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Changing the Design of the TVP: Reply to Ambarisa

Form Follows Function

Obeisances to all the Vaishnavas.
All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

“It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law” Louis Sullivan (1856-1924)

I am not an architect, or a vastu expert, but using the quote above I would like to explore a few points that perhaps more qualified and informed devotees could possibly respond to.
It seems to me from the various discussions that Srila Prabhupada was more flexible about the exact external appearance of the TOVP.
I am certain that all the devotees involved in the current debate want the Temple to be inspiring and beautiful, but as the old adage goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Will we ever have a design that is universally accepted? Probably not, but just imagine, if after completion and the expense of millions of dollars, as one devotee pointed out, the acoustics were so horrible no one could properly hear the chanting of The Holy Name! It would be a disaster however it looked. The same holds true for all the TOVP spiritual educational and purificatory functions, among which will possibly be :- deity worship, prasadam distribution, book distribution and definitely most important, the realisation of the Vedic view of the spiritual and material manifestation, depicted in all sorts of innovative ways.
I have up until now only seen an animated video of the outside of the building and the immediate surroundings (minus the tea stalls, shops and hotels). I have no idea how it will function when millions of pilgrims come to visit. Will pilgrims circulate around the inside of the dome, slowly ascending through the material world into the spiritual realm, with Radha Krishna in Goloka, at the centre? How do the pilgrims then get out, will there be an elevator (unfortunate name) to return them to the material platform? I am sure some sincere devotee will complain that this contradicts the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita! Will we have an actual western style planetarium, with projected views of the Vedic cosmology?
If we are going to have debate, then let it be an informed one, and let’s move on from our current position of “should we have a dome”, and will it be blue or gold

» Posted By ravidas On Sep 8, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

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