While walking by the banks of the almost empty Yamuna river, dada said, “Why aren’t they making new libraries instead of new temples?”. As we cracked a few light hearted silly jokes our eyes laid upon a library.
Two or three steps inside Yamuna Kunja(the library) and I saw a Jagannath idol kept directly before the gate. Dada wondered why Vaishnava’s of Uttar Pradesh would do that. The spot felt diverse. A couple of steps more and we saw sign boards, calendars, and publications written in Bengali. Delighted and intrigued in equivalent measures, we found a monk there who told us about Vrinda Kunj. Pleased by our curiosity he agreed to take us there.
From the Vamsi Vata temple, we walk back passing again the Gopesvara temple and turned left on the small Bhut Gali. On the next turn was the entrance to the Vrinda Kunj.
We were offered lunch and we happily accepted. Seeing the humble lifestyle of the people that lived there I remebered a quote of M.Gandhi- “Simple living, high thinking”. The food was simple yet delicious. And one has to wash his dishes himself here.
The monk gave us company for the whole afternoon and we got to know that Vrinda Kunj ashram (temple) was founded by Swami Bhakti Alok Paramadvati and residents who follow the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. Most of the devotees here are Spanish speakers, and all do a lot of volunteer work of one kind or another. They are awake and chanting at 5 AM with yoga lessons nicely done at 6 AM and a sermon/discussion with the Swami at 7 AM and breakfast at 8:30.
Vrinda Kunj is situated in a unique spiritualist environment that allows you to be connected with nature and your inner self.
As I saw Dada(Link to his blog) and the monk talking about different forms of Vaishnavism I could only sit and listen to them wondering how diverse human minds are and how little I know about our own culture.
In the evening, at around 5 P.M. the gates of the temple opened and a devotee who was from germany played the harmonium and sang. It was indeed an experience in itself to listen him sing.
I find myself very lucky to find this place during the hustle bustle of Holi. Do check this place(Link to there website) out if you visit Vrindavan.