By Maithili devi dasi
This is how it happened
The Deities in the temple before they built temple were facing the opposite direction they are now when right before Mr Nair died he said ‘if they do not leave the land I will take a rock and smash that Krsna’s face’. When Srila Prabhupad heard this and while Mr. Nair’s body was being carried past Radha Rasabihari towards the crematorium he said “Just look, Krsna is having the last laugh.”
Anyway some time later in May [between 15-17th I believe] when I was carrying the Deities lunch time Raj Bhoga offering from the shack to the temple near the front of the land, I saw that there were a lot of policemen surrounding the temple. I dropped the plates of Krsna and started to run towards the temple which was open on three sides structure with a corrugated metal roof and a deity room which was fronted by wooden doors. The sides on 4 corners of the whole structure had ladder like metal rails which supported the metal roof on 3 sides……
after dropping the raj bhoj plates I ran to the temple when I saw that there were at least 50-60 policemen at the temple starting to knock down the roof – I closed, locked and bolted the deity room doors which were up a few steps and I stood on the top step with my back to the doors… after a while the police were completely knocking down the whole roof of the temple including the long tube lights as well as the paintings in frames of Krsna which were everywhere and when they started to destroy Tulasi devi I left my position with my back to the doors and went to the middle of the temple where She was standing from the morning because they were going to hit Tulsi Devi and at that point they grabbed me and I hit one of the officers in the face when he grabbed me – then they all came around me and starting to drag me out of the temple – on the way I wrapped my elbow around one of the ladders holding the corner of the temple up and held on as hard as I could – then they started hitting my elbows with a stick so I would let go and I fell onto the red clay floor of the temple and then they picked me up by one foot and one braid of my hair and dragged me across the field which was now full of people who were watching the whole thing, they carried me halfway across the field while many people were standing in horror and watching and threw me face down into the police wagon. Then they took us to santacruz police station for a while. Inside the police wagon the devotees were crying and chanting the prayers to Lord Nrsimhadeva very loudly and then they locked us up in a prison cell.
In the meantime, one devotee called Jaganivas, while I was being beaten was also fighting with them on the side of the temple between the temple and the road and he fought with them so hard that he was buried up to his waist in the Tulasi garden and another devotee, Manasvi went to call someone to get the destruction stopped. They tore down the temple 3 or 4 days before the building permit ran out and they did this on purpose so they thought we would not have the permission or the time to rebuild it.
They did not count on the amazing heroism and bravery of my personal hero Mr PL Sethi. He came in the middle of the night with all his family and workers, because he was in the construction field and he was armed with a shotgun so no one would stop them and we fed the workers all night for or 4 nites and they put the roof back on the temple in the night times so we could worship the Deities again. Amazing it was when they brought us back from Santa Cruz station the flower that I had put behind the ear of Radha Rasabihari was still there and the ghee lights were still burning. The only offering they had missed was the raj bhoja offering…… there was a hole in the roof where the pujari stands in the Deity room to do the arati and until we got that part fixed the pujari [me] would even have to stand in the rain when doing all the aratis and I remember Giriraj standing in front of Sri Radha Rasabihari with an umbrella for Mangal arati until the temple was repaired. I have undertaken to write this story because Mr Sethi is the real hero and the real friend of our divine master Srila Prabhupada and I also attach a picture which will show that they destroy the temple completely and were going to knock everything down if they did not get stopped. My head and shoulder and leg where they lifted me hurt for a long time but we were all happy because Srila Prabhupad said the Bombay devotees passed the test….. so we got the little temple rebuilt before the permit ran out and the people who were trying to destroy us were really upset. After that we made a lot of publicity against the actions of these people and with Acyutananda Swami we were based at the office of Sarda Jewit Lal [Punjabi Chandu Halwah owner] and we wrote many articles about how all those police tore down the temple. I have enclosed a picture from the Hare Krsna Monthly of the destroyed temple and in the corner near the side of the temple you can see me and Madri sitting outside. I believe Srila Prabhupad was in Calcutta [not sure] and when he heard that I had been kicking and screaming at the policemen he said I would go Back To Godhead kicking and screaming. HE DID NOT SAY I WOULD GO BACK IN THIS LIFETIME – IT WAS JUST AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FUTURE AS I AM A VERY FALLEN DEVOTEE…… YS MAITHILI