still not closer to a solution. This is where the VCC organizational skills helped further. With the support and networking skills of Pranaji and Rama Nrsimha das, a donation drive was set up and shared. In less than a week, the needed funds were raised to help this small group of devotees.
Meanwhile, Anasuya was evaluated by competent doctors, and the trio – accompanied by Pranaji – traveled back to spend time in the sacred land of Sri Gaura Mandala Bhumi Dham, Mayapur, on the banks of the holy Ganges. While there, they were looked after by Pranaji, and supported by Nrsingha-tirtha Prabhu and the local care team. From there, they went to Calcutta to fly to London, landing at Heathrow on May 8th, 2019. Social services and family awaited her to find a more suitable long term care solution. A member of the VCC out-reach will keep an eye on how things develop regarding her care.
A happy ending has emerged from this tragic affair thanks to the work of the VCC and many kind souls who came forward. In response, the following comments were made by a couple of the people involved.
Rama Nrsimha das wrote: “A big shout out and thank you to Aradhana dd, Matthew and Caitania Pryia dd (Head of Medical) of the Vedic Care Charitable Trust, for bringing their skills in devotee care and fundraising to the mix and for all their excellent advice, support and suggestions during the on-going rescue mission. Once again thanks to everyone involved and especially to Prana Ji, without whom, we’d still be in very uncomfortable territory.”
Just a few days ago, Pranaji wrote: “I don’t know the donors…but I am deeply grateful to all who participated in this venture. It is quite amazing how we were in a Hotel room in Calcutta with 20 rupees left, but then, because of beautiful people with big generous hearts, we were able to come to Sri Dham Mayapur, and from there arrange flights home to the UK, and even arrange social services help and accommodation for Anasuya when she arrives in London. I have watched this little miracle unfold.”
Due to the intervention of the Vedic Care Charitable Trust, and all the kind souls who assisted personally and financially, a disastrous situation for a group of devotees transformed into an exercise in compassion. Such is the power of Krishna’s love when channeled through those who truly care.