Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

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Befbre anyone could cast these deities, though, thousands of details had to be tied down. Bharata Mahiraja, an Australian devotee who lives in MdyApur. ancl who was to play a major part in the deities'creation, began to study the Silpa-Sastras, the scriptures covering the traditions and proportions for cleity making. There was, however, one tlajor problern: worship o[ Sri Paflca-tattva is from the Bengali tradi- tion, and no written scriptures existed for Their worship. So Bharata Maharaja turned to the South Inclian traditions, modifying the proportions according to the written recorcls o[ the Paflca-tattva's pastimes here in Navadvipa 500 years ago, and liom contemporary Bengali literature. Bharata had to calculilte the measuremenl.s o[ tl-re Paflca-tattva accordirrg to guidelines from the Silpd-sdstra. The lace, for example, is measured by placing the thumb under the chin ancl the micldle finger at the top of the lbrehead. He then used this measurerrent to calculate the rest of Lord Caitanya's body: In contemporary literatures ancl scriptures, His anns are describecl as reaching to His knees, which is considered exceptionally long. lf His hands reached His knees, that would mean his forearm was longer than nonnal, His upper ann longer, and conseqrrently His hand rvould be higger, and so on. ln this way, Bharata was able to understand the size and proportions that these cteities should be according to Their descriptions in Cuittutya-cdritdmrto. Still there werc collntless details to be resolved. Height was an is511s-n6 one was sure what sizc the cleities shoulcl ultimately be. Towarcls the end of 1997, however, the Sri MayApur Project Developnrent Cornmittee (SMPDC) decidecl upon the poses from drawings submitted by Caitanya Canclrodayir Dasa, who at the time worked in the SMPDC's London office. Caitanya Candroclava, an artist, attendecl the meetings where poses were discussed, ancl sketchecl as the rnembers ol the team talked. Then, with the help of Milan Bagh, a clay modcler and arrisan flrom nearby Krishnanagar, the Deities were brought to life in thc form c'r[ clay models. Although usually a traditional occupation handecl clown through generations, Milan was a first generation artisan. This woulcl prove to bc an aclvantage: rather than bringing with him generations of icleas, Milan was ope n-minclecl to Bharata Maharaja's direction and was able to incorporate the more uniclue aspccts of design


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