Standing directly opposite the magnificent marble samadhi-mandira of His Divine Grace. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, is a similar structure, which was always meant to be a museum showcasing Srila Prabhupada’s life and his presentation of the philosophy of our Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya. Yet, for some reason or the other, it has not manifested as a museum until now. When it was first constructed, itwas used as a place for prasadam distribution and later, as a place for book distribution.
Now, however, the time is ripe for the museum to manifest! A team of dedicated devotees and artists are working tirelessly for this end. It will be a lengthy process – planning the theme and also the procedure. Our aspiration is to produce something that will have a lasting impression upon the pilgrims visiting the museum.
After careful consideration, eleven exhibits have been decided upon. These exhibits will first be designed on a computer. Then a dummy exhibit made of thermocol will be prepared. Once approved, molds will be made and the dioramas will be cast in fiberglass. They will then be painted by our expert devotees and thus “brought to life.” While the beautiful display is sure to amaze and impress many people, its deeper purpose is to direct their attention towards the most auspicious process of Krishna Consciousness. A brief description of the aims of the project and the various exhibits will now be given.
1. To highlight the life and remarkable achievements of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
2. To introduce the conceptions of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya
3. To increase awareness of the real identity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
4. To highlight he highest conception of Sri Vrindavan Dham as revealed by our acaryas.
Exhibit 1 – Sri Sri Radha-Krisna and Lord Brahma
All the transcendental knowledge of the Vedas was originally transmitted by Lord Krisna to Lord Brahma.
Exhibit 2 – Sri Narada and Sri Vyasa
Vedic knowledge was passed down in disciplic succession orally until 5,000 years ago when Vyasadev compiled it in writing under the guidance of Narada Muni.
Exhibit 3 – Sri Guru Parampara
The ancient disciplic succession continues with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who inaugurated the yuga-dharma of harinama sankirtana. In 1965, this sankirtana movement wasspread all over the world by ISKCON Founder Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Exhibit 4 – The Radha Damodara Temple
After taking sannyasa in 1959, Srila Prabhupada stayed at the Radha-Damodara Temple, Vrindavan, where he translated the 1st canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam into English.
Exhibit 5 – Jaladuta
in 1965, Srila Prabhupada travelled to America aboard the cargo ship Jaladuta, carrying with him his transcendental books. He did this solely to fulfill the order of his spiritual master to preach in English, the message of pure bhakti in the Western world.
Exhibit 6 – Tompkins Square Park
In 1966 Srila Prabhupada established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York, USA, in the midst of an ongoing cultural revolution. Many young spiritual seekers who found true shelter in him.
Exhibit 7 – World Revolution
From 1966 to 1977 Srila Prabhupada traveled the world 14 times, mercifully initiating more than 5000 disciples. He established 108 temples and translated 80 volumes of Vedic knowledge. This astounding rate of expansion for a religious movement is unsurpassed in the history of the world.
Exhibit 8 – Ratha Yatra
In 1967, ISKCON San Francisco arranged the first ever Lord Jagannath Ratha Yatra outside India. Now Ratha Yatra takes place annually in over 100 major cities of the world.
Exhibit 9 – Sadbhuja Gauranga
Six-armed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His transcendental identity as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, the source of all incarnations.
Exhibit 10 – Sri Vrindavan-dhama
Lord Caitanya came to this world to reveal the transcendental names, forms, qualities and pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krisna and the process for developing pure love for Them.
Exhibit 11 – The BBT
One of the most remarkable achievements of Srila Prabhupada is the establishment of Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), which has became the world’s largest publisher of classic Vedic texts on bhakti – and also of contemporary works in perfect alignment with those texts – on the philosophy and culture of bhakti-yoga.
* * *
Iskcon Vrindavan will be most grateful to anyone who supports and encourages this wonderful project, which will be instrumental in spreading the glories and message of Srila Prabhupada, an illustrious acarya in the glorious sampradaya of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada who preached the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the western world. Anyone interested in contributing toward this project is most welcome to donate as per their means.