Senior devotees in Vrindavan have shared with me the prediction, that Vrindavan would become a deserted ghost town - a desert, without any water! And the wast constructions around Vrindavan are already contributing to this development. The concrete construction needs so much water, which has made the groundwater level sink immensely, with its waters becoming increasingly salty. A reaction for the offence of purposefully trying to exploit the holy dham for business.
On my last visit to Vrindavan I remembered with pain in my heart my very first visit to Vrindavan in Kartik of 1989. It had then been such a peaceful and untouched transcendental village! The parikrama path had been a beautiful sandy walkway, and one could see and hear peacocks everywhere. Now the parikrama path is a tarred road, and the peacocks are hiding away. I have even heard some rumours that they are planning to establish a train going around Govardhana Hill - so that people can circumambulate this most holy place of all holy places in a more comfortable way! This is how pilgrimage turns into plain tourism. The mood of tapasya for the ultimate goal of purification and spiritual advancement is replaced with sense gratification and economic development.
The atmosphere in Mayapur is very different to those developments in Vrindavan, even though there is also a lot of construction going on. However, Mayapur is expanding its glories and potencies by flooding the world with Mahaprabhu' mercy - the only hope for humanity in Kali Yuga....!
In a room conversation in 1976 Prabhupada had stated: "My idea is to attract people of the whole world to Mayapur....."
Attending our first morning program now in Mayapur, many devotees greeted me with affectionate smiles and "welcome back to Mayapur", or "welcome home". Some inquired about my health - the news had spread that I had encountered another diagnose of cancer....
As usual it took a few days to unpack our boxes and get set up - ready to settle into a routine of daily activities. And at the same time we immediately prepared for our upcoming Holy Name Retreat at Ekachakra - the first exciting event scheduled for the 23rd to 27th of December.
This would be my ninth retreat at Ekachakra - gradually I am getting practice and experience how to arrange things more and more nicely. As every year, I had to go out to Ekachakra one day before the actually retreat started - together with Olga - to get everything ready and nicely cleaned.
All glories to Ekachakra Dham - the sweet abode of Lord Nityananda's mercy!
Your servant, Devaki dd