The sense of sight, or our vision, is considered to be the strongest sense and the information gathered through the sense of sight is often retained for the longest period of time. Although undoubtedly hearing about something can have an impact on us, when the same thing is understood with the help of visuals, the impact is much more profound and the brain is likely retain the information for a longer period of time. Therefore, we experience that videos and pictures are retained in the memory for a longer period of time than what we hear.
Sound, being subtle, is not always as easily comprehended as a gross visual representation of the same subject matter. Specially in Kali Yuga, when the human race no longer has the capability of being sruti-dhara, capable of retaining in the memory what one has heard just once, the presentation of knowledge in the form of books is very important.
Paintings, which can depict vast amount of information within a small area and due to being pleasing to the eyes, are generally even more indelibly imprinted on the memory. Understanding this well and intending to utilize the best possible ways to draw the attention of the masses, our spiritual masters have promoted and encouraged a visual representations of our philosophy in a way that is likely to have a greater impact upon the viewers and likely to last longer in memory.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada had also organized numerous visual presentations of our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy in the form of dioramas and exhibitions and he had engaged many of his disciples in explaining the dioramas to the visiting pilgrims, to have the deeper impressions. Even in ancient times, the pastimes of the Lord were depicted in stone sculptures along the walls of the temples, and this practice has continued into the present day. Following the same school of thought, Srila Prabhuapda encouraged his artistic disciples to do innumerable paintings depicting the pastimes of the Lord. Hecalled them the windows to the spiritual world. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, and Srila Prabhupada ensured that there were plenty of visual presentations of our philosophy and history to draw the attention of the people. Not only paintings, he also encouraged dramas, another form of visual depiction of pastimes, which have a lasting impression upon the viewer, and dioramas, models representing pastimes of the Lord with three-dimensional figures.
Keeping the same mood, the Srila Prabhupada Museum project in Iskcon Vrindavan is preparing for its opening on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami, which is also the opening day of our beloved temple. On the 10th of April, Ram Navami, after performing Guru Puja and taking darshan of the Lords, all the devotees will gather for the opening of Musuem at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Museum. Our esteemed senior devotees present for the program will inaugurate the Museum, which will be followed by a guided tour, and all the dioramas will be explained for the pleasure of the assembled devotees.
Presenting the museum at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, we shall pray for his blessings and hope that this endeavor is to his satisfaction.
The following is a brief description of will be presented in the museum:
To highlight the life and remarkable achievements of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
To introduce the conceptions of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya
To increase awareness of the real identity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
To highlight the 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 was spread 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 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 become 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.