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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Prem Mandir: Beyond Religion

Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj cares for the widows of Vrindavan and feeds them at Prem Mandir
Glimpse of Prem Mandir , Vrindavan and visitors from earlier today

When I first heard that a gigantic dome shaped satsang bhavan was being constructed at Prem Mandir for 10,000 devotees to do their sadhana together, my mind was surprised, excited and blown by the idea of 10,000 people even being at Prem Mandir at the one time, let alone chanting and meditating together in a large, beautiful dome! (I blogged about the upcoming sadhana hall last year, March 12, 2011; Click here to read all about the under-construction satsang bhavan in Vrindavan) Now I am wondering how it will even accommodate the 80,000 - 90,000+ people that visit Prem Mandir each day now, with numbers continuing to grow with each passing day. Aaj Ki Khabar also ran a story about the satsang bhavan last year:




I feel that Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, by establishing Prem Mandir, has revived the real spiritual culture of Vrindavan which, in some aspects, had been in decline since the past few decades. In the words of one of his senior devotees:

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has rejuvenated and re-established the devotional parampara of raganuga bhakti which was introduced by Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji, and has given it a refined form that could be followed by the devotees of the world, forever

Something else which sets Prem Mandir apart from all other temples and ashrams in Vrindavan is its unprecedented philanthropic endevours. Among the benefactors of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's care and kindness are the poor widows of Vrindavan, the alleviation of whose miserable plight is now a top priority for the Uttar Pradesh Government, after a Supreme Court ruling. The widows of Vrindavan have long been at the bottom of anyone's priorities, but now they are invited to mass meal distributions at Prem Mandir, and are provided with 100% free medical treatment via the JKP Charitable Hospital in Barsana. More significantly, the construction of a massive new 100% free charitable hospital is in full swing on the Prem Mandir premises, and will benefit the entire population of Vrindavan, including the widows. For all this work, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj was awarded India’s highest honor for outstanding achievements in charity in 2012 (Read about it by clicking here to visit Radha Madhav Dham's blog).

In the words of Pooja Sharma, a sevak in America:

What Shree Maharaj ji does for us spiritually is a given because he is our Guru, but on top of all that he has made us all a part of such amazing humanitarian charities as well

A Vidhwa Bhoj (Free meal, money and utensils distribution) was held at Prem Mandir, Vrindavan on 13 March 2012 in the presence of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Over 4000 poor widows attended the Vidhwa Bhoj on the day.




The JKP volunteers helped the widows into the main dining area. The JKP volunteers treated the widows as they would have their own mothers, even calling them "Maa". Volunteers served a sumptuous feast to all the widows. Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj personally came to the dining areas to see the widows. Afterwards, money and gifts were personally distributed to each widow. One volunteer spoke with the widows afterwards and translated what they were saying to English:

She is staying in Vrindavan, in Chaitanya Vihar for last 25 years and she has come from Kolkata. She says that nobody in Vrindavan will give this kind of food, this kind of charity, this kind of gift for the widow people. They have been suffering in Vrindavan. She has been here for the last 25 years but has never ever got this kind of treatment, respect and she also got some gifts and other things. She is very much delighted and she appreciates this Shyama Shyam Dham. Her name is Durga Dasi. She is looking forward to the hospital in Vrindavan so she can be benefitted even more.

This is Parava and Bindu. They have been staying in Vrindavan for the past 15 years. They are staying in Madan Mohan ashram. No ashram gives such kind of gift and such kind of donation. They have been very much enlightened by getting such kind of gifts

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