Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

"Precious Cargo"

Bharara Maharaja was callecl to South India to oversee the refinements that were added at each stage of the carving. "Every stage of the work saw changes made," said Bharata, "and every dilferent person involved adclecl something. We didn't move backwarcls." The preparations for the castings began. The work area that Racthakrishna and Srikanda Llse doesn't exactly resemble a workshop: it's more like a temple. Before the casting began, there was some pr7jrl (worship) to be per- forrned. Raclhakrishna explains, "The casting is not a manllfactuling process. Everything is done accorcling to culture." Firstly, Radhakrishna ancl Srikanda, along with their wives, invitecl brahmanas to the area where the casting would take place. Purificatory rires were perfonnecl during a fire sacrifice, and the brahmanas were asked to give their benediction that work would flow smoothly. This was followed by go-pnjA (worship of the cow), and Tulasi-phja (worship of the sacred Tlrlasi tree). Finally, agni-pnjd-worship of Agnideva, the god of fire-was per- formed, as the process of casting is done under conditions o[ intense heat. A hirtana was per{orlned continuously throughout the entire period oI casting by 60-100 devotees. Lord Caitanya was cast first in April 2003, followed by Nityananda, then Gadadhara, then Advaita Acarya, ancl finally Srivasa. The casting of each deity was performed srrictly according to astrological calculations. Auspicious days, hours, minutes were chosen, as directecl by scripture. On the day of casting Gadadhara, heavy rain surrouncled the area ancl threatened the work yard. Due to the intense heat of the Iiquid metal, not a drop o[ water can be mixed into the metal; such a mixrure would result in a small but potentially harmful explosion capable of injur- ing those onsite. Radhakrishna approachedJananivisa, and said to him, "Maybe today there will be no casting." During Krsna's earthly pastimes, Indra, the demigod who controls the rain, hacl cleluged the devotees, but Krsrla had held up the huge Govardhana Hill on the little finger oI His left hand, protecting the devo- tees from Indra's wrath and soaklng rain that continued without abatement. Jananivdsa was counting on some similar mercy on this day, and it seems that Kggrla was of the same intention. Ganga DAsa said, "The entire work area was dry


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