Mayapur, A Spiritual City

P ilgrimage to S ri M ayapur has increased steadi­ ly in the past 30 years, largely due to ISKCON’s efforts in spreading the teachings Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within India and globally. After the installation of Sri Sri Panca Tattva this up­ ward trend has increased explosively. Future projections indicate that within the next ten years the number of daily visitors should reach 100.000 - a four fold increase of the current number. This projection reflects not only the number of pilgrims, ie. those who visit for spiritual reasons, but also an increase in spiritual tourism, a rela­ tively new trend in the travel industry. Spiritual tourists, generally people of a higher income demographic, are those who plan their vacations with an eye toward relax­ ation, education, and recreation in a spiritual atmosphere. Sri Mayapur City is being planned to accomodate all va­ rieties of guests, providing appropriate facilities for all to fully experience the benefits of an extended stay in the holy dham . Sri Mayapur City is not only a pilgrimage center, a transient city, but also a community. With an estimated 4 million visitors currently walking through the city’s gates every year, the corresponding personnel - comprised of hospi­ tality workers, clerical and administrative personnel, secu­ rity, business owners, etc., will inhabit a major portion of the city. Studies have indicated an ideal initial population of 12.000 permanent residents in the city, 11.000 of which will be directly employed in pilgrimage and tourism ser­ vice. Residential neighborhoods will occupy certain ereas of the plan, away from the hustle and bustle of the pilgrim core around the temple, while allowing free access to all parts of the city for the conduct of normal household and business activites. The development of the infrastructure needed to support both the transient and resident popu­ lations as well as roads, lighting, flood control, health care facilities, and many other requirements, has been stud­ ied and planned for the Project. The management in Sri Mayapur will offer land, buildings and housing on lease along with infrastructure and other incentives for invest­

ment. Propespective residents are expected to cooperate in the Sri Mayapur social experiment and participate in regular spiritual functions meant to unify the township residents around spiritual ideals. At the outset of the Sri Mayapur City development, construction of the temple and exhibition complex will be the center of attention. The Project, through its sustainable development initia­ tives, will guide the natural growth of various cottage and tourist industries, and the opportunities for employment coming in the wake of the city’s progress. Although ur­ ban, the environment will be a far cry from the modern cities of today. The activities and urban forms will reflect the devotional nature of the city’s aspirations. Economic, social, and spiritual development will combine to support and magnify the good that each does individually. A hos­ pital supplementing the present Ayurvedic and conven­ tional medicinal clinics are planned along with commu­ nity buildings, open spaces, and administrative offices. The requirements of the socially dependent have also been carefully considered; provisions within the master plan for widows’ asramas and low income housing for elderly devotees have been made, along with the usual facilities for sannyasis and brahmacaris. These communi­ ties are dedicated to one-pointed service in devotion to this holy city; their contribution to Sri Mayapur not primar­ ily financial. That they should find shelter and welcome in Sri Mayapur is not due merely to a sense of charity or social duty, but is absolutely required to provide the wis­ dom, leadership, and vibrant spiritual atmosphere that is the essence of spiritual life - sadhu sanga. Beautiful build­ ings and other spectacular features will attract the casual visitor the first time to Sri Mayapur, but it is association with the saintly that will inspire guests, pilgrims, and new residents to come year after year. Prospective residents of the Sri Mayapur settlement are invited to come from all over Bengal, India and even the world, as they are already doing, and help create an international, intercultural en­ vironment that lives and fosters principles of universal brotherhood and devotion to the Supreme Godhead. 11

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online