Vrindavan, 2014.10.09 (VT): The Shankaracharya of Puri Goverdhan Peeth, Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati, came out openly against the merger of Vrindavan in Mathura on Thursday. He opined that Vrindavan’s identity has always been different from that of Mathura. He cited many examples from Shrimad Bhāgavatam and other religious texts that glorify Vrindavan as the unique Dham that cannot be merged with any other city.
“Religious texts like Vṛndāvana-mahimāmṛta, Gopāla-campū, Ānanda-vṛndāvana-campū, and others describe the actual svarūpa of Vrindavan,” he said. “The efforts should be directed to make Vrindavan as it is described in these holy books. If the dhāma can be preserved then the dhāmī, Krishna, will be attracted to it,” exhorted Swamiji.
His Holiness Shankaracharya was giving a discourse on Dham conservation, which was organized by the Braj Vrindavan Heritage Alliance at the Satyanarayan Mandir. Swami ji was addressing the Brajwasis who had gathered in large numbers to have his darshan. A good number of Bhāgavata acharyas were also present there.
He said that the preachers have been preaching about the significance of Vrindavan around the world. “Now everyone wants to stay in Vrindavan, which is a good achievement. Everyone has the right to stay in the Divine Shelter. But those who come are not just the devotees. Many want to make a business out of Vrindavan by buying and selling land and covering it with concrete,” he said.
“You have lost the Yamuna. You have lost the groves. You have lost the peacocks. Non-vegetarian food is being sold here. The cows are not safe here. And the Vraja raj is lost. Only the name of Vrindavan is left. You need to stand against the injustice of the name of Vrindavan being erased from this Divine Abode,” said the Shankaracharya of the Goverdhan Peeth.
He seemed to be in pain when he said that the map of Vrindavan has been changed in the name of development. “Brajwasis should not swayed away by the glitter of increased wealth. They should feel proud that they live in the land of mādhurya. The svarūpa of Vrindavan is being diminished in a deliberate way, just as the holy Ganga and Yamuna were killed for business interests, for economic development. The people of Braj should be aware of this fact.
“The meaning of development should be well defined only in terms of Vraja culture. We have no problem with sattvik development. Most of the eco-spiritual attraction of Vrindavan has been lost. Only the name of this city remained Vrindavan. Now if the movement to merge Vrindavan into the Mathura corporation is not opposed vehemently, then even the name will be lost.”
He said that the onus was on the Brajwasis: do they want the Holy Dham or the glamour of worldly riches. He said that the Brajwasis should shun their ego and stand for the cause of Dham preservation. He insisted that everyone unite to make an effort to get the Yamuna cleaned and water released from Hathini Kund. “It is the duty of every Hindu to work for cow protection, as the cows are the temple itself,” he added.
Mukesh Gautam, Chairman of the Vrindavan Municipal Council, Radha Krishna Pathak, Swami Sushilananda, Dr. Om ji, Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma, Tota Ram Upadhyay, Madhumangal Shukla, Bihari Lal Shashtri, Pradyumna Pratap Singh, Radheshyam Choudhry, Jagannath Poddar, Dr. Laxmi Gautam, Damodar Shashtri, Shyam Sundar Parashar, Shri Vijay Gautam, Manoj Mohan Shashtri, Gosevak Alok ji and many important preachers and brajwasis were present in the discourse.