Report from Gopinatha dham
It's been a long time since I've sat here to write. Hectic pace has kept me away from the computer. Today has a
quiet moment, to share with our friends the activities which have taken place here during the past two months.
Earlier this year Rob began creating a small Bengali hut for our Mayapura section. He battled with setting up the
thatched panels from Mayapur. Once the sides were in place, the next question was how to roof it.
We'd found some Indonesian thatch on long strips of Bamboo but it really didn't seem to work, nor look the part.
Then I tried taking the grass strips apart and tying the grass together into small bundles.
We all felt quiteat home working with the grass and making the roof using this process.
Radha Raman makes the bamboo roof frame.
The bundles all rest atop the frame. Although it does not really look exactly like the neat roofing of a
Bengali hut, it's much better than what it was like before.
and tile the entrance to Puri.
Good news was that the West Australian Art Gallery kindly donated us four brand new pedestals
which were surplus from their current exhibition on Ancient Egypt.
For me, by far the most challenging part of this project is the graphics. More than 50 panels of information
and images are required. So far we've been focused on construction: now we're faced with conceptualizing,
then designing all these panels for the four sections of the gallery. Without experience, expertise, or
technical knowledge, I've been struggling.
My husband is a very organized thinker, having written many books. Seeing my confusion he's been helping
me with the process, and via the internet, Yaron, a devotee graphic designer in Israel, has agreed
to also take part.
We've also been looking at the different printing options. Nowdays printing technology can print right onto
wood, cement or even corrugated iron. We're making a few samples.
At the end of July I visited Melbourne, taking Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur to be painted by Rasanandini, a
devotee artist there. He returned last week with Vedapriya who is visiting for Janmastami.
It was also my mother's 90th birthday and since she is dear to the devotees, they arranged a
small birthday party for her at the temple.
Guests at Gopinath Dham
We've had quite a few guests recently. Firstly Partha, and her young daughter Sangita came for a week
during Purushottam month from Aukland. They happily spent time caring for the garden we have started
in the swimming pool.
Next Yadav and Runa Jani came from Nairobhi to visit. Yadav is a very dear friend of Gopinatha dham.
He first visited us in 2002 soon after we moved here. At that time he was studying in Perth. Now he's married,
working in his family's business and about to become a father.
Next Damodara Prabhu came from Melbourne on his was to Pune in India, where he and his family now reside.
He kindly spent a few days of his valuable time making a careful floor plan for the gallery.
This year has seen our morning spiritual program becoming far less steady, due to early workdays for
Palika and Linda, sickness for Sri Radha Raman and a heavy focus on trying to get the gallery work completed.
Seeing the plight, my husband suggested we have a evening program as well. He offered to read
Brhat Bhagavatamrita with us every night. At first I couldn't imagine how to fit another obligation into our
busy days, but after we began, very quickly we felt the rejuvenating benefit. Now we look forward to some
evening nourishment from chanting and hearing together.
On top of everything else, this is Gopinatha's main festival season. Every year at this time, we celebrate
Gopinatha's Jhulan Yatra.
Soon after that Balarama Purnima arrives and we set up for another festival. Although Gopinatha's festivals are very small they are also very sweet. Somehow each year He sends us some guests.
Radha Krishna Prabhu from Houston
Dhananjaya Prabhu, Ashok and son, Pratik from Mumbai
For Janmastami Gopinath goes to Nandagram[see next blog entry]. Meanwhile we run around here
and there busily preparing for the following day - Srila Prabupada's Vyasa Puja.
SRI VYASA PUJA
This year the temple agreed to hold this important spiritual function at Gopinatha Dham.
We hired a tent and set up everything ready.
When Srila Prabhupada came early in the morning, from the Janmastami program straight to our place,
it really felt as if he was here with us in person, as our guest.
The following morning many devotees arrived to celebrate his auspicious birthday.
Yadu-sresta prabhu, temple president in the Perth temple speaking.
Vrajananda and Hema Krishna both from Malaysia speak their realizations about serving Guru and devotees.
And What's happening right now?
Currently we're watching two young Indian carpenters quickly completing work to be done on the Gallery,
under the watchful eye of Dhananjaya Prabhu, a very qualified Gujerati devotee architect, who has designed
many temples throughout India.
Pratik, his nephew, who lives in Perth has started a business. He decided to make his first job
helping complete the gallery.
Well, that's all the time I can spare on the computer right now. Today's my day to cook and I still have
many rounds to chant. Three days from now I go back to Melbourne for Radhastami, then onto
New Zealand to spent some time with the devotees in Christ Church. Back to Gopinatha dham by October 1st.
Will try to catch a moment to write something while travelling here and there. Til then...
From everyone at