TVP–A Personal Reflection
By Giriraj Swami
When Srila Prabhupada’s puspa-samadhi opened in Mayapur, a godbrother commented to me that it was not in the Bengali style and suggested that it should have been built in the original, authentic, local style, to fit with the architecture of the other temples in the area.
Some days later I went on parikrama to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s house in Godruma-dvipa. Upstairs, on the balcony off his bedroom, where he used to chant his japa, I looked across the Jalangi River to Mayapur. It is said that once, from that balcony, Bhaktivinoda Thakura had looked across the river and had a vision of a wonderful temple and Vedic city in Mayapur.
From that same balcony, I saw Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi, and although the architecture was not in the local tradition, the impression—the intuition—I got was that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was pleased. He had wanted devotees from all over the world to come to Mayapur and chant “Hare Krsna! Haribol!” and dance in ecstasy together. And the samadhi architecture, which combined elements of various styles, was the visible manifestation of the fulfillment of his vision and desire that devotees from around the globe join together in Mayapur in service to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The impression I got was that he was pleased with the samadhi and its unique style, because his desire—Mahaprabhu’s desire—was that the sankirtana movement spread to every town and village of every country of the world, that people everywhere become Krsna conscious. So I felt that he was pleased with the samadhi, because it was the emblem of Krsna consciousness spreading throughout the world, the emblem of the combined effort of devotees of Caitanya Mahaprabhu from all over the world to glorify the person who brought Krsna consciousness to them.
Thinking from his perspective, I imagined that he wasn’t really thinking about all the little details that went into the creation of the samadhi—all our little troubles. Of course, I am sure that he appreciates the trouble we took. Even amongst ourselves, we had our differences. But from his point of view, he saw the result—a magnificent creation that we had all worked together to achieve—and he was pleased with all of us, with our collective effort, and would bless us all.
Then I thought of Srila Prabhupada’s statement to us in Calcutta that if we just build this great temple in Mayapur, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura will personally come and take us all back to Godhead. From our point of view, on the ground level, we may see our problems and differences as big, sometimes even overwhelming. But from the perspective of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the problems are just obstacles to overcome in the course of devotional service. What really counts is the service. It is the service we perform, in spite of all the difficulties in the material world, that pleases him and the acaryas and gains for us their blessings and mercy.
Anyway, these were some of my thoughts on Navadvipa parikrama, on the balcony of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s house in Godruma-dvipa, looking across the river to Mayapur, to the site of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium.
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