Ramesh Baba speaks about Braj Culture. Yesterday, as Ramesh Baba’s Radha Rani Parikrama reached Kosikalan, Babaji addressed the 15,000+ pilgrims whose tour of Braj is being facilitated by Maan Mandir. Babaji spoke about the need to preserve Braj culture, not as history, but as a lived culture of bhajans and temple dancing. Babaji said that as youth are increasingly attracted to modern music, Braj culture is suffering. Read more (Hindi)
Greening Vrindavan this Kartik. Friends of Vrindavan (FOV) has made a pledge to plant a tree every day in Kartik. So far, trees have been planted at Imli Tala, Shri Gokulananda Mandir, Gurudwara, etc. Usually during Kartik, individuals take on a niyam seva vrat (promise to do a particular activity daily) during Kartik, but, FOV has taken the pledge as an organization. Their philosophy is: “Environment conservation is very much part of our spirituality. Little steps for re-generating the forests and groves of Vrindavan is our devotional practice”. The Pollution Control Board has also entrusted Friends of Vrindavan with 12 rubbish bins, to be placed around Vrindavan.
Vrindavan promoted in U.P. Tourism Booklet. The latest edition of the U.P. tourist booklet promotes Mathura-Vrindavan as an important place for travelers to visit. State CM, Yogi Adityanath said the booklet is designed to promote Hindu and Buddhist culture. The Chief Minister has gone on record to say that foreign dignitaries are being gifted copies of the Gita and the Ramayana instead of Taj Mahal replicas, which do not truly “reflect Indian culture”. The Taj Mahal has been left out of the booklet, a move which many criticize as being both politically insensitive and damaging to tourism. The development of Vrindavan as a tourist destination is a controversial move, however, in this economics driven world, perhaps only the tourist dollar can provide the infrastructure that the town needs. Read more (English)
GST reduces Diwali sales. Shopkepers in Vrindavan are lamenting that the Diwali rush in the market has not yet begun. Swami Pawan Kumar Goyal, owner of Daodayal Electricals, Anajmandi, said, “since the 28% per cent GST on lighting was imposed, people have stopped buying.” The streets of Vrindavan are usually beautifully lit in the lead up to Diwali, as people compete to decorate their homes with lights. The practice reflects the devotion of the people of Ayodhya, who put lamps outside their homes to welcome Sita-Ram. Read more (Hindi)
Kidnapped teacher rescued. Mathura police have arrested 6 kidnappers who kept an aged teacher in their car, demanding Rs 10 lakh in ransom. Police were alerted about the kidnapping and were able to rescue the victim when they heard shouts coming from a car during checking at Gokul. The victim, Barsana resident Mr Vidhichandra Sharma, is a teacher at a school in Rajasthan. He was visiting his sister in the Braj village Baldev when the incident occurred. Read more (Hindi)
40kg Sweets destroyed. Mathura, yesterday: The Food Security and Drug Administration destroyed 40kg of sweets after samples were taken from sweet shops in the Holi Gate area of Mathura. In a crackdown on impure foods in the lead up to Diwali, teams of investigators have been deployed to check on local vendors. The chance of substitution of dairy products is particularly high during the Diwali season as the high demand for sweets means that milk runs short. The discovery of a mill, which had recommenced production of impure spices after being closed down last year, has also prompted complaints that checking is only carried out during the Diwali season. Read more (Hindi)
Fake Rs 100 notes. A youth holding Rs 12,000 in counterfeit Rs 100 notes has been caught at Kosikalan. Police are currently working to break the syndicate. Read more (Hindi)