Thursday July 19, 2018

Vrindavan: Why Braj Foundation and sewayats are fighting over Sewa Kunj?

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The holy Sewa Kunj in Vrindavan has been undergoing a crisis these days due to an ongoing clash between the Kunj’s priests and a local NGO, Braj Foundation.

The NGO had started the beautification of the Sewa Kunj in June 2011. Before the restoration, the premises of the Kunj were in an utterly bad condition. The site, which is famous for the Rasleela (Dance of Divine Love) of Radha-Krishna, overlooked tons of garbage around the premises. In fact, the garden, which once attracted visitors from all over the country, perished and got buried under the municipal trash.

However, the revered site transformed into a star attraction, when the Braj Foundation undertook this project to revive the lost heritage of Vrindavan.

This work done by the NGO has been appreciated by the locals. Girdhari, a local priest told a news agency, “Before the renovation and sprucing up of the area around the Sewa Kunj began, the holy forest was in ruins and buried under municipal debris. Those who visited the site became victims of monkeys who snatched away their belongings. But now, the scenario has drastically changed and even the monkeys are under control.”

However, the NGO is now facing the rage of Vrindavan’s goswamis, called the ‘sewayats,’ who are opposed to the idea of changing the landscape of the Kunj. They argue that this renovation has violated the original sanctity and design of the holy shrine. The priests state that the renovation has destroyed the ‘original swaroop’ of the shrine, and now it would take many years to revive the ‘swaroop.’ A priest, Bihari Lal Vashishtha, told a news agency, “They could have adjusted the restoration designs without harming the natural ambience. But they chose to go ahead with the construction work instead of planting new trees and helping the old groves to prosper.”

It was planned that Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik will open the renovated pond and the grove; however, he changed his mind due to the opposition.

“Some people are unnecessarily raising fears and confusion. We have restored the holy shrine and done our best to bring it back to its glory, but narrow interests are preventing some people from looking at the larger picture,” said Gaurav Gola, a spokesman for Braj Foundation. He also said that the NGO did not cut any tree inside the premises and utmost care has been taken of Kunj’s green cover.

It is ironic that these priests, who are condemning the NGO for demolishing the ‘original swaroop,’ did not do anything themselves to retain the glory of the shrine over the years and let it to reduce to ruins.

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Mahabharata or Game of Thrones? Quite similar!

The world's largest poem, Mahabharata, written almost five-millenniums ago is too beyond words.

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Mahabharata and Game of Thrones have quite a lot similarities! Wikimedia commons
Mahabharata and Game of Thrones have quite a lot similarities! Wikimedia commons

A twisted world, beyond words; turns and twists, come to think of it, nothing new to us. Westeros is indeed a world that keeps us hooked to the screens. But for a person, who has primary knowledge about Indian mythology, these twists and turns won’t be a matter of surprise.

The world’s largest poem, Mahabharata, written almost five-millenniums ago is too beyond words. From honour, to bravery and battle, to plots and back-stabs, there are many scenarios in the Mahabharata that make Game of Thrones quite similar to it. Here’s how!

Jon Snow and the Mother of Dragons resemble Karna and Draupadi respectively. Wikimedia commons
Jon Snow and the Mother of Dragons resemble Karna and Draupadi respectively. Wikimedia Commons
1. Jon Snow and Karna, two men who are illegitimate sons from powerful families. Both turn out to have royal blood. Also, they both suffer misfortune throughout their lives. 
2. The arrogant, Joffrey Baratheon, doesn’t he remind you of Duryodhana? Two spoiled princes who were pampered throughout their lives. They have an ill temper and a so well-noted lack of manners.
3. Littlefinger, one of the most clever characters of the series holds a deep resemblance to the Mahabharata antagonist Shakuni. Both of them wish to wipe out clans and provoke war.
4. One of the initial reasons for GOT to get so famous was Cerci Baratheon and the idea of incest. However, other than that she is a clever woman. And more than that, she is a mother who wishes to protect her children whatever be the cost. Remember Gandhari?
5. The two most fierce women of these two stories, are undoubtedly Daenerys Targaryen and Draupadi. Strong willed, central protagonists, one was born out of a fire and the other one survived it.
Just like Mahabharata, GOT has worked on war extensively. Wikimedia commons
Just like Mahabharata, GOT has worked on war extensively. Wikimedia Commons
6. Aswathamma, a great and fierce warrior, extremely loyal but cursed. Not a dark character, but the circumstances force him to make all the wrong choices. Jamie Lannister is quite a bit of him.
7. Lord Vayrs and Shikandi, two eunuch characters, both proud of their identity and both received deceit in life.
8. Two younger siblings who have grown up in the shadow of their formidable elder ones. They both can glimpse into the future.
9. Two most dreadful people in both the epics, Kans and Tywin Lannister. Both of them are ruthless and do anything to manipulate the situation to their favour.
10. The final, and the most interesting similarity between the two epics. Two characters that are loved universally, look at things deeply and (as Sherlock would say) are masters of deduction. Tyrion and Lord Krishna resemble each other faintly. Just like the ‘cheer Haran’, Tyrion saved Sansa Stark’s honour from Joffrey.