Gopinatha's Place - Gopinatha Dham

GOPINATHA'S PLACE - GOPINATHA DHAM

Welcome to Gopinatha dham.

Now it is 2006. Five years have passed since we moved here.

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Working hard we’re proceeding along with our plan to open a gallery with images, displays, dioramas and items of interest from three well known holy places of India [Mayapura, Jagannatha Puri and Vrindavana].

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As well as working on the gallery, we’ve worked on some simple facilities for guests or travellers to Perth who’ve an interest in spiritual subjects.

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See here how, year by year, with few hands but strong enthusiasm we have gradually progressed

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Oh, and of course, with the blessings of our Gopinatha to whom we are dedicating all our efforts.

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2002 - excited beginnings →
2003 - difficult, sad times →
2004 - world /art travel →
2005 - further preparations →
2006 - gallery developments →

 

 

The Search Ends

THE SEARCH ENDS

When we first saw this property we wondered if Gopinatha wanted to live here. Nestled beside a large bushland reserve, it was far larger than we had in mind, but the facilities intrigued us.

A large spacious house

which could become an ashram

double garage for our gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant gardens surround the house

The large shed provided accomodation and excellent workspace

We were looking for a place to both live and have Gopinatha's Gallery, but we could not conceive of getting something this grand.

After a great deal of deliberation we purchased it, renaming both house and land Gopinatha dham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening ceremony

AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING

 

Before entering the vacated house, we performed a simple purificatory ceremony. We also took Srila Prabhupada from room to room, whilst sprinkling sacred water. Finally we offered arati to the Deities and Srila Prabhupada in what was soon to become our new temple room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation begins

TRANSFORMATION UNDERWAY

First a small temple room is set up in the formal lounge room. Gopinatha's altar, set beside Srila Prabhupada, becomes the "heart" of Gopinatha dham.

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The upstairs master bedroom, is now an artroom

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renovations turn the shed into a men's ashram

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The large entertainment room is our temporary gallery

 

Work begins on building further accomodation → → →

Building an extension

EXPECTING GUESTS - 2002

A northern extension to the main house was designed

The ground breaking ceremony is performed on a cold rainy morning

 

 

then construction begins......

 

 

the foundation is poured

 

 

the pad is laid

 

 

 

 

 

 

walls up, roof on

 

 

 

nearly complete

 

 

exterior now painted

A lot of time and energy involved ...

...by Gopinatha's grace we now have a place to provide accomodation for Suci Rani and visiting guests

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A quiet place

A SHACK OUT THE BACK - 2002

Our next challenge.

Within a field, at the far end of the property, a small transportable cottage becomes a simple, scluded dwelling overlooking the park.

This will be Bhurijana prabhu's residence when he is in Perth.

footers are laid

bring in the old " transportable"

This one is going to need a LOT of work ! ! !

The devotees begin recladding

then add a new front entrance

and a verandar

finally ,when the work is complete...

Bhurijana Prabhu returns and moves in

Paving the way

MORE HARD WORK - 2003

Paving the extension    

 Paving is required around the newly built extension, but our funds are limited.

          All must be completed on a shoe string budget.

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second hand pavers have to be lifted

loaded onto the trailer

then unloaded at Gopinatha dham

and stacked for use

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Then we began paving ...

The driveway is our first attempt

Soon we are paving all around the front of the house

Everyone taking part and contributing some hard, manual-work

The back bone of our team - Ananda Tirtha, Jaya Gurupada [jiggz] and Sri Radha Ramana

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GALLERY at last

GALLERY

Midway through 2003 [at last] the gallery becomes our main focus. Here too,in making the gallery, we have to be very frugal.

First the basic work to renovate the garage is underway: some basic steps are taken,

2002-2003

The garage doors will have to go

Marble tiles are laid

then carpet

Flooring and painting is all complete by the end of 2004....

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early 2005

working with Yamuna Acharya on design features

                       

Pedestals and more displays are now ready

setting up goes on - coming slowly closer to completion 

 
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]

Future now uncertain

January 2003

sudden shocking news

January brings us shocking news. Suci Rani is diagnosed with an aggressive terminal cancer and given one year to live. Suddenly our excited mood changes as a painful time begins.Energy is directed towards helping her. Ananda Tirtha, her son, arrives at Gopinatha dham to help.

By mid September 2003 Suci leaves Gopinatha dham.

She will end her journey in Vrindavana, January 2004.

see -  Suci's Memorial Section_Those Involved_2002

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MEANWHILE

Despite tragedy,  fields require slashing - trees demand pruning - lawns need mowing - gardens weeding.

So much work is required to maintain the property, and Gopinatha's Gallery still remains far from complete!

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Gopinatha Travels the world

2004 - WHAT'S NEXT ?

Returning to Gopinatha dham after Sucirani's departure , an invitation arrives inviting Gopinatha and His dioramas to England for a Janmastami exhibit at the Manor. 


new dioramas are hurriedly made

then packed carefully and transported to England by air.

Thousands of the Manor's Janmastami guests are captivated

 

We return to Gopinatha dham
in 2005, only to discover that our massive diorama marathon has resulted in successfully completing the required amount of displays to fill our gallery.

These same dioramas will later be placed and displayed in Gopinatha's miniature Vrindavana exhibit.

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Gallery expansion - 2005

THE GALLERY EXPANDS

 

Quite suddenly the idea of renovating the large entertainment room next to the gallery takes our attention. Our desire was eventually to use this room, however we have neither plan nor finances to do so right now.

 

     But Gopinatha seems to have His own surprise plans.

 

 The fine wooden bar, the surrounding wall of mirrors, the carpet and the wall paper all have to go

NOW !!!!

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It soon became clear. This year would be spent on renovations ! !

 

     

 

     

 

       

 

Taking apart one room offered numerous challenges

 

but suddenly we found ourselves renovating not one, but three adjoining rooms.

At first, it appeared we had drifted from our intention to complete the gallery. In fact we had unexpectedly doubled the size of our project. Since the house was designed for open plan living, we now faced challenges in creating  autonomy. First we walled up the  open section between the living space and the new  gallery renovation area.

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Next question:

Where to create a new entrance ?

After much consideration this became the next chapter of the "renovation saga."

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Entrance to the gallery

 

Progressive, Filling, and Good news

Welcome to Gopinatha's Gallery 2005

Oh dear, the entrance way. Again, another delay

   It soon became clear that the ideal place would be behind this curved wall covered with Ivy.

However this wall conceals the  pool pump and other features of the large swimming pool that occupies most of the inner courtyard behind the house.To break this wall would mean the pool has to go.

                      

After much consideration we decide to go ahead.

 

first the door goes in

Now we face two new challenges.

How to enhance the outside area?     What to do next with the pool ? 

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Progressive

 

We decide to create a walkway, with kind help and assistance of friends.

     

      
 
That is the progressive part- Gopinatha has provided a nice walkway.
 
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Filling in the pool 

First task - break the cement

                           

 Linda, Sri Radha Ramana and Jason break both pool and spa

             
 
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Now,who will fill the pool and how?

            

 

                it's going to be a very  looong  process

One year later....  

 The pool is almost full. We are waiting to see what to do with this courtyard after we complete our gallery.That will be the story of another time.

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Now last and not least, here is the:

GOOD NEWS

While visiting Sri Mayapura Dham in November 2005, I wondered what we should collect from this transcendental place to fill the Mayapura section of Gopinatha's Gallery.

Inspiration created a desire to bring the PancaTattva to Perth.

Jananivasa Prabhu agreed to oversee the making of a diorama-like relief of the Panca Tattva

We will pick Them up at the end of 2006 and bring Then to Gopinatha dham

 

Lets see what happens next...    

Mayapura and Jagannatha Puri 2006

2006 - Completing last year's work

January:

Painting continues in the big room

 

 

The flooring is down and two large skylights have been fitted.

The room is now ready to display installations from Mayapura and Jagannatha Puri.

Once again we are perplexed.

What to do next? How to begin this next phase of construction? We decide to complete the rest of the renovation work and wait for some sign.

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February:

     

Three other rooms - renovation complete.

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March:

We improve shack facilities for Bhurijana Prabhu

We take the time to convert the small shed next to the shack into a simple office. Another smaller shed is repaired and repositioned nearby for use as a storage facility. Then a secondhand carport, painted by Palika is set up beside the shack, and Linda plants a nice garden.

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April:

The gallery again becomes our focus

One day we receive a phone call from someone visiting the Hare Krishna restaurant. He had noticed a small sign Sri Radha Raman had posted, inviting anyone interested to help with some calligraphy.

Although he didnt know any calligraphy, Rob was curious.

When he visited Gopinatha dham he saw and heard what we were trying to do. For years I had envisioned this work, but without facility or ability to execute the ideas .

Rob noticed that we were serious, but totally incapable of proceeding. He showed interest in our project. Gopinatha had sent him: we decided to beg his help.

Together we begin designing and creating a strategy for the Puri installation.

Getting started

First we cut 3.5 sqr mtrs out of the newly laid flooring

and using 80kg blocks , with Linda, Jason and Rob's full strength we laid a platform.

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creating the platform

 

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Jagannath Puri canopy goes up

 

 

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black cloth "tent"

Replacing the long mirrors from the previous wall panels and adding bamboo, a partition is made. This forms the second side of a black tent-like enclosure.

 

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Mayapura thatch hut

Alongside this Puri section we will have a section dedicated to Sri Mayapura Dham, with items and images from Mayapura on display.The main highlight there will be a small section of a thatched hut.

Last year when visiting Mayapura, we had bamboo thatched panels made and shipped to Perth. Mayapura huts are built using a bamboo frame, but our small room space requires a metal one.

Mark welds the frame

Rob prepares the area

The third and forth side panels of the Puri enclosure go up,  creating the entry and exit.

Rob decides to make an archway into Puri, which is now underway.

Then the Mayapura hut will appear

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