2018 was a landmark year for the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium both in terms of construction achievements and fundraising. And the entire TOVP Team is grateful to all the devotees worldwide without whom this would not have been possible. As our motto states, we are “Raising Lord Caitanya’s Temple by the hands of every devotee.” With only three years left to its scheduled completion and Grand Opening we call on all ISKCON devotees to keep their focus on this project and continue to support our efforts for this collective offering to Srila Prabhupada in 2022.
Below is a list of our major achievements for 2018.
The two remaining Chakras were installed onto the Main and Planetarium Domes, thus completing a most important level of progress materially in terms of the temple superstructure, and spiritually in terms of invoking the presence and protection of Sri Sudarshana Chakra.
External and internal finishing work began in earnest, including dome completion, sandstone window placement, internal wall and pillar marble cladding, external wall detailing, and much more.
The dome coffered ceiling concept was completed as well as the research work for the proper building material, glass reinforced gypsum.
We contracted and partnered with one of the world’s foremost project management consultancies (PMC), Cushman & Wakefield, to insure our strategic, timely, and well-budgeted completion of the TOVP by 2022.
We launched the MISSION 22 MARATHON and the updated TOVP website to complete the TOVP by 2022, successfully increasing our annual income.
Several new fundraising campaigns were started, including: The Victory Flag, The Guru Parampara Brick, Planned Giving (Last Will), and Stock Donations campaigns.
Our twelve temple, seventeen day tour to Europe in April made history, raising over $1,500,000 in pledges.
History was once again made when Lord Nityananda’s Padukas and Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Satari set foot in Hong Kong and Tapei, raising over $800,000 in pledges.
The #Giving Tuesday TOVP Marathon raised over $25,000 online in the U.S. which was matched by Ambarisa prabhu.
We reached our fundraising goal of $8 million in actual income for the year, surpassing any other previous year.
2019 promises to also be a very event-filled year. While ongoing finishing work on the temple continues, several new fundraising campaigns will be rolled out such as the Pillars of Devotion campaign to sponsor the 108 pillars in the temple, the Guru Parampara Deities campaign to sponsor the acharya murtis, the #Giving TOVP Matching Fundraiser in May, the TOVP Ambassador Rewards Program to enlist devotees to help fundraise and also receive transcendental rewards, and more. Our fundraising goal for the year is $10 million.
Please remember, this is not just another temple project. 2022 is the Grand Opening of Srila Prabhupada’s cherished and greatest preaching project in the world and the new home of our beloved Deities Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Pancha Tattva and Sri Nrsimha at the World Headquarters of ISKCON, on the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON Mayapur. This is spiritual history in the making, and all of us shall take the credit for this accomplishment which will far outlive us, as millions of people pass through the doors of the TOVP for generations into the future.
In 1971, as a young devotee in Calcutta, Giriraja Swami approached Srila Prabhupada, “I have been trying to understand what your desire is, and two things seem to please you the most: distributing your books and building the big temple in Mayapur.” Prabhupada’s face lit up, his eyes opened wide, and he smiled, saying: “Yes, you have understood… If you all build this temple, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur will personally come and take you all back to Godhead.”
We again thank each and every one of you for your support and sacrifice in the yajna fire of building the TOVP. We wish you a very happy, Krishna conscious year ahead and a blissful Gaur Purnima on this 532nd Gaurabda celebration of the appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.