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Bhaktivedanta Manor Pancha-Tattva Painting

Friday, 22 November 2019 / Published in Articles / 2,426 views

Saradiya: Swamiji? When we go to Krsnaloka to be with Krsna…

Prabhupada: Just see this girl, little girl, is aiming for going back to Krsnaloka. Just see.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture, Montreal, June 16, 1968)

Prabhupada: How you are feeling, Saradiya? Nice?

Saradiya: I’m fine.

Prabhupada: You are going to Europe? No? You have got to attend your school? That’s nice.

(Srila Prabhupada conversation, Montreal, October 27, 1968)

Saradiya: Simply by Your Divine Grace, on Krsna’s appearance day in San Francisco my mother came to the temple and she wore a sari and a tilaka.

Prabhupada: Oh. (chuckles) You are converting your mother to this cult.

Yamuna: A very nice mother she has.

Prabhupada: Unless mother is good, how the children are good?

(Srila Prabhupada conversation, Montreal, October 27, 1968)

By Saradiya dasi

It was the summer of 1969. I was cleaning A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s apartment on 26 2nd Ave in New York City. His apartment was behind the Radha Krishna Temple, across the small courtyard, up the stairs, and on the second floor. His rooms were small, but functional.

The temple was a small storefront that the previous tenants had made into a gift store with the sign: “Matchless Gifts.” The sign certainly alluded to the real matchless gifts of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings generously given to all who entered the transformed storefront.

The previous summer, I had the good fortune to attend a few of Srila Prabhupada’s darshans (discussion/gatherings) in this apartment. He had asked the devotees if they were painting. This question was directed to his female disciples, since they comprised the small group of devotees who were creating paintings in preparation for illustrating books that were gradually getting published; as well as supplying transcendental art for the many temples sprouting around the globe.

That was in 1968. The next year, the devotees moved down the block to 61 2nd Avenue for a brief time before their relocation to the larger building in Brooklyn, on Henry Street.

As I cleaned Srila Prabhupada’s rooms, I noticed the clothesline in the kitchen was still there, but not much else, except my memories and the sense of his presence. Then, unexpectedly, I saw a small Indian print on the counter. Picking it up, I saw that it was Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Sri Gadadhara, and Srivasa, also known as the Pancha-Tattva. “Five Truths in One.”

I was charmed by the unique composition of the figures and surrounding architecture; as well as the delicate lines and bright colors; and most importantly, the devotional mood of the transcendental picture.

A few years later, I had the good fortune to reside at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in England, which had been donated by George Harrison. Srila Prabhupada lived at the Manor for most of that summer of 1973, as well as attended the successful Rathayatra in London.

While Srila Prabhupada was at the Manor, I worked on a large 4 by 5 foot oil painting of the Pancha-Tattva. Who would have ever guessed that the little print from the small storefront on 2nd Avenue would manifest as a large painting housed in the elegant Bhaktivedanta Manor in Great Britain, presented as a gift to His Divine Grace and his devotees.

Saradiya dasi

(Saradiya Vedic Art)

Food for life School program 2019 (Album of photos)
Srila Rupa Goswami – our supervisor

One Response to “Bhaktivedanta Manor Pancha-Tattva Painting”

  1. Padmapani_das says :

    Saradiya Dasi is one of Srila Prabhupada’s first disciples. She joined the movement in 1967 in San Francisco. Her artwork has been displayed in a number of ISKCON temples and is featured in such books as Srila Prabhupada’s Caitanya-caritamrta. In addition, Saradiya’s paintings have been exhibited in various professional art shows over the years. She has also published a series of children’s books entitled, “The Stories of Krishna.” I humbly encourage devotees to check out Saradiya’s website: http://www.saradiya.com/ There you can view her online art galleries and order paintings, drawings, books and commission portraits. (Note: Saradiya’s online e-mail form is not working, so the artist can be contacted directly at: saradiya@excite.com) Thank you kindly.

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