A Visit to Vrindavan

20-June- 2017

I visited the Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust in Vrindavan today. I didn’t really know what I was going to see, perhaps some widows who had been abandoned by families. Perhaps some spiritual seekers, who had not only given up on the spiritual search, but also on life itself. Perhaps some temples, beggars, who knows?

Yes I did see all of these things. But they are not what left an impression in my mind. The staff of the Charitable Trust is what left a deep impression on me. The staff was composed many individuals of varying temperament. Yet, the thing is, that almost every individual on the staff shared the same qualities of being highly energetic, dynamically caring, and lovingly selfless. When enough individuals of that character come together, they can move mountains. I saw many Community Care Homes that were not only being run like a military operation in terms of cleanliness and efficiency, but also as if Mother Teresa herself was giving the training in compassion.

I saw groups of women, whose birth families had left them, but they had made a new family. Under the guidance of the Trust I believe many of these women are better off, than the circumstances they had left.

I also saw some elder Brahmacharinis being cared for. They had come to Vrindavan to find God, and were actively doing it. They had left their material needs in the hands of Providence, and the charitable trust was doing a high service by meeting the material needs of these spiritually elevated souls. These souls were of a different class than most of the women being served, in that they had gained enough spiritual power thorough tapasya, that I believe the universe indeed would take care of them, even if the Trust did not. These class of women represent a small percentage of the women that are taken care of by the Trust, but I think it is wonderful to see this segment of Indian society being served. Women renunciates have long been ignored in Indian society. It is wonderful that this is changing.

Because a well-organized efficient organizational structure is combined with individualized personal care, the needs of the thousands of widows are being properly addressed. Those who need health care receive health care, those who have lesser needs only receive what they need, and they are able to take care of their other needs themselves. Those who are completely unable to take care of themselves, have all of their needs administered to.

I saw the entire spectrum of human consciousness today, people with sick and immobile bodies, to the young with active and healthy bodies. People with very few possessions who were content with what they had, and people with more possessions, who apparently could be never satisfied. By seeing hundreds of widows today, I learned more deeply that the outer possessions of a person don’t mean much. It is the inner attitude of the individual, which gives that person strength. It is this true source of strength which changes society.

My deepest gratitude to all those of the Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust who serve selflessly and with joy. You are role models for all of mankind.

Brahmachari Jemal