Vrindavan, 31st March 2017 (VT): A conference was organized on the eve of Yamuna Chhath, the appearance day of Yamuna Devi. Several eminent scholars and activists participated in the seminar organized at the Bhramar Ghat hall in Jai Singh Ghera.
It was resolved that the devotees consider Yamuna as their Holy Mother. Now she is ailing and in need of care. The participants in the conference agreed to pursue the goals of a clean and uninterrupted flow of the Yamuna. Participants also unanimously demanded that Yamuna water be released from the Hathini Kund barrage in Haryana and the court-ordained flow to be maintained.
The Yamuna is not just a water body for the people of Vraja – Vrindavan, but has always been revered as an ocean of devotion. It has special bonding with the temples of Vrindavan, and the Yamuna water used to be very integral part of the temple ritual. Due to the pollution, this tradition has been interrupted, resulting in devotees feeling as though their faith is under attack.
While addressing the conference, His Holiness Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami ji held agyan (ignorance), alasya (indifference) and pakhanda (hypocrisy) to be the three enemies of Yamuna. Goswami ji said, “Science, politics and economics –everything has failed to restore the ailing Yamuna. Her health can only be restored by serving her with devotion. The entire Yamuna issue should be addressed comprehensivelym including the quality of its water, eco-system, embankments, river basin management etc.”
“Among the queens of Shri Krishna, Yamuna is the only queen who remained with the Lord everywhere in Vrindavan, Mathura and Dwarka,” added Goswami ji.
Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma said, “Yamuna water was used for bathing deities and for cooking in the temple till recent times. The water from Yamuna used to be ceremoniously brought to the temples every day. But the water has become too polluted to allow for this tradition to be maintained.”
Shri Tamal Krishna Das recalled, “Everyday a troupe from Rangji Mandir used to bring Yamuna water ceremoniously. They filled copper pots which were then carried on the head by a temple worker, under the shelter of a large umbrella made of white cloth and red border on it. The procession was accompanied by musicians. But this has now become the story of past.”
Shri Sanjay Ballabh Goutam said, “The government must draft a permanent policy for Yamuna, its eco-system, embankments and the flood plain areas. The beautiful ghats of Yamuna are buried under debris in Vrindavan due to the negligence of the government and the greed of the residents.”
“After one month of excavation, we were able to manifest a magnificent Vihar Ghat,” said Shri Goutam.
Environmental activist Akash Vashishth said, “The course of Yamuna has been deliberately changed, which is an environmental hazard. None of the sewerage treatment plants of the town are functioning. More than eighteen drains are falling in Yamuna directly.”
Chairing the conference, eminent journalist Shri Braj Khandelwal stressed the need of the recognition of Yamuna as heritage entity. He said, “A minimal uninterrupted flow of water round the year should be maintained in Yamuna. The order of the National Green Tribunal to release 10 cumecs liter of water should be implemented.
Several other speakers including Shri Tara Chand Goswami, Ram Narayan Brajwasi, Raghav Bharadwaj, Dr. Rakesh Haripriya etc. addressed the conference. The vote of thanks was given by Jagannath Poddar, the Director of Friends of Vrindavan.
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