Vrindavan, the abode of Lord Sri Krishna and the crest jewel of Braj, has a history of about 5000 years and is spread over3800 square km. The ancient heritage of Braj, centered around Krishna, has been celebrated in art, music, song, literature, poetry, dance and drama. The glories of Vrindavan have been extolled in the sacred texts and revealed scriptures.
The following passage is an extract from the Gautamiya Tantra, which vividly describes the divine abode:
‘Vrindavandham is a place of ever-increasing joy. Flowers and fruits of all seasons grow there, and that transcendental land is full of the sweet sound of various birds. All directions resound with the humming of bumblebees, and it is served with cool breezes and the waters of the Yamuna. Vrindavan is decorated with wish-fulfilling trees wound with creepers and beautiful flowers. Its divine beauty is ornamented with the pollen of red, blue and white lotuses. The ground is made of jewels whose dazzling glory is equal to a myriad of suns rising in the sky at one time. On that ground is a garden of desire trees, which always shower divine love. In that garden is a jewelled temple whose pinnacle is made of rubies. It is decorated with various jewels, so it remains brilliantly effulgent through all seasons of the year. The temple is beautified with bright-colored canopies, glittering with various gems, and endowed with ruby-decorated coverings and jewelled gateways and arches. Its splendour is equal to millions of suns, and it is eternally free from the six waves of material miseries. In that temple there is a great golden throne inlaid with many jewels. In this way one should meditate on the divine realm of the Supreme Lord, Sri VrindavanDham.’
Despite its historical and global appeal, lacunae in Vrindavan’s waste management, state of forests and water bodies have caused health and environmental concerns. Locals complain that rapid and unplannedurbanisation has negatively affected Vrindavan’s heritage and culture.
Vrindavan is well known for its historical monuments, ancient temples and holy shrines. In the present times, Vrindavan is an amalgam of old and new localities.The old town has narrow alleys packed with small shops, eateries, houses and temples. Cows, cars, bikes, pedestrians and cycle rickshaws compete for space in the narrow streets. The continuously expandingurban landscape with supermarkets, high-end restaurants, boarding facilities, guesthouses and large apartment complexes are forming the new, urban side.
Due to the massive influx of people, this small town is facing the stress of urbanisation. Public infrastructure is stretched to its limits and is unable to cope with the rapid expansion thus leading to clogged drains, unclean streets, heavy traffic and pollution. This poses a grave risk to the health of visitors and residents. The present situation threatens tocause irreversible damage tothe rich heritage of Sri Vrindavan Dham.
VrindavanChandrodayaMandir is committed to play a vital role in improving the situation. Our intent is to contribute to the Swachh Vrindavan Abhiyan and preserve the beauty and sanctity of the holy land of Vrindavan.
Our team visits different locations in Vrindavanto implement the cleanliness drive.They thoroughly clear the garbageand dust accumulated in an area.Abandoned spaces, narrow lanes, and pavements are cleanedalong with the main streets. Drains and waste discharge channels are also cleaned to prevent clogging and overflow. Special focus is given to ensure that holy sites where Lord Krishna performed His pastimes are maintained neatly. These activities will preserve the sanctity of the lilasthalis and help devotees to appreciate the spiritual significance of Vrindavan properly.
Theseinitiatives are not without its challenges. The hardworking members of Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir’s swachhta abhiyan deal with constantly teeming crowds, rush hour traffic, extreme weather conditions, civic apathy, and manysuch on-ground problems. Despite these difficulties, we have been able to make steady progress and contribute to the cleanliness drive.
We undertake several programmes to ensure the sustainability of our abhiyan. We conduct a systematic analysis of the prevalent problems and chart out specific actions to mitigate them. For instance, we providedustbins in places where it is necessary. Signboards and banners are displayed in strategic locations to educate people about the importance of cleanliness. We also involve local residents, municipal administration, influencers, and experts in finding solutions to long-standing issues. We regularly engage volunteers from colleges, universities, corporates and civil society organisations in our endeavours.
As a result, we can see a marked improvement in the prevailing conditions. Local residents are beginning to take a keen interest and participate with us in the cleaning activities. The tourists also lend a helping hand.Municipality officials and government authorities are appreciating us and assuring their support in continuing our services. Head pontiffs of monasteries and religious leaders areencouraging us to expand our reach to other areas. These developments have motivated our members to increase their commitment and work with even more vigour.
SwachhVrindavanAbhiyan is crucial to keep pace with development and protect the spiritual essence of BrajBhoomi. This programme is in line with our objectiveto place Lord Krishna on the world mindscape and His beloved Vrindavan on the world map.
The missionaries of VrindavanChandrodayaMandir have been involved in ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’campaign initiated by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reinforce the concept of cleanliness among students and generate greater public participation. We have also introduced the ‘SwachhVidyarthi, SwachhVidyalaya, SwachhGruha’ initiative through The Akshaya Patra Foundation to inculcate a culture of hygiene systematically. Using these experiences,we seek to implement our cleanliness initiatives through a scientific and sustained approach. SwacchVrindavanAbhiyanwill improve the residents' quality of life and help us realise the tourism potential ofBraj.
VrindavanChandrodayaMandir invites you to join hands to preserve the purity of the sacred land. This service to the holydham, which is non-different from Sri Krishna, is a special opportunity to please the Lord and obtain His blessings.
Join us inthis Swachh Vrindavan Abhiyan and receive the blessings of Sri Krishna!