Mayapur, A Spiritual City

A s the road to that most sacred of places, Sri Dham Mayapur, leaves Bamanpukur and winds its way towards Hulorghat, the visitor passes many temples established by the followers of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. One temple’s dome stands out head and shoulders above all the others against the skyline. It is the mas­ sive Samadhi Mandir of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhakti­ vedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. While Srila Prabhupada’s body rests in Samadhi at his beloved Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan, the garland he wore as he entered Samadhi in 1977 lies in the pushpa Samadhi located within the grounds of Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir. The pushpa Samadhi was begun soon after His Divine Grace’s departure and finished in 1995. Although fol­ lowing the traditional design of the Samadhis of previ­ ous acharyas, this Samadhi is significantly bigger rising to over 155 feet at the top of the golden tiled kalash, towering over the other buildings in the area as a fit­ ting tribute to the person who established Krishna consciousness all around the world in 12 short years from 1965 to 1977. From the outside the building is a harmonious blend of sandstone balustrades and columns, compliment­ ed by soft peach, yellow and saffron painted facades, supporting a dome measuring 50 m in diameter clad with white marble tiles hand picked under the blister­ ing sun at the mines in Makrana. Entrance to the main chamber is afforded by two sets of staircases on each side. After walking up the gleam­ ing white marble steps, the glare of the reflected sun is mitigated by the cool interior and a befitting mood of reverence and respect falls upon the visitor. Across 30 meters of polished marbleflooring, including a colourful inlaid lotus flower, the larger than life-size bronze murti of Srila Prabhupada greets one. Behind massive teak doors inlaid with bronze and mother of 17

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