Presentation on ToVP by senior speakers in Mayapur
HH Gopala Krishna Maharaja speaks:
In 2014-15 we had a program similar to this. Several senior devotees got together and spoke about the glories of the Mayapur Project and the need for all of us to participate in this project. So I suggested to Vraja Vilas the other day why don’t we have a similar program now.
So the purpose of the program today is to increase the awareness and the importance of all of us participating to complete the TOVP project in time. Whats our deadline? 2022! And how many years are left? Three years! We don’t have a lot of time left! Only three years! So we have to go a real marathon to increase the awareness and the urgency of this project. Prabhupada had a great desire to build this temple to fulfil the desires of the previous acharyas.
Lord Nityananda explained to Jiva Goswami of this adbhuta temple, inconceivable temple that would be built in future. And Thakura Bhakti Vinoda who re-established the pure teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also made an important prediction. He had predicted that very soon a powerful senapati will appear who will take Lord Caitanya’s message to every corners of the globe and he also predicted the holy name would be chanted in different parts, all over the world and a day would come when devotees from several countries, and he named them, would come to Mayapur dhama, along with local devotees chant and dance.
So Srila Prabhupada as we know was instructed in 1922 to take Lord Caitanya’s teachings to the western world. And after struggling for nearly forty years Prabhupada finally made to America in 1965. And then he returned to India after establishing Krishna consciousness in the West in early 1971.
In 1971 Prabhupada was in Calcutta and he sent two of his very senior devotees, Tamala Krishna Maharaja and Bali Mardana, and incidentally today is also the disappearance day of Tamala Krishna Maharaja. Tamala Krishna Maharaja ki jaya! He rendered a lot of personal service and very valuable service to Srila Prabhupada.
So Prabhupada was in Calcutta and he sent Tamala Krishna and Bali Mardana to Mayapur and for six days there was no news. These days almost everybody has a cell phone but those days in India communication was not as good as today. Even having a telephone at that time was considered a rare thing. So Prabhupada was waiting for information because he had sent Tamala and Bali Mardana to buy land and for five days there was no news. Prabhupada was really in anxiety! Did somebody rob them, did they get cheated, did something unpleasant happen?
Then on the sixth day in the night Prabhupada heard some devotees coming up the staircase. And who was that? Tamala Krishna Maharaja and Bali Mardana! They had with the assistance of a lawyer from Calcutta negotiated the purchase of the first land for ISKCON and Tamala told Prabhupada – This land is yours! And Prabhupada was very pleased and told them to go and take rest.
So in 1971 the first piece of land was obtained and as you probably know in 1972 the first Mayapur festival was held in which nearly 50 devotees participated. So Prabhupada had this great desire to fulfil the prediction of Nityananda Prabhu and the desires of the previous acharyas.
Bhaktisiddhantaji had also endeavored to fulfil that desire. He sent his sanyasi disciples to England, they came back without much success. So Prabhupada wanted an outstanding temple and a planetarium. He wanted it to be Vedic planetarium because Surabh once took a design to Prabhupada and said we will call this ‘Temple of Understanding’ and Prabhupada said NO! It should be the Temple of Vedic Planetarium! We wanted everything to be based on Vedic explanation.
So Prabhupada had this great vision, he had a very strong desire, he laid the foundation stone and finally this project got started and as you can see its come to this stage.
Now we have three more years left and a fair amount of work left. So how will this be realized? We all know this project was very very dear to Prabhupada. Once Giriraja Swami was with Prabhupada in Calcutta and Giriraj asked Prabhupada – what will please you the most, Prabhupada? Then he himself volunteered the reply – I think you will be very pleased if we do book distribution and help build the Temple of Vedic Planetarium. And Prabhupada smiled and said – YES! You have understood my desire!
So these were Prabhupada’s desires that we expand the preaching through book distribution and also help construct the Vedic Planetarium. Prabhupada he said – Just like all over the world people talk about the Taj Mahal, they are going to India to see the Taj Mahal, he wanted the Temple of Vedic Planetarium to become more popular than the Taj Mahal also! (Haribol!) He wanted the Temple of Vedic Planetarium glories to be known all over the world.
So with the assistance and leadership of Ambarisa Prabhu we have come this far but still there is a big challenge ahead of us. We were talking the other day, I believe in Delhi, still a lot of effort has to be done!
So 1922 (2022) is our deadline and this deadline can only be realized if every devotee of this Krishna consciousness movement endeavors and works hard to make this possible. We have to become Mayapur’s ambassadors and promote Vedic Planetarium in every temple. One way could be if we had a nice poster and we had the poster displayed in a prominent place and everyone coming to the temple naturally sees the poster and inquires what is this Vedic Planetarium?
So Mayapur’s importance Is increasing but it has to increase a lot more. Mayapur is very important in the Krishna consciousness movement. Prabhupada said like Mecca is to the Muslims, Vaticans to the Christians, Mayapur is similarly important to the Vaisnavas. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as the most merciful of all incarnations.
So we all have to endeavor together to work hard to realise this and if we sincerely endeavor the impossible can become possible. The target ahead of us is very challenging. Can I tell them what the target is Ambarisa? (Yeah!) They have spent about 350 crore rupees already but in order to complete it fully they need another equal amount! (laughter)
Phase 1 is for the deities to move and the deities you can imagine we will have the Guru parampara on the left, Panca Tattva in the centre and Radha Madhava and the asta sakhis on the right! So the goal is to have the deities move to their new permanent final residence. Radha Madhava have had quite a few residences. Not as many as Radha Parthasarathy have had! (laughter) But this will be the final residence of Their Lordships. After all these temples are built for the pleasure of the Lord and the purpose of this temple is to attract people from the whole world. Prabhupada said in numerous letters, the purpose of this temple is attract people from the whole world to Mayapur dhama. (Haribol!)
And we have seen that anybody comes to Mayapur dhama gets very very inspired by the environment. Recently Devakinandana Prabhu brought some big industrialists from Bombay and they were very impressed by the Mayapur project, the environment etc. So just imagine how impressive it will be once the TOVP is complete.
So it’s a big challenge for all of us. One never becomes a loser in serving Krishna. In the Tenth Canto you read how the lady selling fruits, she gave fruits to Krishna being attracted by the Lord’s beauty. And when she looked back what did she find? Apples made of gold!
In Caitanya Mangala you read a story that Lord Caitanya after taking sanyasa was racing ahead, and he felt thirsty! There was a person selling buttermilk. Lord Caitanya took that whole pot, drank the whole butter milk! Then the seller said, Ok! Paisa! Money! Money! The Lord said, I don’t have any money! But my colleagues are coming behind Me! They will give you the money!
When Lord Nityananda came there, the seller said – Your colleague drank all my butter milk and said You will pay for it! And Lord Nityananda said – We also don’t have money! (laughter)
So the butter milk seller said ok! Take this as my donation! Now I am going home! So he tried to lift his pot which he thought was completely empty. But when he tried to lift it, it was so heavy that he couldn’t move it at all. So he was surprised what happened? I thought it was empty! So he looked inside! And what did he find? The whole pot was full of diamonds, jewels etc. (Haribol)
So we don’t guarantee that if you donate to TOVP you will also have a big stack of. But one thing for sure you are never a loser in serving Krishna. So let us all work together and work hard to realize this project’s completion by 2022.
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
HH Sivarama Swami speaks:
Jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
(To Gopala Krishna Maharaja)- You should have said they will get a pot full of diamonds! Who knows! Spiritual diamonds!
Invisible but in your bank account!
I always meditate on the Temple Of Vedic Planetarium. In Hungarian altar we have pictures on the altar so you cant get away from it, when you are looking at the deities, you are also looking at TOVP. And though some years back, one very fundamental or very important feature of TOVP is that it really establishes the authenticity, validity of our pramaan or protects it, mainly Srimad Bhagavatam. Bhagavatam speaks about many pastimes, may lilas of the Lord but it also speaks of about this extra ordinary cosmology or the structure of the universe. And it’s the structure of the universe that isn’t what scientists see today when they study this cosmos around them. In fact they see something very very different. They certainly don’t see elephants holding up Bhu-mandala, they certainly don’t see oceans of ghee and milk.
Now ultimately how do you reconcile the validity of what’s actually seen and what Srimad Bhagavatam says! It has to be reconciled in one way and our team I assume is actually working on that. Sadaputa Prabhu was I think the first person who corelated the distances and concepts between the two and its important because Bhagavatam is the basis of everything that we do. And if something that’s so obvious to the eye falls afoul of what Bhagavatam says falls afoul to what is obvious to the eye then what about the rest of the things? What about ‘krishnas tu bhagavan svayam’? What about ‘yajnaih sankirtana prayair’ and so many statements, the sambandha, the abhideya, prayojana of Bhagavatam comes into question. So TOVP in that sense is extremely important in order to maintain the integrity of the teachings of our sampradaya.
And beyond that in terms of the displays inside, this is of course going to be one display manifest in the chandelier, is the main theme of progress as guests walk up and up through the dome, they see the journey of Gopa Kumara. And that’s quite a significant thing because the ultimately the journey of Gopa Kumara is how you put Srimad Bhagavatam into practice. How does it happen? And what are the possible stages, at least the stages of spiritual development, not necessarily the stops that Gopa Kumara made, we don’t necessary have to go to the realm of liberation, Mahakalapura or go to Vaikuntha. And what is ultimately the destination that Srimad Bhagavatam directs everyone to, which was to Goloka Vrindavan, to Vraja. And what is the sadhya, what is the goal of devotional practice? Well, Prema! and for who? Its for Gopala, Krishna!
So these things are there in that journey of Gopa Kumara and I don’t know who has read Brhad Bhagavatamrta amongst Vaisnavas here, not that many. But it is the amrta, it is the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam. And to be quite frank, when I read it, I have read it now five times and this is the BBT version of the Brhad Bhagavatamrta which I highly recommend, its extraordinary publication, very beautiful! You are really hard pressed to actually figure out from the Bhagavatam what Brhad Bhagavatamrta says or to figure out the essence of the Bhagavatam in the way that Sanatana Goswami describes it, on your own. But here it becomes very very clear.
And TOVP is also meant actually to make that journey very very clear, where we are meant to go, what are the stages that we really need to get through in order to get there and how important actually is the study of Srimad Bhagavatam for that purpose because when Gopa Kumara got to the stage of liberation which you can get to just by chanting Hare Krishna, and of course he wasn’t chanting Hare Krishna but he was chanting Krishna’s names, he was chanting the Gopala mantra. But still he couldn’t get further than that! Why? Because he didn’t fully understand the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam and he had to come back to Vrindavan, had to come back to earth and under the guidance of qualified Vaisnavas hear the Bhagavatam. And then he was able to actually chant in the way that you need to chant, in order to keep on going, which is you have to be able to chant with love or at least with real emotion.
So the ultimate importance, nama sankirtanam yasyaadi, message by which that sadya or the perfection is attained that also is being sung by this journey of Gopa Kumara and of course harer nama eva kevalam, its chanting Hare Krishna because ultimately that is what Gopa Kumara just did. He simply depended on that mantra which is very very simple in one sense but at the same time when we see what Srila Prabhupada seemed to indicate to us, that you need to take this journey very seriously and see what he did because its very easy but at the same time some of our older members such as myself have noticed that its not so easy. And there are certainly challenges along the way but still by the offense less chanting of that holy name then everything will come.
As Gopa Kumara’s guru told him that, yat yat……nija mantra samihitam (?), you just chant your mantra and you will get perfections beyond your imagination, beyond your conception and that was the case.
So we need to actually establish TOVP and as we do it is also an inner journey for us. Its not just a building, it’s a largest preaching tool and investment that this Krishna consciousness movement has made and it will have extra ordinary potency to convince the world about Srila Prabhupada’s gifts to us.
HH Bhakti Caru Swami speaks:
It is very wonderful that Gopala Krishna Maharaja gave the history of Mayapur from the very beginning. How HH Tamala Krishna Maharaja and Bali Mardana Prabhu came and procured the piece of land. It was a big challenge because some individuals here in Mayapur didn’t want Prabhupada to come here, they didn’t want to give any land to ISKCON. As you know Tamala Krishna Maharaja was a real go-getter, when he accepted some challenge he just went all the way through. So he procured the land.
So Gopala Krishna Maharaja very systematically analyzed like how it took him five days, and Prabhupada was in acute anxiety. They came here to Mayapur, just two foreigners, two Americans with a lot of money. There was no communication whatsoever, and finally when Tamala Krishna Maharaja went, and it was a literally a victory for us that we got the piece of land, and that’s the piece of land where Srila Prabhupada’s bhajana kutir is today.
And then Gopala Krishna Maharaja gradually pointed out how ultimately it came to the Temple of Vedic Planetarium.
Then Sivarama Maharaja actually pointed out the objective of this Vedic planetarium. Why it Is so important. Because its going to show everybody what Krishna consciousness stands for, what Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings are. That Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the worshipable Lord – aradhya bhagavan brajesha tanaya. And that has been wonderfully described by Sanatana Goswami through his Brhad Bhagavatamrta.
As Maharaja pointed out Brhad Bhagavatamrta is the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva gave the perfect spiritual understanding leading all the way up to Vrindavan. And Sanatana Goswami for our understanding very wonderfully step by step he took us through the journey of Gopa Kumara.
(to HH Sivarama Swami) Thank you Maharaja! Very beautifully described it! The purpose of the Vedic Planetarium.
Srila Prabhupada took up the mission of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. According to his spiritual masters instruction, first instruction practically, first and final instruction: take the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and spread it all over the world through english language. English language because English is the language of the world today. Therefore Prabhupada put so much emphasis on his books, he was continuously writing. Even when he was just a householder devotee, he was writing. Any opportunity that Prabhupada got he just took that opportunity to present Krishna consciousness.
In 1948 there was an editorial in an English newspaper called Amrita Bazaar Patrika. The editor there mentioned that although India got its freedom, India got her freedom and everyone thought that after they got independence everything would be so wonderful. But it seems even after getting independence the problems didn’t go, like the problems are always there. And he used an expression ‘it seems that in the dispensation of Providence, mankind cannot have any rest’. Srila Prabhupada just took that expression and he just kept on hammering on that – In the dispensation of Providence in this material nature, Mankind cannot have any rest unless and until he takes to Krishna consciousness. (Haribol!)
Srila Prabhupada knew to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, the books are essential because through the books one can spread the philosophy, the message and the objective. But then when Prabhupada went to America we see that the first thing that Prabhupada actually wanted was to establish a temple. His movement started when he got the 26 second avenue. And that was actually our first temple, the first temple of ISKCON in New York, in Manhattan. It started from there. And then Prabhupada was looking for various properties. He came across a nice multi-storyed building, Those days it was costing 100,000 dolllars. And those days 100,000 dollars was a lot of money. And Prabhupada was trying to negotiate his contacts in India, the wealthy contacts, Singhanias and others. And requesting them – Please help me get this temple! And he was inviting his Godbrothers to come. He knew that they wont be able to come up with the money but he expected that they would come and give him the support. But none of them, neither the wealthy Indians no matter how pious they may have been nor his Godbrothers did not extend any help.
But then we see what Srila Prabhupada did. One after another Prabhupada kept on establishing temples, from New York to San Fransisco, San Fransisco to Los Angeles, Montreal, and in this way Prabhupada just kept on establishing one after another temple and within ten years time he established 108 temples. And while establishing the temples Prabhupada also felt the burden that it will assert on the devotees. The responsibility of maintaining a temple is not easy and Prabhupada emphatically told that – don’t consider that your Guru Maharaja is giving you some responsibility, some burden. Like, why? Because Prabhupada saw to establish the movement, temples are essential. Even the mayavadis, impersonalists, those who don’t believe in the form of the Lord even they have temples, they build temples, although they don’t believe in forms when they establish a temple they have to establish the deity because according to the Hindu understanding, Vedic understanding there cannot be a temple without the deities. Because the temple is an extension of the spiritual world, especially Krishna temples are the extension of the spiritual world.
In that respect, Prabhupada gave the example just like we have embassies in different countries. And the embassies are actually the extension of the country. Similarly, the temples are actually the extension of the spiritual world. Krishna’s dhama becomes manifest in the form of the temple. In a way we can say that there are embassies and there are consulates. The embassy is the central presence of the country. The consulates are the extensions of the embassies.
If we consider the different temples that have been built by ISKCON all over the world. Incidentally I want to also mention that we can very easily consider that this Krsna consciousness movement is growing in spite of everything. ISKCON is growing. The clear indication of that is that when Srila Prabhupada left the planet there were 108 temples. Today all over the world we have more than 600 temples. (Haribol!) That is the clear indication of ISCKON’s progress.
Although Srila Prabhupada left the planet, but Srila Prabhupada established this movement in such a way that it is effectively and successfully growing all over the world, fulfilling the prediction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
And as I was saying, if different temples of ISKCON are the consulates, Mayapur is the embassy because this is the place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. This is the place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed his wonderful pastimes. Therefore, Prabhupada was so concerned that this wonderful temple, adbhuta mandir, that has been predicted by Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura will become manifest.
And Srila Prabhupada gave that responsibility to Ambarisa Prabhu.
Ambarisa Prabhu those days was a big, big achievement of ISKCON. (laughs) Henry Ford’s great grandson. And even today we see that wherever Ambarisa Prabhu goes and just his identity, Henry Ford’s great grandson, it carries such a tremendous effect. People automatically become attracted and consider the validity and authenticity and effectivity of Krishna consciousness movement, ISKCON.
Eventually, actually, I also want to say Ambarsia Prabhu is a very humble person. He doesn’t want to come in the forefront. He always prefers to be in the background. I am fortunate to know Ambarisa Prabhu for the last 39 years. I have seen that. Anyway, I don’t want to go into the details. Whoever knows Ambarisa Prabhu knows that, that you know how humble he is.
But we can see that how Srila Prabhupada is inspiring him, made him take up the responsibility. He didn’t really come forward, thinking, oh, I am not really qualified to take up the responsibility of such a big assignment, but we can see that how eventually Srila Prabhupada pushed him to take the responsibly. And we are seeing how under his leadership, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, the adbhuta mandir, the wonderful temple that had been predicted by Nityananda Prabhu and Bhaktivinoda Thakura is becoming a reality today. (Haribol)
At least we are confident that in the year 2022, the inauguration of the temple is going to be.[haribol]
Panca Tattva is going to move into their real home.[applause]
Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, also known as the Temple of Vedic Planetarium.
Thank you all very much!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
HH Gopala Krishna Maharaja speaks:
Prabhupada wanted, Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister that time to come and be present for the foundation laying stone. And assuming and hoping that if Mr Modi wins again we are very hopeful and confident that we can bring him here in 1922.
HH Bhakti Caru Swami speaks:
There is also a possibility that Prince Charles of England may also come.
HH Bhakti Purushottama Swami speaks:
As Bhakti Caru Swami described, Ambarisa Prabhu is very simple, very humble. When many years before, I first saw Ambarisa Prabhu, he got involved with Mayapur because of TOVP. When I saw him I used to think, such a simple, humble person, how he is managing big things? Ford company! I couldn’t believe it. Then I was thinking because he is become devotee he has developed nature like this. But one thing I have observed he may look simple and humble, but very firm and determined, very firm and determined. In his decisions, in every respect, very firm and very determined also.
Long before when I used to discuss with Ambarisa Prabhu about Mayapur, he would repeatedly tell one thing, Maharaja, when TOVP will be ready he used to give the example of high tides in ocean, when high tide comes everything will go up automatically. And that we can see now. As more TOVP is manifesting, so many nice symptoms. Also we see, develop the city, all these favorable situations are created. Very interesting now to know that Prabhupada wanted, that he has predicted, one astrologer has predicted that this boy has quality that he will build a house where whole world can live together. And it has been translated into reality. In Mayapur now we have devotees form 60 different counties and disciples of more than 50 gurus. (Haribol) Prabhupada has really created the United Nation of the spiritual world here. Just imagine in whole India we have any place, any institution where 60 countries people living together. Not so easy. Prabhupada has made it possible.
And one interesting thing is, we have been hearing that many devotees, not many devotees, almost everybody would say, will this be possible that we will see in our lifetime, this TOVP. Most of us would think like that. TOVP has not started, we are hearing so many planning, then again and again cancel, then so much money spent So everybody worried. Our society is going through so many hurdles, problems. Will that happen in your lifetime we can see this TOVP. Even after TOVP work started, still people are thinking, oh! work has started, budget is very big. Will we see in our lifetime? Now we see, Maharaja said, we have spent 350 crores, another 350 crores we need. Ambarisa Prabhu was saying, to move deities there all we need only 52 crores. Possible or not possible?[Haribol]
It will be possible if each of us at least we sponsor one square feet before we leave Mayapur. (Haribol!)
Every year 15000 devotees come. I know that many devotees are going to that office, and putting money. Ambarisa Prabhu used to say that devotees have lost faith that we can build this temple. That is the reason why he first put good amount of money that people will understand that yes, that when we start something, people will join. Then we can see now devotees from all over the world they are joining their hands, this nice temple is manifesting here. This is our responsibility. Prabhupada gave order to his disciples. All Prabhupada disciples they very much want before they leave the planet, this temple should be completed.
How many Prabhupada disciples are here? See only a few. So all are next generation devotees.
So this is our responsibility to make sure, to help Prabhupada disciples so that this temple manifests as soon as possible so when they go back to Godhead meet Prabhupada, Prabhupada will ask – what have you done? (laughter) Prabhupada we have fulfilled your desire!
We have fulfilled his desire.
Prabhupada has handed over us great personalities like all who are sitting here and sitting down also. So greatness of Prabhupada. What is greatness of Prabhupada? It has been stated – the tree is recognized what kind of fruits it has. So Prabhupada glories, these people are the glories of Srila Prabhupada. (Haribol!) How nicely they have managed the society. Just imagine, when Prabhupada left this planet, what was Mayapur that day. How many devotees, how many buildings, what was happening, how many pilgrimage. And just see because of disciples are so empowered and what has happened. They will give a very satisfactory answer to Srila Prabhupada
We should work so nicely, so cooperatively so that Prabhupada will get the message that his society is handed over to good quality people so that way there is hope the society will continue for the next 10000 years.
Of course Prabhupada has said that will happen definitely.
So in this way we have a very big responsibility and we pray that Lord Sri Sri Radha Madhava Sri Ashta Sakhi, Panca Tattva, Narsimha Bhagavan, will empower us so that we can all work together
Panca Tattva abhiseka we did, one week before, mahabhiseka. This will be the last mahabhiseka of Panca Tattva under the tin shed. No more mahabisheka under the tin shed. He will go to very luxurious temple there and that temple can accommodate 10000 devotees sitting together and doing kirtan. So next mahabhisheka will happen there, 10000 devotees will comfortably sit. Just imagine what will happen then.
So I don’t want to take more time, Maharaja sitting will give concluding lecture and Ambarisa Prabhu will speak.
So thank you all very much.
HH Radhanath Swami speaks:
2022 is the day we are all praying Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Narasimhadeva, Panca Tattva will be welcomed into their new home. It is the 100th anniversary year of when Srila Prabhupada was first given the instruction by his Guru Maharaj to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. (Haribol!)
On a rooftop in Ultadanga junction road in Kolkatta, on a rooftop, Srila Prabhupada received this instruction. It was the seed of the Hare Krishna movement. Taking the word of his Guru Maharaja as his life and soul, Srila Prabhupada traveled to New York city.
Before leaving, there is a famous story of when Srila Prabhupada was in Shantipur. He told the pujari there that my Guru Maharaja has given me an impossible instruction. When Srila Prabhupada was on Jaladuta, no money, he didn’t know anyone. Prabhupada said when he was in New York, he had no money, no means, and he was practically wandering like a vagabond.
Srila Prabhupada was praying to Krishna, only if You give me the words, will these people understand. And after about a year of struggle, there was a little storefront on the lowrie (?) side of New York, 26 Second Avenue and just a few followers who didn’t even know exactly what they were following. (Laughter) But when Srila Prabhupada talked about a movement they were thinking the movement is us in this storefront with Prabhupada.
But Srila Prabhupada in the incorporation of his society, he called it the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Everyone was thinking, this is impossible. They didnt even know amongst all of them how they would pay the next month’s rent for 26th Second Avenue. And Prabhupada is talking about temples all over the world, farm communities and schools.
But because the devotees, many of them here today, they took Srila Prabhupada’s instruction as their life and soul, Srila Prabhupada empowered devotees to actually establish a worldwide movement.
And we heard about HH Tamala Krishna Goswami, when Srila Prabhupada sent him for an impossible task to get land in Mayapur. And he did because he took the words of his Guru as his life and soul. After a little time, there was a tiny straw hut near the road here in Mayapur. There was no money. There was hardly any people. There were a lot of snakes. In monsoon season, everything was flooded. From that little straw hut, Srila Prabhupada proclaimed, this will be our international headquarters.
From that little starw hut which was a cheaper situation than 26th Second Avenue, Srila Prabhupada said that we will have this Temple of Vedic Planetarium. And the devotees though, this is impossible. But at the same time, we had faith that it is possible but how its going to happen, we had no clue.
It was in Detorit, I believe 1976, Ambarisa Prabhu had just helped arrange to get a wonderful temple. Before the temple was even established or opened, Srila Prabhupada was sitting in his room with Ambarisa Prabhu and out of nowhere, Srila Prabhupada told Ambarisa Prabhu, I want you to help to build, to lead the building of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur Dham. [applause]
That parampara of planting the seed. He had never even been to Mayapur at that time. But he took that instruction as his life and soul. Actually, Srila Prabhupada put so much emphasis on the Temple of Vedic Planetarium for reasons that have already ben eloquently described by HH Gopala Krishna Goswami Maharaja, HH Sivarama Swami Maharaja, HH Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja, HH Bhakti Purushottama Maharaja, to attract the world into the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Prabhupada told us, Bhaktivinoda Thakura on the order of Srila Jagannath das Babaji Maharaja, his Guru Maharaja, discovered Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace here in Mayapur. And Thakura Bhakti Vinoda an advocate, a scholar, a saint in every way, he went door to door begging for people to help to build this beautiful temple of Lord Caitanya, to attract the people of the world to come to Mayapur.
In that spirit of Guru parampara, Srila Prabhupada has given us all the instruction to develop the temple of the Vedic planetarium. Not only to build the building but also to create a community of sincere loving vaisnavas that will attract the whole world’s hearts to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy and truly Srila Prabhupada has given this responsibility to each and every one of his followers and to the extent that each and every one of us take this responsibility very personally, we will feel Srila Prabhupada’s presence and feel the miracle of his mercy manifesting through us as a movement. I don’t believe Srila Prabhupada or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will allow this temple to be built and fulfill it’s true purpose unless we all do take this responsibility as our life and soul.
Thank you very much!
HG Ambarisa Prabhu speaks:
I want to thank all of my friends and leaders up here to take time from their very busy schedule. I am here to speak about the TOVP. We are missing Jayapataka Maharaja who has always been supporting us. We love him a lot. He was there in the beginning. As well as my friend Bhavananda prabhu who was there in the beginning, living in a hut full of mosquito and snakes. I am very grateful that all of you came here and expressed your enthusiasm to build this temple.
Radhanath Swami was talking about impossible tasks. Believe me, until we came up with this plan to go back to what Srila Prabhupada really wanted, on our own ISKCON land, it was an impossible task. We were battling against the communist government and there were so many obstructions. It was crazy.
And before I forget I just wanted to mention two of our team members who passed away this year, Bhaskara and Paravata muni who gave their so much of their lives for this project. So we are very grateful to them. (applause)
Talking about impossible tasks, as Maharaja Sivarama Swami mentioned about the science, and I am telling you, to be perfectly honest, when people start talking about the science of the Vedic planetarium, and it just goes right over my head. I said, you know, I’m just a manufacturer, building a building, I don’t know anything about this. But I feel very secure because my friend Ramesvara Prabhu, who is in the back of the room hiding, is a great, great, great disciple of Srila Prabhupada, has taken this on his head to find out about the science and execute it.
What was the year, Maharaja, when Prabhupada asked you to print all those books?
1975. Srila Prabhupada asked Maharaja to print (how many) (inaudible) and didn’t they say impossible in the beginning? He is being honest, he was the one that said it. So you know, they said impossible but they did it. Somehow or other, Krishna is the doer and if we start thinking we are doing things, then things fall apart. But if we understand that Krishna is the doer, the only quality that we have to have is willingness, that’s all. And if we are willing to do it then Krishna will move mountains to try to carry out the wishes of his pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada.
I don’t feel like I am responsible at all for this, I have been very, very fortunate. And we pray for impossible things. That’s really what keeps us going, impossible missions. So I have been given an impossible mission. We started it during the world financial crisis of 2005-2006. My family’s company was about to go bankrupt and It became very apparent that it was time to move, so I just said haribol! We moved forward and you can see the result. So many devotees have been involved, Sadbhuja, my friend, Bhavananda were with us from the beginning. Sadbhuja has done such an incredible job of getting the superstructure up and doing so many things. And Vilasini our head architect is over here. She has been so instrumental in done so many things to help to move the project forward.
As usual, the bottom line is money. Krishna is owner of everything. He is the most opulent. So I am not really worried. I am not worried about money. I am not like Vrajavilas, my better half who tries to figure out how to get the money. I just figure it will come, I don’t know how its going to happen. But it will happen. So I am not worried about it, They are the most opulent personalities, Radha Madhava. Jananivasa has been dressing them so beautifully for so long. (applause). So we just pray for Their mercy and also the support of the devotees from around the world. We have gone all around the world from Hongkong to South Africa, to the US, all over the place and we have met so many wonderful devotees who have stepped forward and given their hard-earned money to help push this temple forward. So we are very grateful and we love them and thank you so much from the bottom of our heart. Please continue to support this project. Go back to your temple, to your local temples and encourage them to participate in finishing this temple in 2022.
As Radhanath Maharaja was saying its the 100th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada receiving the instructions to go preach in the West and it’s the 50th anniversary of the Mayapur project. So it’s a very auspicious date, we just didn’t pick it out of the air, its very auspicious. So thank you all for all of your help and all of your support and we are counting on you, all of you to help us.
Thank you very much!
HH Radhanath Swami speaks:
I have one good news that I am happy to share with you. For the first time in the history of ISKCON, that rooftop on Ultadunga junction road, where the historical event of Srila Prabhupada’s first meeting with his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, for the first time ever, the access to and that rooftop will be in the care of ISKCON. (Haribol!) And I was just told just four days ago it should be within the next couple of weeks.
HH Bhakti Purushottama Maharaj speaks:
One thing I was thinking to say but I thought maybe Ambarisa Prabhu will speak. How he inherited this responsibility very humourously he was mentioning that when he went to meet Prabhupada, then Prabhupada explained about Mayapur and TOVP. By that time he doesn’t know where is Mayapur, what is this? And Prabhupada asked, what do you think about this? He said, Prabhupada, very good! Very good! And Prabhupada said ok! You do it now! (laughter) very simple way big project came on his head in a very simple way! (laughter)
HG Vraja Vilas Prabhu speaks:
Hare Krishna! Thank you all very much. Thank you Gopla Krishna Maharaja, Sivarama Swami Maharaja, Bhakti Caru Maharaja, Radhanath Maharaja, Bhakti Purushottama Maharaja and Ambarisa Prabhu for inspiring us today.
One thing which I got and probably which everybody got is – its possible! Its possible and its possible! And if you wanted to know how it is possible, please visit our office and we can tell you the same thing – its possible!
And I end this session with Srila Prabhupada’s quote “All of our devotees will gladly contribute.” So let’s meet at the TOVP office.
Thank you all very much!
Transcribed by Suvilasi Madhavi dd, Singapore