Posted May 20, 2008
By Krishna's grace, everything is going well with the Samadhi this year. Harshad Marathe from Bombay donated $200 for the Hindi captions, and Niranjana prabhu sent a print-out of them. I hope they will forgive me for being a little slow, but I got wrapped up in the VIHE 10th Canto. Now that festival is over, too, I'll put them all up.
Bhaktisiddhanta prabhu is making nice progress on the brass collages of Srila Prabhupada's accomplishments which will go in back of the altar where the huge paintings are now sitting. Meera Khurana, Samika Rsi das and Hamsa Priya dasi all gave huge donations for this. Samaka Rsi prabhu from Towaco, NJ, donated more than $5000. Hamsa Priya prabhu from San Jose, donated almost $6500. And Meera (daughter of Manu das in England) donated more than $10,000 for one whole panel. Because this is such a large amount, I am giving credits to the donors at the bottom after the descriptions of the collages. And Bhaktisiddhanta is reviving an old Renaissance custom by putting their faces in a couple of the kirtan party extras. Although, he did not estimate it yet, I can still imagine he will have another $5000 miscellaneous expenses, if I know Bhakti. And I know Bhakti. I have someone waiting in the wings for a commitment for those expenses, unless someone out there wants to beat her to the punch.
Casting has already been started in the fiberglass, and hopefully all the forms will be completed in a couple months so Bhakti can start the brass casting. This wonderful glorification of Srila Prabhupada will last through the ages. I must mention that when the two paintings come down, we will give them to the highest bidder, if anyone can accommodate such large paintings.
Winter brought beautiful flowers for Prabhupada's gardens for around 3 months, mostly gorgeous multi-colored pansies and marigolds. They all died around Gaura Purnima in time for the devotees to arrive from Mayapur. But they were nice while they lasted. I can't find a nursery within hundreds of miles that has any low flowering plants at this time. But we have put more jasmine and night queen around the boundary grills at the front. Prabhupada said that the night queen is the smell of the spiritual world, and you can take his word for it!
We had to get another spare DVD player for Prabhupada's movies in the Museum. And we adjusted the lights in the museum so we can get a clearer picture. I had been told that this projector with 2000 lumens would be fine for daylight showing, but it doesn't seem to be very clear unless I reduce the lighting in the Museum. So far we only show the DVD's in the evenings. If anyone with any technical knowledge can enlighten me about projectors which can show movies during the daylight, please send your advice.
We also got a donation of another CD player on the Samadhi side so we can play continuous bhajans and lectures by Srila Prabhupada on that side.
The museum is now a real beehive for book distribution and mahaprasad distribution. Gone are the days when we announced in the mornings that we managed to distribute 25 or 30 books. Now, 400 is a slow day, and this week the scores are over 1000 books a day. Every day we look to see how the boys' teams are doing and how the girls' teams are doing. Since Marathon month, the competition has been fantastic and the enthusiasm has never waned.
For a couple weeks we had to remove the pictures until we could stop yet another leak in the gurukula bathroom wall. But it was a lot easier to fix than in previous years, because of all the work which was done last year. It seems to be holding out well.
**Next few months we can accept inspired donations for the following projects:
- Repair of some small leaks on the Samadhi roof @ $1000.
- Painting the ceiling of the ground floor and upstairs, the hung ceiling of the Samadhi and the dome on the altar @ $700.
**There is still urgent work to be done:
- Two little strips of walls inside of the Samadhi altar room must be finished with black granite-@ $1000
- I am preparing a list of donors from the beginning of the building of When Acyuta das was taking care of the Samadhi previously, his computer crashed.
- THE LOTUS ON THE ASANA on which Prabhupada sits is in bad need of GOLD-LEAFING again. Gold-leafing unfortunately does not last very long because of the continual rubbing that occurs when the pujaris go up and down there. The last people to do it guaranteed their work for 10 years, but it hardly lasted 5 or 6 years. I got some estimates from some other people for around $7,000. I don't have much faith in the guarantees. This asana looks really shabby.
BHAKTI CARU SWAMI HAS VOLUNTEERED TO DO THIS GOLD-LEAFING on the asana as a service to Srila Prabhupada in his Samadhi. Thank you, Maharaja. He has good people who helped him do the gorgeous work on his new Ujjain Temple. I recommend they wait for a few months for the weather to cool down.
- The Vrndavana Samadhi Maintenance Fund now has almost $50,000 in fixed deposits, which now gives about $5,000 in interest. I made a mistake in the last newsletter for the total. We now nearly cover the annual minimum costs, not including special projects. These donations perpetually serve Srila Prabhupada with the interest.
- Many devotees donated for special projects. (See above.)
- Hundi donations @ $11,000 this year.
- To do the immediate summer work we need $9,000 soon.
- 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.
**WHAT YOU CAN DO**
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 Mandir:
- Annual commitments to the Fixed Deposit presently vary from $108, $501 to $1,001.
- 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 for the working account.
**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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
- You can send a bank transfer (cheaper than wiring):
- To the account of ISKCON Vrndavana SBI ac#10684301765, Vrndavana branch for Indian Rupees
- Or send Foreign donations to
SWIFT CODE: SBI: NIN: BB556
- On-line donations can be sent to iskconvrindavan.com. Click the option of "online donation" to send money through your credit card, to be sent to ISKCON ICICI ac# 027401000335.
- You can also send international money orders or make a draft in rupees to ISKCON ac/#765, SBI ISKCON Ext. Counter, Vrndavana.
- And of course, you can send cash by hand with someone reliable.
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 e-mail or envelope to Samadhi Maintenance Fund, attention Parvati devi dasi WITH A COVERING LETTER. Please state your name, address and the purpose of the donation, so proper documentation can be made and receipts and GIFTS can be sent.
I thank all of you for helping me to serve the Samadhi better and beg to remain.
Parvati devi dasi, Samadhi Office