Mayapur Clean & Green

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By Khusboo Basan - 31.1 2022

The area outside ISKCON Mayapur campus is underdeveloped and has no waste management system. Owing to this, Murari Mohini Devi Dasi has taken up this initiative and started Mayapur- Clean And Green. She supervises groups that clean the streets of Mayapur, collect the garbage, and transport it to the waste and recycling areas.

Born in a simple and loving family in the city of Oruro, Bolivia, a place very rich in biodiversity, Murari Mohini DD grew up surrounded by great mountains and snow-capped peaks. She has been living with part of her family in Sridham Mayapur since December 2018.

She reveals her journey to us, what inspires her, and how all of us individually can contribute to this initiative.

How did you come to Krishna Consciousness?

Murari Mohini DD: At 22 years old, months after graduating as a lawyer, I found myself alone looking for the next goal of my life, all the academic, sports, material achievements, etc., were not enough to satisfy my soul. One day I met a devotee of Krishna, my Vartma Pradarsaka Guru, who helped me to remember my Lord Krishna, gradually my life began to regain a real meaning, soon after, I received the mercy of my Guru Maharaj Jayapataka Swami and now I feel deeply blessed to be a part of Srila Prabhupada’s family, I am grateful for the association of devotees and the wonderful guidance of my Instructor Gurus: HG Mahatma Das Prabhu and HH Bhakti Dhita Damodhara Swami who protect my life with their blessings and wise instructions.

Tell us something about your education.

I graduated as a lawyer from the University and did specialized studies. I practiced as a professional in the areas of intellectual property, Environment Protection, and Human Rights. I studied Bhakti Sastri in Sridham Mayapur and I am currently a sincere practitioner of Bhakti Yoga.

What inspires you for such a wonderful seva(service)?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated with the beauty of nature and very grateful to mother earth for giving us everything we need to live. I feel a very deep connection with our mother Earth, our mother Cow and especially with children.

It hurts me to see the degradation of our environment and I can’t be indifferent. I want to serve our mother cow, as well as the present and future generations to live in a healthy environment.

Now that I live in Mayapur Dham I always keep in mind the glories of this wonderful place that I have heard from my Guru Maharaja: H.H. Jayapataka Swami, Navadwip Dham has been personally created by Srimati Radharani in Her purest desire to please Her beloved Krishna. By the divine order of Sri Krishna, all the holy places live here, and living here eternally has been His promise to Srimati Radharani. In my heart, I feel irremediably committed and grateful with this Divine creation of love called “Mayapur Dham”.

On another occasion, I heard my Siksha Guru: Mahatma Das Prabhu saying: “When someone sees a problem they usually think ‘Oh! someone should do something about it!’, well guess who that someone is? That someone is you! That’s your opportunity to do service”.

It was thus that I began to clean the Holy Dham, but it was very challenging to maintain this service, and deep doubts had arisen in my heart, especially when some big obstacles and criticism came, on the most difficult days I felt the fear of being doing someone else’s duty, of being wasting my time and acting whimsically and without having received any instruction from my spiritual master, then, with all sincerity, I returned to seek the light of my Instructor Guru: Mahatma Das Prabhu, and he answered me “Ok, I give you an instruction “keep doing what you are doing “because when you see a problem, that means Krishna has chosen you to solve it”, just keep going on, doing what you do, someday it’s going to make a difference, it has to, everything starts small, go to your inspiration, your dharma, follow your inspiration, I think you will be ok…”. From then on with the blessings of Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga and His merciful devotees, I feel a deep protection and renewed enthusiasm to continue serving the Holy Dham.

Cleaning the Holy Dham is to respect those vines, those Tulasi forests, those trees and flowers that Srimati Radharani herself has placed to decorate this divine place,

Cleaning the Holy Dham is to clear the land with the vision of growing flowers so that the aroma of jasmine, mallika and malatis may return.

Cleaning the Holy Dham is to protect the creatures that inhabit this little piece of the spiritual world, it is to give an opportunity to bees, cows, their calves, and other innocent beings so that they can roam happily, as well as the birds which constantly chant the names of Krishna,

Cleaning the Holy Dham is to understand that the sacred waters of Mother Ganga and Yamuna are here to protect and nurture this wonderful Garden of love.

Mainly, cleaning the Holy Dham is to give people the opportunity so they can achieve maximum spiritual realization, and live in a healthy, clean environment, conducive to constantly remembering Krishna.

However, what is the reality?

That those trees, flowers, Tulasi forests, vines, bees, etc, etc, are becoming less and less, most of them are sacrificed to make way for constructions, larger roads, and other modern buildings, shops, etc, etc.

That the sacred waters of the Ganges and Yamuna are being attacked by indiscriminate dumping of garbage, sewage, and other pollutants,

Garbage is accumulated in clandestine dumps or indiscriminately burned, thus causing serious damage to our health and the environment.

Additionally, many cows and other animals roam the streets in search of food, unfortunately, if the streets are full of plastic waste, they end up eating this plastic and consequently suffering severe pain, illness, and death. If we manage to keep the streets clean, we avoid this suffering to the animals and we open the possibility that the grass and other native herbs can grow naturally.

What is the solution?

We want to promote awareness, educate our community, and to provide a cleaning service for all possible areas, for the moment, as a matter of urgency we have started with those areas where the bad practice of accumulating and burning these wastes proliferates, thus in this way we contribute to reduce this cause of air, soil and water pollution in this region.

We are constantly connecting with and educating the local population about the good reasons why to separate their garbage, to give us their inorganic waste instead of irresponsibly dumping it into the environment, to green and reforest (when possible) the area around their house.