philosophy behind the project
According to guru, sadhu, and sastra, the
natural conclusion of a Vaisnava life is one of renunciation-the
men take sannyasa,
the women become widows. In a lecture Prabhupada gave in Vrindavan
on October 5, 1976, he says, "According to Vedic culture,
if one woman has got son, she is not considered to be widow.
Widow means one who hasn't got husband or husband is dead." This
seems to indicate that elderly unmarried women also fall into
the widow category. Whichever way we look at it, the number
of ISKCON widows will increase as time goes on. This increase
is wanted, it's glorious, and it's a display of healthy dharma.
We may tend to think of widows as useless persons
who simply eat and sleep at the cost of others. However, our
are not simply eaters and
sleepers. Rather, after years of sincere chanting, studying, and serving, they
are an untapped mine of devotional assets. They are the personifications of
Krishna consciousness at work. Their lives are filled with joy and their hearts
are filled with peace. They have experienced bhakti. It is our duty as a Society
to offer them protection and proper facility. As Srila Prabhupada mentions
many times, "According to Vedic culture, first protection to the cows,
to the women, to the brahmanas, to the children, and to the old man. This is
business of the government, to give protection." (S.B. lecture,
July 11, 1974)
We want Krsna conscious widows with us in the dhama, we want to share the wealth
they offer with the international body of devotees who take pilgrimage to Vrindavan
(the real pilgrimage is not just to go to the holy place but to associate with
the holy persons who reside there), and we aspire to have their company. This
is our greed.
The devotees behind the project:
- Kirtiraj Prabhu and Kusa devi dasi secured the property.
- His Holiness Giriraj Swami provided most of the funds, the
manpower, and the inspiration to build the ashram.
- Abhirama Prabhu oversaw the development
of the project.
- Yamuna Devi, Malati Devi, and Visakha Devi are
- Kaulini Dasi is our target as Ashram mother.
- Other devotees not directly involved but who stand
by us on this project include Sesa Prabhu, Anuttama
Sudharma Prabhu, Krsnacandra Prabhu and Radha Priya
Mataji (Mumbai), Nityananda Prabhu and his wife
The local team includes:
Priya dasi, and soon, at least for a few months every year
- Laksmirupa devi dasi,
a sweet, mature, and most capable devotee from Denmark.