Archive for the 'Mayapur TOVP' Category

All Things Must Pass… Gone-vindas and the late Lotus
5 November 2009

Great news from Mayapur. Here’s a few photos I took today. As you can see, some major changes are taking place. The park is being cleared in preparation for the ground work to begin on the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP).

There is a good deal of nostalgia for the park, the famous Lotus Fountain, the lawns and trees and flowers. Literally tens of millions of visitors (four million just during last year) have enjoyed the peaceful environs of the ISKCON Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir gardens and they have served us well. Still I can’t help but be elated in seeing the acceleration of the demolition as preparations gear up.

By January we hope to see the pile drivers in place and work on the foundations begin in earnest. In early February the entire GBC body will attend an inaugural ceremony to create an auspicious beginning for the works. If you are coming for Gaura Purnima, be prepared for some major changes!

The park area circa 1976

The park area circa 1976

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning (circa 1980)

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning (circa 1980)

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning

And the end... November 2009

And the end... November 2009

After nearly 30 years of service, the Lotus Fountain goes under the hammers

After nearly 30 years of service, the Lotus Fountain goes under the hammers

30 years and millions of visitors later, the Lotus Fountain bids adieu

30 years and millions of visitors later, the Lotus Fountain bids adieu

All things must pass

All things must pass

Here’s the new perimeter demarking the boundary of the TOVP. These poles will be adorned with tin sheets and the whole area will be off limits to visitors while the construction goes on.

TOVP perimeter fence poles go in

TOVP perimeter fence poles go in

Take a last look, by Gaura Purnima this will be a solid fence

Take a last look, by Gaura Purnima this will be a solid fence

One place I was particularly glad to see dismantled was this:

Govinda's dhaba bites the dust

Govinda's dhaba bites the dust

Going, going, Gone-vinda's

Going, going, ...

Gone-vindas -- will be replaced with an new first class air conditioned restaurant

A new first class restaurant is under construction and will be operational within two months. It will comprise of three areas-Bengali cuisine, Indian cuisine, and an air conditioned full service Italian restaurant. Another area will be for snacks and take-aways so that sit down diners will not be disturbed. There will be three kitchens with different crews cooking for each one.



Planetariums and intelligent design
16 October 2008

October 15 2008

Here’s where we spent our afternoon.

Nehru Planetarium

Nehru Planetarium Mumbai

We means myself, Paras (pictured), Suman, and Gopa Kishore prabhu, who took these photos. Gopa Kishore is the devotee who did all the animations on the Mother Ganga film produced by Bhakti Vaibhava Swami a couple of years ago. At that time he was known as Bhakta Ezequiel Guerisoli, from Spain. He has worked for TV in Spain and he did a lot of visuals for Yadubara prabhu on his excellent Following Srila Prabhupada series.

He is a good photographer and while we were waiting for our hosts, he wandered around shooting a few pics. of the locals including this sequence of  a butterfly:

butterfly 1  butterfly 2 butterfly 3

butterfly 4  butterfly 5

He and I were just introduced yesterday. He is keen to work on the exhibits for the TOVP and put his extensive film making abilities to use for the planetarium.

At the Nehru we were met by Scott Niskach, international sales representative of Evans and Sutherland in India.

 Scot Niskach

E&S are one of the largest manufacturers of planetariums in the world. They were the first company in the world to develop computer graphics, i.e. using computers for drawing pictures, way back in 1968 and made a good living making flight simulators for commercial and military use. They made the first digital planetarium in 1983 so they have extensive experience in the field.

Some of you may recall my blog entry from June 10 describing our exhibits team meeting.

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Washington DC – July 3-6
3 July 2008

July 3

I got into WDC in the late afternoon. It was hot, 93 degs. We have 14 acres in Potomac, the most expensive real estate in WDC. Srila Prabhupada had a memorable visit here for a week in 1976 during the American bi-centennial celebrations which I have recorded in TD 3.  

Srila Prabhupada WDC visit 1976

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Houston June 27-July 3 2008
27 June 2008

June 27-July 3

The Polish festival tour sounds wonderful. Sitala and Rasarani-priya are having a great time, busily engaged in a variety of preaching activities. There’s no time for anything but Krsna. Its really difficult to appreciate what exactly Indradyumna Maharaja is doing for Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya’s movement. He is an ideal sannyasi and preacher. I admire his dedication and sheer effort very much.

I sit back sometimes and wonder how it is that I haven’t done as much. I have gotten lazy and I am still mired in so many desires. I guess it takes a few lifetimes to get to the platform Indradyumna Maharaja is on.

Here in Houston I am staying with Advaita Candra and his wife Kalasudha. She is the daughter of Bhaktajana Priya prabhu and was largely brought up in Mayapur. Now she’s actively preaching in Houston with her husband, who is a product of the Chowpatti preaching.They have a beautiful, new, large house in Houston so it is spacious and comfortable. They have made their living room into a temple and do a simple mangala arati at 5.30 AM every day.

 My Houston hosts, Advaita Candra and Kalasudha 

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New York June 15-17
15 June 2008

The day after Rathayatra I went over to the temple in Brooklyn for the Sunday feast. Its always big the day after Rathayatra and at least 800 guests were there at the peak. Ramabhadra prabhu the TP graciously allowed me to show my powerpoint presenation of the Bhaktivedanta Archives and I sold a few of my books.

Highlight of the evening was ‘As Kindred Spirits’ a devotee band headed up by Gauravani, the son of one of ISKCON’s oldest kirtaniyas, Baradvaja prabhu, and mother Rukmini. Gauravani has inherited all his father’s kirtan skills. He’s an excellent bhajan/kirtan man and can keep an audience enthralled for hours.

I have strong ties to this temple. I was the one who bought it in 1982 when I was GBC here for a year. We were in a terrible mess at that time with the main temple a small building on 7th Ave. between 53 & 54. It had been closed to the public and Sri Sri Radha Govinda were living in a miserable condition. Read the rest of this entry »



Mayapur TOVP exhibits
10 June 2008

June 10 2008

The return to Alachua was productive. As the Exhibits Coordinator for the Mayapur Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP) I had requested a meeting for June 10 with the main contributors to our cosomology team. 

Accordingly we all met at Brahma Tirtha prabhu’s house in Gainesville–Sadaputa, the main brain behind our challenge to material science; Ravindra Svarupa, who is heading up the Vedic Cosmology research team; Jayapataka Swami, GBC and Exhibits Director; Drutakarma, famous anti-evolutionist; Nitya Trpta, who helped develop the exhibits in New Delhi temple; Sraddhadevi, disciple of RVS who coordinates the cosmology team’s efforts; Vilasini and husband Anup who are the new architects and work force coordinators on the TOVP; and myself.

We kicked off the meeting with a brief update on the main dome. This will house the Deities and three levels of exhibits showing the four dhamas mentioned in Brahma-samhita: Devi-dhama, Mahesa-dhama, Hari-dhama and Goloka-dhama. Those exhibits will not come under the purview of this group however.

Hanging from the main dome will be a gigantic chandelier which will rotate and demonstrate the movement of the main planets and the sun around bhu-mandala. Sadaputa prabhu is working on a draft proposal for this but basically it will look like an inverted orrery.  Never heard of one? Check out a google search on orreries.  Here’s a dictionary definition:

“a mechanical model of the solar system in which the planets can be moved at the correct relative velocities around the sun [C18: originally made for Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery” 

 Ours of course will show the geo-centric model presented in the SB and have the sun revolving around the earth.

Here’s a few examples:

orrery1

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