Samadhi Now 2003
Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir, Vrndavana
by Parvati das
Posted July 11, 2003
This past November we marked 25 years in separation from Srila Prabhupada. So many of you were inspired to come forward this year to help build the Samadhi Maintenance Fund Fixed Deposit as well as the working account, and we were able to start quite a lot of projects. Without your support I could never offer Srila Prabhupada so much service here at his Samadhi. This is one of those literal examples of results in following His Divine Grace's order to cooperate in order to show how much we love him. Alone, we can do something, but together we can do something wonderful. I thank you all so much; Srila Prabhupada thanks you; the Vrndavana devotees thank you. It is certainly Krishna's mercy to have so much international participation and sadhu satsang.
Many thanks to those who have pledged annual donations:
Lokanath Swami, Rtatvadja Swami, Sunita devi dasi and Tosan Krishna das, Parvati devi dasi, Tirtharthi das, Nagapatni devi dasi, Pariksit das, Mahabharata das and Ladli devi dasi, Yamunapati dasa, Vaikunthadeva das and Kanka devi dasi, Pavamana dasa, Suruci dasi, Maharaja dasa and Sujana dasi, Ashokamrita das, Sridhar Jallapuram, Padmavati devi dasi, Manmohini dasi, Vaikunthamurti devi dasi, Varshana devi dasi, Annuttama das and Rama Tulasi devi dasi, Mahamaya devi dasi, Daivadahiti devi dasi.
Deepest gratitude to our many spontaneous donors this year:
B. Vijnana Goswami, Vrajendra Kumar Swami, Rasananda das, Atitaguna devi dasi (Malaysia), Brahmananda das, Paravidha das, Nari devi dasi, Rasananda das, Kesava Bharati das, Bala Krishna das, Isvesvara das, Sai dasi, Krsnachandra das, Priya dasi, Radha Gopal das, Yasodanandan das, Siddhanta das, Rishikesh das, Isani devi dasi, Mathura Syama das, Sita Thakurani devi dasi, Anish prabhu, Nrsinga das, Bharti Topiwala, Moksa Laxmi devi dasi, Krishna Kumari devi dasi, Avaduta Priya devi dasi, Rasika Bandhu das, Abhinandan das (French ACBSP), Kadamba devi dasi, Brajarani devi dasi, Nanda devi dasi, Sandamini devi dasi, Gauracandranama devi dasi and Jyotirmaya das, Kalesh das, Narendra Krishna das, Jayashree devi dasi (BCS), Raghunatha Bhatta das, Hladini and Laxmi (UK), Jayadev das, Samant Jaiswal, R.N.Singh.
Special recognition this year for service beyond the call of duty by:
Anonymous from Mauritius ($7,000), the late Bhaskarao C. Patel (UK500 pounds), Krpamayi devi dasi ($750), Upananda das ($2,000 @ $100/month), Purnananda das ($500), Gopal Bhatta das ($500), Kanti devi dasi ($250), Aravindaksya das ($1000) and other Bahrain devotees (Pillai L.R. Iyer, Veerakrishna das, et al), Madan Mohan Murlidhar das (Rs.15,000), Jayadvaita Swami ($200 personally and inspiring the Bahrain donations of $5,000).
If there are any corrections or questions, or if I missed someone, kindly let me know loud and clear.
- With perseverance, the pigeon problem inside the Samadhi is pretty much under control.
- The mice, cockroaches and termites have been eliminated. YES!!
- We spent two months re-hanging the dome over Srila Prabhupada's head, which entailed the delicate operation of replacing each and every one of 21 dove-tailed support beams under the dome from the roof side with termite proof ones, and many more than that of the ribbing outside of it with curved, individually carved out teak wood (all previously used cheap wood was devastated by termite infestation) one piece at a time. This was done within $2000, much less than we anticipated. Not only that, we even connected the chandelier to an electrical supply so that for the first time ever, it can be turned on, and it looks beautiful!
- We gutted the cupboards, all ruined by termites, and replaced them with termite proof materials, then replaced and repainted the unharmed beautiful teak carved doors. This was done within $1000.
- We cleaned and repaired the shelf used for the smaller altar and the bed with black granite to keep it consistant with the rest of the altar room interior for $100.
- We renovated the two Museum dioramas which had extensive termite damage, and were literally falling apart at the seams. One has also been repainted, and the Prabhupada Deity repaired and re-clothed. The second one will be completed during the summer. We will probably have spent a total of $1000 before we finish.
- The roof of the Museum stopped leaking (which seems to be successful simply with the yearly application of 4-6 tubes of silicon caulking).
- We have started using the areas under the staircases as little garden beds with seasonal colorful flowers. It will take some refining, as not all flowers seem to like the water and the amount of sun or shade. But it has definitely beautified the area and caused much less generation of garbage in the two pits. As a side effect, no one is hiding shoes there or using the area for a urinal anymore. This only costs @ $200 a year.
Next few months:
- Wall fans and ceiling fans will be installed strategically both in the Samadhi and the Samadhi Museum for the pleasure and relief of our summer pilgrims. We will remove the two old industrial fans to the temple. Our costs will be @$1000.
- Spotlights will be fixed to light up the dioramas upstairs in the Samadhi, hardly $20.
- Finishing renovation for the second Museum diorama, @ $200 (out of the $1000 mentioned above).
- Museum walls can now be repaired and repainted downstairs and upstairs, since the water damage problem is under control. That will cost @ $500.
- If we have a donor for a DVD projector, we will be able to show videos all day and night in the Samadhi Museum on the silver screen.
There is still urgent work that needs to be done:
- Marble fixtures, ornaments and slabs are showing signs of loosening and falling out-@ $5000
- Two walls inside of the Samadhi altar room must be finished with black granite-@ $1000
- English and Hindi captions are still needed in most of the Museum exhibits-@ $200
- Many of the photos damaged by water leaks must be replaced--@ $4000
- There are a few photos which are missing-$2000
- The large paintings behind the altar must be replaced by bronze bas relief-@ $10,000 each
- Our yearly maintenance and puja--$10,000, not yet fully covered by donation box collections and interest from the Fixed Deposits.
- The Vrndavana Samadhi Maintenance Fund, increased to $32,000 fixed deposit (many thanks to previous major donors H.H.Giriraj Swami, Parthasarathi dasa of Spain, Chandi dasi, the late Bhaskerao C. Patel, and to recent donors, Aravindaksya das and other Bahrain devotees, Pillai L.R. Iyer, et al), many annual donors, and an anonymous donor from Mauritius, Gopal Bhatta das, Purnanandu das, Krpamayi devi dasi, Kanti devi dasi. Fixed deposits here now yield 8% interest, or about $2,500 for some of the Samadhi's operating costs, like pujas, minor repairs and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. 55 devotees have now pledged $108/year. If they all come through, it will increase this fixed deposit by $6,000/year. These donations perpetually serve Srila Prabhupada with the interest. This is a wonderful program.
- The Hundi donations-this year @ $2,000 .
This $2,000+$2,000 FD interest (I calculated incorrectly on the previous Samadhi Bulletin) gave us $4,000--barely 40% of the annual minimum costs. We were able to make up the difference by the increased donations in Kartik.
- Previously, I went into this service cold, without understanding the actual expenses and the actual income. I was still able to add @ $12,000 into Fixed Deposit. Now that I see the real picture, I am forced to keep back the balance in the working account just to cover the bare maintenance, plus a certain reserve for the emergencies we confronted this year.
- To do the immediate summer work we need $3,000 now, $30,000 soon.
- Our goal is to establish a fixed deposit of $200,000 for an average interest yield of $20,000 per year. Samadhi structure is aging (as yet undetermined yearly costs). This will cover inevitable costs and give an increased cushion for future surprises.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Srila Prabhupada's Vrndavana Samadhi Maintenance Fund needs you now. All participation is welcome. Please choose a convenient method for your personal service to Prabhupada's Samadhi Mandir:
- Annual commitments to the Fixed Deposit presently vary from $108, $501
- One-time donations are really needed for the Fixed Deposit to reach the
A. $1,000 (50 donors are needed in this category)
B. $5,000 (20 donors are needed in this category)
C. $10,000 (7 donors are needed in this category)
- Substantial donations to any of the above on-going projects.
Names of all donors will be inscribed high above the wall in back of the altar. We will reciprocate with you by keeping you informed of our activities and organizing special gifts.
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.
International money orders (personal checks entail a very long process), bank drafts of foreign money (made out to ISKCON, account # 321, State Bank of India, Pratap Bazaar, Vrndavana, U.P., or bank transfers using ac/#210321 and routing code 2502), or Travelers Checks and cash sent by hand reach here more reliably than something sent through the mail. Drafts in rupees may be made out to ISKCON ac/#208, ISKCON Ext. Counter, Vrndavana. Even Western Union has agents in Vrndavana! However you do it, communicate it to me so I know to look for it in case of technical delays.
To insure appropriate handling, address your envelope to Samadhi Maintenance Fund, attention Parvati devi dasi WITH A COVERING LETTER (stating your name, address and the purpose of the donation, so proper documentation can be made and receipts can be sent).
I thank all of you for helping me to serve the Samadhi better and beg to remain your servant,
Parvati devi dasi,
P.S. Kindly post a copy of this on your temple notice board.