A socio-spiritual forum inspired from the land of Braj in your town
Governed and Guided by The Braj Foundation
The cultural and spiritual traditions of Braj – the land of Sri Krishna – have a distinct impact and influence on the psyche of millions of Hindus from all over the country. They not only long to visit this fabled land but also aspire to imbibe the rich traditions of Braj in their day to day lives as well as on special occasions like marriages, birthdays, death anniversaries etc.
Braj is therefore not only a spiritual destination par excellence but serves the multifarious societal needs as well. The music, dance, theatre, arts, crafts and the cuisine of Braj are an equal source of attraction.
From New Delhi – Vrindavan and Mathura, the popular townships of Braj are merely a two and a half hour drive (145 Kms) on the Delhi-Agra National Highway 2. Vrindavan and Mathura are at a distance of around 10 kilometers along the NH 2. Several train and bus connections are available between New Delhi and Mathura. The nearest domestic and international airport is New Delhi.
From Agra – these towns can be reached within an hours drive (around 55 kms) on the Delhi-Agra National Highway 2. There are multiple trains to Mathura from these towns.
From Jaipur – these towns can be reached in approximately four and half hours drive (220 kilometeres). There are bus services connecting the two places.
Not every connoisseur of Braj culture and heritage can spare time out of his hectic life to visit Braj every now and then. However, they long to relish the cultural vibrance of Braj on every possible instance.
There exists no formal institution or platform through which this requirement can be catered to. The conventional structures and mechanisms are fast losing their sheen and have their limitations due to their overt religious connotations confined to the one or the other sampradaya.
Also, there is a huge segment of professionals who look forward for an alternative kind of socializing devoid of the western indulgences. They look forward for an environment which is rich in Indian values & ethos.
“If you can’t come to Braj, Braj can come to you”. Keeping this in mind the concept of Braj Forums has been rolled out by The Braj Foundation which is working for the all round development and restoration of the rich heritage and environment of Braj. These forums are aimed to cater to the need of association with the variegated aspects of Braj culture and heritage in every nook and corner of the country and abroad.
Braj forums envision becoming vibrant socio-spiritual forums whereby the members vow to imbibe the cultural and spiritual traditions of Braj in their day-to-day lives and thereby benefit their localities by becoming empowered citizens. Braj culture and spirituality is not an arm-chair philosophy which unfortunately has become the order of the day due to mis-conceived notions and mis-interpretation.
The Braj Forums intend to establish a strong network of connoisseurs of Braj culture and heritage spread all over the country and abroad. These connoisseurs would thereby find an organized structure and platform to relish as well as reciprocate to cause of Braj in their individual capacities. Their contributions would be effectively utilized and their concerns would be duly addressed.
Braj forums have been modeled in lines with the various service oriented social clubs like Rotary Clubs, Lion’s Clubs etc. but with a distinct focus on Braj.
Each forum would be registered in India as a society under the Indian Societies Act and would have an 11 member working committee. In foriegn countries, they will be registered with the relevant laws of registering charitable institutions in the respective countries. These forums would be centrally governed and guided by The Braj Foundation and would be administered by the office bearers elected by the local members. The office bearers would comprise of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and 7 Assistant Vice-Presidents. The roles and responsibilities of the various office bearers would be as under:
Overall coordination and supervision of the activities of the Braj Forum
Assisting the President in his functions and handling the responsibilities assigned by the President
He would be responsible for organizing various cultural programs including the Braj Mahotsav.
The responsibilities would include the coordination and organization of various Braj Retreats including the annual Braj Yatra.
This position would require the organization of customized presentations and philosophical discourses pertaining to the real nature of Braj, the multifarious issues and challenges facing Braj and the formulation of pressure groups to accentuate their possible solutions.
He/She would be responsible to reach out to the various connoisseurs of Braj and make them a member of Braj Forums.
Braj is not just confined to a geographical entity. Braj is a way of life, which is in harmony with human needs and ecological balance. This central message of Braj constitutes the basis of Indian spirituality and culture. It’s therefore pertinent to spread out the message of amongst the youth through a range of activities. AVP Youth Programmes would be responsible to coordinate and organize the various youth centric programmes from time to time.
Spirituality constitutes the bed-rock of Braj. However, its multifarious dimensions need to be exhibited and highlighted. AVP Spiritual Programmes would thereby coordinate the organization of various philosophical discourses & stress management workshops.
Several people are interested in sponsoring one or the other developmental projects in Braj. AVP Project would thereby coordinate this segment of activities in due consultation with The Braj Foundation.
The election to the working committee would be done in a unique Braj style. All those interested and competent members of the Braj Forum would put their names in a pitcher which would be put to scrutiny at the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna. After 10 minutes of kirtan/bhajan, 11 names would be picked up and this would constitute the working committee. A working committee would serve the respective Braj Forum for a period of 2 years.
An annual membership fee of Rs 1000 per person or Rs 5000 per family would be charged in order to manage the various affairs of the forum in a professional manner.
Each member would be given a membership card and a host of other privileges as and when he visits Braj against nominal payments. A certain portion of this membership fee would be in turn contributed to the central fund of the Braj Foundation to manage and administer the central activities.
The Braj Foundation would assist and guide the individual Braj Forums organize a number of activities in their respective towns/cities. The individual forums would be free to ascertain their own programmes and activities in due consultation with the functionaries of The Braj Foundation.
The following activities have been envisaged for every forum:
A full blown 3- 7 day celebration dedicated to Braj to be organized every year on a mutually convenient occasion. Theatre, Music and Dance groups would be brought in from Braj to perform at this Mahotsav. Special Braj cuisine would be an added attraction for the forum members. Arts and Crafts of Braj would be duly highlighted during this Mahotsav. The Braj Foundation would try to bring in eminent artists and personalities for these mahotsavs.
Braj is replete with celebrations round the year. Individual forums can decide to celebrate various occasions like Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Sri Radhashtami, Giriraj Poojan etc. The Braj Foundation would be happy to provide any assistance from Braj pertaining to the same.
Braj Forum recognizes the need and relevance of celebrating personal occasions in a vibrant cultural and spiritual mood of Braj. Marriage anniversaries and birthdays of every member would thereby be celebrated by the forum.
Every forum would organize an annual sojourn to Braj spanning from 3-7 days. On every visit, a specific portion of Braj region would be explored.
Since Braj abounds in spiritual wisdom, ecological grandeur and countryside fragrance it’s a well suited place for specialized retreat programs which call for an intense inner transformation.
The programmes need a break from the regular travails and web of corporate life. A training programme would be much more effective if it is imparted amidst the aforementioned triads. Spiritual settings – just because it makes person to concentrate on his inner self rather than the extraneous parameters. Ecological landscape – for the simple reason that its absorbing and makes a person to relax and concentrate on his/her core competencies. Rural surroundings – as they impinge upon the fact that how better off we are in comparison to the large number of our countrymen. Such a multifarious exposure increases the satisfaction index of an individual which is all the more vital for any learning to go into. There are a number of interesting spots – both indoor and outdoor to choose from to organize such programmes.
Senior citizens are generally more spiritually inclined. They want to spend their time and energy in some meaningful works. The Braj Foundation would try to explore various avenues and platforms through which this requirement of senior citizens can be catered to.
Special camps for children and youth can be organized either in the respective towns or in Braj depending on the need and requirement.
In addition to its cultural and spiritual positioning, Braj also happens to be a vibrant rural society. The developmental issues of Braj can thereby be taken as a case study for the entire country and can be deliberated upon to find model solutions as the region attracts ample attention and resources. Seminars and symposia on various developmental issues can thereby be organized under the banner of Braj Forums and linked to the respective localities taking cue from the solutions offered in Braj.
In order to bring together the various Braj Forums together on a shared platform and to inspire them to contribute their bit towards the restoration and preservation of Braj Bhoomi an annual convention of Braj Forums would be organized every year on the foundation day of the Braj Foundation which falls on December 20th. The Presidents and the Vice-Presidents of every Braj Forum would be invited to participate in these conventions.
The Braj Foundation would bring out a monthly publication which would contain well researched information about the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Braj as well as comprise of the various issues being faced by Braj Bhoomi. This publication would be provided to all forum members as a part of their membership benefit.
The marriage anniversaries and birthdays of the forum members would be registered at the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna and the concerned members would receive a special spiritual gift from Braj.