Discipline in Pune
Two flights and a lengthy ride from
brought us to the gorgeous temple of Radha-Vrndavan and Balaji. I had made a quick visit here two and a half
years ago and at that time this six acre plot was rather barren, except for the
temple itself and some living quarters for the monks. Pune Airport
Now, you can see the high-rises doing just that, rising high on all sides. We are talking about residential buildings, some of which will take care of living needs of community members.
We were greeted by an eager bunch, as is common at all the places we go to where there is a monastery. In this particular ashram you are a strict practitioner when you join. You are upholding four regulative principles: no meat, fish or eggs, no gambling, no intoxicants and no sexual connections before you join. In the first year of residence as a brahmachari you are in yellow attire. The second stage is that one wear white for five years. The next phase you get diksha or initiation from a guru (spiritual master). At some point you will don saffron coloured clothes.
I would say it is a happy regimentation. The young men seem content with their discipline. The prasadam (food) is good. Another note about strictness is that while our group had been invited to participate in the weekend’s Youth Festival, called “Dhristi,” our drama “Krishna Is…” was to be presented, but not in the full production. One scene where dancers portray
Krishna and His female devotees dance in the night, we
agreed to leave out of the drama, being too sensitive to the large portion of
audience members consisting of students and monks.
There you have it!
May the Source be with you!