The Srila Prabhupada Museum Project, an offering by Iskcon Vrindavan to Srila Prabhupada on the occasion of his 125th appearance day, is now in its final stage. In another month-and-a-half, the museum will be finished. The scheduled inauguration day is Gaura Purnima, the holy appearance day of Kaliyugapavana, Sri Catianya Mahaprabhu.
Most of the dioramas have already arrived, although a few of the major ones are still to come. They are expected to arrive in approximately a week from now. It will then take a month to give each diorama the finishing touches and detailing.
The museum on the ground flour and first floor is going to be centrally airconditioned. It will be shielded from outside sounds, and the very clear audio inside the museum will give detailed explanations of the different dioramas, thus completing the profound impact the dioramas will have on those who behold them. The lattice marble design on the walls – a special beautification of the structure – will remain enclosed in glass, thus preserving an aesthetic appearance. This will allow the entrance to the museum to also be air conditioned and outside sound will be reduced. A team of experts from Jaipur is being called in to assess how stained glass would look in the marble lattice. After this, a final decision will be made regarding how to close the marble lattice.
This project of having a magnificent museum has been possible by the kindness and generosity of H.G. Prsannatma Prabhu and the late H.G. Parvati Mataji. It was their desire to see this area developed into a museum, which was its initial purpose. Parvati Mataji left a large amount of money for the development of this museum. We are very grateful to their family for facilitating and supporting this wonderful project. It is with the full support, help and expert management of H.G. Panca Gauda Prabhu, our temple president, that has made this desire and idea actually fructify and reach this stage. H.G. Bimala-Krsna prabhu, who took responsibility for the development of the museum, explained that this is a huge team effort.
The main artistic force behind this project is H.G. Vasudeva Krsna Prabhu, an artist who has lived in Vrindavan for the last thirty years. In fact, he has done most of the art work in our temple. He has also done projects in Delhi and Ujjain. Now he is bringing perfection to the dioramas and to the paintings in the museum. Mulchand Prabhu, the maintenance manager of the samadhi for the last forty-five years, and his team, have been busy ensuring that all work is done properly. The devotees under the expert supervision of H.G. Bimal Krishna Prabhu are endeavoring to make a spectacular museum for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. They all feel very fortunate to be a part of this project and hope and pray that the museum will be to Srila Prabhupada’s and the devotees liking.
The following is a brief description of what can be expected 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.