(kindly transcribed by Sheela Mataji, Singapore)
Note: Yesterday’s class was held in the temple courtyard facing the ToVP construction site. HG Praghosa Prabhu was coordinating the presentation. There were five speakers and we are sending each one separately.
Download the audio for this lecture here:
From Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir!
Date: February 23, 2014 Speaker: HH Bhakti Charu Swami
Subject: The Glories of the ToVP
HH Bhakti Charu Swami: Sivarama Maharaja, thank you for explaining the purpose of this Temple of the Vedic Planetarium so wonderfully. It’s a brilliant summarization of the purpose of this temple.
I recall one incidence when some individual was challenging Srila Prabhupada, ‘Why are you building these temples?’ This was soon after Vrindavana temple was opened, Krishna Balarama temple was opened. It was actually in 1977 in Allahabad Kumbha Mela.
This person was questioning Srila Prabhupada, asking Srila Prabhupada in a rather challenging way, “Why are you building new temples when there are so many temples, old temples needing renovation?”
Prabhupada didn’t answer the question directly. He pointed out the lady siting next to him and asked him, ‘Who is she?’
So he said, ‘She is my wife.’
Then Prabhupada asked him, ‘Why did you get married?’
And he was quite flustered, didn’t know what to answer.
Then Prabhupada said, ‘You got married in order to produce children. Putrarthe kriyate bharya, one accepts a wife in order to produce children.’
Then Prabhupada asked, ‘Why have children when there are so many children loitering in the streets?’
And then Prabhupada said, ‘Just as you want to have your own children, devotees want to build temples for the deity, temples for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’
So that shows the purpose of building a temple. What he is presenting, he wants to establish that in a three-dimensional, tangible form so that people can understand what he is presenting.
And that’s what Sivarama Maharaja just pointed out. Through this temple, Srila Prabhupada was actually trying to establish his teachings, what he is presenting, the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the teaching of the Vedas, in front of everybody so that they can come and see for themselves the teachings’ perfect manifestation.
In that respect, I can remember the Goswamis of Vrindavana. They didn’t have any possession. They didn’t have any place to stay. They used to spend their nights under the trees. Yet they built the most gorgeous temples. Sanatana Goswami built Radha-Madana Mohana temple. Rupa Goswami built Radha-Govinda temple, and so forth.
And once Srila Prabhupada mentioned that this Radha-Govinda temple built by Srila Rupa Goswami is actually one of the seven wonders of the world. He said this temple was built without a single metal pin, just the pressure of the stone was in such a way that it was holding up the structure. And what you are seeing of Radha-Govinda temple is just the remaining part of the temple that Aurangazeb, the Muslim Mughal king, destroyed. He wanted to destroy the temple. It was a huge, magnificent temple but he broke it.
Similarly Srila Prabhupada wanted to build something wonderful for Krishna. Although he established 108 temples around the world, but he wanted to build a very special temple here in Mayapur.
Why Mayapur? Because Mayapur is the center of this world today.
In the age of Kali, Krishna came as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And His dhama is Navadvipa. And Mayapur is the place of His birth, where He appeared. Mayapuri is the place where He is eternally residing.
Adyapiha sei lila kare gora raya kono kono bhagyavane dekhibare paya. Still today, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes are going on here. Only some fortunate souls get to see those pastimes.
There is a film, there is a covering, that is covering. The illusory covering of maya is hiding the dhama from our mundane perception.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to build this temple here in Mayapur because Mayapur is the center of this spiritual world today. Therefore Srila Prabhupada wanted to build a temple in the headquarters of ISKCON.
This temple is going to be the heart of ISKCON. Mayapur is already the heart and this temple is the place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will be established.
We should treat ISKCON as a body. The entire body should be our consideration and concern. Just as if one part of the body is very strong and healthy and the other part is weak, then it is not a healthy body. Especially when the heart is weak, the whole body no matter how strong the other parts may be, they will be completely useless. Therefore there is a need to strengthen this heart. We should recognize that Mayapur is the heart of our ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada asked Ambarisa Prabhu, a very wealthy person, the great grandson of Henry Ford, Alfred Ford himself. He became a devotee and Srila Prabhupada asked him to build this temple in Mayapur. And Ambarisa prabhu took up that instruction of Srila Prabhupada as his life and soul. And he came forward to build it. He didn’t come forward. Basically he is a very shy person. He doesn’t want to place himself forward.
When our leaders were trying to establish, trying to build the temple, Ambarisa Prabhu was in the background. He didn’t really want to come forward but then when he saw that this project is not taking off, then he came forward. And to support him, Bhavananda Prabhu came forward, a devotee very close to Srila Prabhupada, who received so many instructions from Srila Prabhupada about Maypaur and about the temple. And with Bhavananda Prabhu’s support, Ambarisa Prabhu took up this noble cause. He himself spent about 30 million dollars already and that’s why this structure is there. But he needs help.
Another wonderful thing that happened is Radha Jivan Prabhu came forward, a person coming from a very wealthy business family in India – Patna. He himself is a very successful businessman, full of brilliant ideas on fundraising, and he came forward to help.
In this way, we see Prabhupada is making all the arrangements and now it is up to us to give them the support that the necessary funds are raised and the temple is built.
Please, the leaders of ISKCON, pick up this mission for the sake of Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada left this service for us to accomplish. He has done so much. Now we have to do something. So Srila Prabhupada left it up to us. Now you all built this temple. So let’s all get together and try to give some necessary support to Ambarisa Prabhu and his team to complete this temple.
And in this respect one thing I would like to say, please don’t think that if your donors give donation to some project then he won’t give to yours. No it doesn’t work like that. Rather when they get the taste of giving to Krishna, they want to give more and more. So motivate them, guide them to offer to Krishna and let them get the transcendental taste of serving Krishna, offering to Krishna, giving to Krishna and then you will see that they will not only give the money, they will give their entire self to you, entire self to Krishna.
So please stand behind this noble cause. That will please Srila Prabhupada. And let’s complete this temple within our lifetime, as soon as possible.
Thank you all very much. Hare Krishna. Gaura premanande hari haribol!