Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir, Vrndavana
BY: PARVATI DEVI DASI
Jun 07, 2011 VRINDAVAN DHAM, INDIA (DH) Once again, I wish to extend my thanks to so many of you who were inspired to come forward this year to help build the Samadhi Maintenance Fund Fixed Deposit as well as the working account. We are more than halfway to the $2,000,000 goal. It is certainly Krishna's blessing to have so much international participation in this wonderful service in Vrndavana Dhama.
1- A new Projector was donated anonymously by a lovely devotee right here in India to display Srila Prabhupada larger than life to virtually everyone who comes in and out of the temple at our Museum. Someone also anonymously donated an amount last year. All costs were covered by donations. No one can underestimate a moment's association with the pure devotee. The picture is of very high cinema hall quality and can be seen clearly even as far away as the Information Center. Nothing like this exists anywhere else in Vrndavana.
As soon as we cover the fiberglass roofing from
the intense summer sun, it can be shown during all hours, including daytime.
Our sound system manager, Madhava Krishna prabhu babysat the carpenters
while they made a platform and a protective Elmira according to his
specifications. A guard rail was installed downstairs to protect the silver
screen from further damage by the public. With Saranga Thakura prabhu's
kind general direction, the bakery, BBT boys and goshalla donation tables
have made minor adjustments.
2- The 4 parampara Deities who were languishing reclusively in the bedroom
of Prabhupada's House were given a new home before Advaita Acarya's
Appearance Day with broader exposure to the public upstairs in the Museum in
a very grand glass case. Costs of around $6000 were shared partially with
the Deity Dept., which kindly sees to the care of the Deities. We will be
very happy if anyone wants to donate the balance of those installation
We had to put a watchman up there for a few months when one of the
doors was demolished by the Gandhi Jayanti crowd to the tune of Rs.6000. Our
watchman, who was being paid Rs.2-3000 and answered the public's questions
with nice simple preaching-was finally replaced by a devotee inspired to do
this nice simple preaching, but we still need more preachers there. There
is also a TV/DVD player back there which could be run by someone in a
likewise inspired preaching mood. Anyone who loves preaching to the
incoming crowds is certainly invited to take advantage of this limitless
3- Cleanliness: The Museum is exactly in front of Srila Prabhupada in his
Samadhi, and the bakery has finally employed a continual service of cleaning
without break, though there is room for improvement. People are eating all
over the place, including entrances, steps leading up and down the stairs,
any other steps on the way to the brahmacari ashram, information center,
temple, etc. They still haven't developed a system that anyone who receives
the prasadam should be invited to EAT OUTSIDE, not inside, to protect the
items on all the display tables, not to mention to prevent it all dropping
on the floor to be walked all over the place. We are hoping that once the
new boundary is soon situated, and the new gate installed on the Gurukula
side, the bakery will find a first class position on that side to include
proper sitting and cleaning and even higher exposure to the thousands
entering and exiting the gate. It will also be wonderful to separate the
commercial area from the spiritual area.
4- Gardens: We transplanted a couple of the champaks (frangapanis) to
adjust to the new boundary, and hope to put smaller plants behind the
seating areas along as much of the boundary as possible to beautify it as
before. Indranilamani prabhu has been helping supply flowers from the
goshalla nursery, and we have a little hedge under the stairs we grew on the
border under the stairs to separate the flowers from visitors who sit on
that ledge. Though my faithful workers know how to cut wheat, they do not
comprehend gardening in general. I requested Indranila prabhu to kindly
help us for an hour or two a day with one of his men who have the
5- Upstairs, we are arranging the replacement of two water-damaged enlarged
pictures upstairs in the museum for around $200. Aksaya Gauranga prabhu
from the Bhisma Dept. has been helping me with the photo lab in Delhi. We
are hoping the Gurukula will change the bathrooms to another wall, rather
than the one which adjoins the museum and has been leaking for years.
6- We are about to typeset Hindi translations of the framed English
descriptions in the first floor of the museum. We will also include small
descriptions of the parampara and nameplates for the Deities.
7- As soon as the boundary work is cleared from that area, we will bring
back and lay out the decorative marble we had to remove previously from the
original entrance pillars, and has been scrambled because it was moved so
often. Men from Makrana will be coming in a week or so to see what the
practical situation is to replace it on the same pillars rather than
spending another Rs.10 lakhs doing new carving. They will also do other
work to do to replace and support broken and unpolished places damaged by
8-The ladies kirtan group seems to be growing and the visitors love sitting
and chanting with them for Srila Prabhupada's pleasure.
9- On the altar itself, there has been the usual infinite amount of
cleaning, repair of plumbing and the new AC seems to work normally. Now is
the very hot, windy, dusty, stormy season (reminding us of the Trnavarta
story) which makes for a lot of cleaning.
10-Bhaktisiddanta prabhu has nearly completed the two brass panels depicting
Srila Prabhupada's life accomplishments and mission and is in the process of
assembling by welding literally hundreds of figures on the brass background.
Nothing like this has ever been done in our society before, and certainly
not in Vrndavana. In fact, I doubt anything like this has been done for
hundreds of years anywhere else.
11- One of the very ancient four pillar fans in the Museum dropped off the
wall and is irrevocably damaged, even for an Indian repairman. It will cost
around Rs.15,000 to replace all of them, so they all look the same. The
ones which still work can be placed variously at other strategic places.
Next few months we can accept inspired donations for the following
1- The DVD audio player and very old amplifier can't be fixed very well.
They are kind of old, as are the ceiling speakers. It is very nice to hear
japa after mangal aroti and bhajans or lectures during the day. I
understand that many of you have upgraded your I-pods to I-phones. WE WILL
GRATEFULLY ACCEPT DONATIONS OF YOUR OLD USABLE I-PODS FOR THE SAMADHI IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THEM. Send them with someone reliable who can carry them to me here in Vrndavana. It will take another $2-300 for the rest of the electrical and electronic apparatus involved.
2- We will soon replace the initial upstairs Museum photos of the
parampara with the Panchatattva in the near future, since the parampara
Deities are now there in person and will need around $200.
3- When I get help with the photography, I will send nice copies of
the huge pictures behind the altar for auction which will be replaced by the
brass panels. It seems some noble artist repaired the black areas people
have been putting their heads to for at least 10 years. We will start the
auction at Rs.1 lakh each to cover extra costs incurred over the original
and revised estimates for those brass panels. You'll need a wall 8' x 9' to
accommodate these historical and well worshiped masterpieces, the San
Francisco Rathayatra, and Hippy Hill kirtan .
4- Rs.10-15,000 for the new fans ($200-300).
5- Up to $3000 for the paramapara's glass house.
1. The Vrndavana Samadhi Maintenance Fund now has about $1,200,000 in fixed
deposit, which gives 9.25% interest. We now have the annual minimum costs,
not including special projects. These donations perpetually serve Srila
Prabhupada with the interest.
2. Many devotees donated for special projects anonymously this year. See
above under "So far".
3. Hundi donations @ $10,000.
4. Yasoda Mayi devi dasi, retired from Vrndavana Gurukula, donated
Rs.1000/month, which added up to Rs.12,000 for the year on her meager US
Social Security Funds; Srutadev das (ACBSP) donated $550 from his mother's
inheritance. Jagat Priya and Mandapa prabhus (ACBSP) from Australia donated
$1000. Vishnu Murti das and his wife, retired former chairman of Mombasa
Temple donated Rs.25, 000 which he does yearly. Srivallabha das from Dubai
collected Rs. 1 lak from his community; Prassannatma das donated 10,000; HH
Kesava Bharati Swami donated his yearly commitment of Rs.10,000; HH Subhag
Swami Rs.9000, Deepti Pal from Goa gave Rs.8000, Shri Sunil Sharma and
family from Delhi gave Rs.10,000. Many others gave various amounts for which
we thank you all for your generosity and commitment to our Founder-acarya's
working account and Fixed Deposits as well as specified projects.
5. We had a variety of anonymous donations as mentioned above for the
6. Our biggest donor for the brass panels was Meera Khurana with an amazing
donation of Rs.8 laks. Others who donated large amounts were Prana Vallabha
devi dasi from Dubai who gave Rs. 3 laks; Hamsa Priya devi dasi of San Jose
who gave Rs.2.5 laks; Samika Rsi das , the Towaco NJ President, who gave
Rs.2 laks; Bhaktisiddhanta das (ACBSP), the artist, put in several laks
himself, and an anonymous one for Rs.2 laks.
**INCOME NEEDED** **WHAT YOU CAN DO**
We aim to build up a fixed deposit of $200,000 to use the interest
for expenses in addition to the donations. This will cover inevitable costs
and give an increased cushion for future surprises in the aging structure.
Srila Prabhupada's Vrndavana Samadhi Maintenance Fund needs you now!
All participation is welcome. No donation is too large or too small. Please
choose a convenient method for your personal service to Prabhupada's Samadhi
1. Annual commitments to the Fixed Deposit presently vary from $108, $501
2. One-time donations as above.
3. Substantial donations to any of the above on-going projects for the
**HOW TO HELP**
Whether you wish to give to the Vrndavana Samadhi Fixed Deposit, or
to some specific project of the Samadhi, contact me please
(email@example.com) here in Vrndavana. I will let you know the
easiest and least complicated way to send your donation, and will be very
happy to answer any other questions you may have. There is probably one of
our reliable representatives near you who can carry your generous donations
directly to Vrndavana.
Recently, the temple changed some accounts from SBI and ICICI to
Axis Bank Ltd. So the old information I sent out recently to a few of you,
and is also listed on all our 5,000 brochures is now updated as follows:
Online donations for Rs. or foreign currency: www.iskconvrindavan.com
Donations by checks, etc. in Rupees is still
SBI Samadhi A/c no. 10684301765
IFS code SBIN0002502
Try not to send foreign checks. They take forever to process.
However you do it, communicate it to me so I know to look for it in case of
technical delays. Easiest is to send cash directly, or even an international
money order with some reliable person.
To insure appropriate handling, address your envelope to Samadhi
Maintenance Fund, attention Parvati devi dasi WITH A COVERING LETTER. You
can also e-mail me. Please state your name, address and the purpose of the
donation, so proper documentation can be made and receipts can be sent along
with special gifts. Kindly specify that your donation is for the Samadhi,
either a special Samadhi project, for the Samadhi Fixed Deposit or in
general for the Samadhi working expenses.
I thank all of you for helping me to serve the Samadhi better and
beg to remain
Parvati devi dasi