Embracing Love and Care: My Wonderful Experiences at the Yogananda Trust, Vrindavan
One of the most wonderful experiences I have had in my life are those attached to the Yogananda Trust at Vrindavan. As a follower of Yogananda I was extremely fortunate to be introduced to the work and activities of this trust through Ananda Sangha. My first experience was to help organise a trip taking some interested individuals to the Ashrams in Vrindavan in order to spend some quality time with the inmates (old mothers and babas) and give them some cheer and happiness. Until then my knowledge was highly limited on what takes place at such ashrams, what kind of support is required, what kind of work goes into looking after hundreds of old mothers and old babas who have no one to look after them from their own families. Some of them bedridden who need nursing for their every activity!
I must say it was a great surprise and the first trip to the various ashrams dissolved all apprehensions I may have had! All the inmates were well looked after by a staff that literally treats each of them as family members and lovingly cares as they go about their activities. It was a delight to see that they all had learned “energisation exercises’, one of the key tools for keeping the body active, chanting and much more! Ever since I have made multiple trips and must say that the enthusiasm even from some of the frail ladies was amazing and a reflection of how well they are looked after. Be it the wonderful prasad they eat as meals everyday, the activities that are arranged for them (as a special I had the privilege to accompany them to Katiayani Mandir during Durga puja), or some great chanting sessions where almost all the mothers participated by singing or playing the harmonium etc! There is much that goes behind the scenes to create and look after such a large number of old people.
Their health requirements (they actually have a physiotherapy room with a therapist helping each individual), their medical needs even in emergencies and until their last breath, and even their last rites! Their daily food, their need for clean and comfortable bedding, their clothes (sarees), washing and cleaning. They have a dedicated staff that works around the clock (and during Covid lockdowns actually did not go back to their own homes) to look after their every need. I would encourage every individual to visit and support this most worthy trust. The blessings you get is tremendous. Also reminds you how privileged we are and how a little love can come back manifold! Whenever you can, do take a quick trip to the Ashrams on your visit to Vrindavan. The teams at the trust will look after you as well! However, even if you cannot visit yourself, you can participate in their lives. The trust does a great job of keeping one informed of their activities and upcoming programs – helps you know and keep in touch of what is happening. You can also choose to volunteer to talk to anyone of them remotely.