Today in the newspaper I read a heading that attracted my attention:
Prostitution in Ashrams
When I read on, I got to know that yesterday Vrindavan’s police received information by an unknown source, a hot lead that they immediately followed. They headed to the Raman Reti area of Vrindavan, an area with many Ashrams and big temples, where allegedly prostitution was happening this very moment.
They raided the Ashram and arrested five people, two women and three men. They turned to be out two prostitutes, two customers and a pimp. The newspaper even gave a picture of them. When the police came into the room they were in the middle of having intercourse.
The women admitted in a statement that for a year they had been using the rooms of Ashrams in this neighbourhood for meeting their clients and having sex there. They explained that they believed an Ashram to be a very safe place for their work.
The police stated that they had known about this prostitution for quite a while but now they caught them red-handed and could arrest them. They added that they had information about many more Ashrams and many more women but until now they do not have any way to prove it. This time they had enough proof, they had seen it with their own eyes and found many condoms with the women.
We have heard this kind of stories, too, of course. There are even stories that women from out of India come here on a tourist visa, rent a room somewhere in the spiritual environment of Vrindavan and earn some money here by having sex. In the rest of their time they follow religious activities, go to temples and thus can keep an image of being pious, spiritual and religious. Nobody would suspect them to do prostitution. Men here are also usually fascinated by foreigners; it is exotic and thus exciting for them and thus it may be quite easy for them to get customers. I have written before, too, about spiritual sex tourism but in this case the tourists are the ones earning money.
Unfortunately many Ashrams are nowadays misused. Managers take money for rooms and pretend not to know what these women do in their rooms where different men keep on coming and going. It is not right. An Ashram is a place for sharing, but not in this way.