Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

Eightee n Dn.ys - Sti Panta-tdlivd's MAydpur-lila

Behind Closed Doors

Friclay F ebruary 13, 2004

On the inside, though, ir's a very different story. I sat with Bharata Maharaja Dasa on the altar of Sri Panca-tattva yesterday, while the sthapatis continued their final work on the deities. Whatever everyone thinks they have "seen" of the deities so far, they are going to be shocked when They are actually revealed in Their final forms. Nothing can prepare us for what we will see. For example, while we were talking, Bharata said, "watch this..." and took up a small electric sander/polisher. He turned it on and carefully ran it up the back of Lord Caitanya's leg. I don't think there are words to describe the color; it was literally molten gold-a gold so bright and deep and intense that it was hard to believe it was still solid and not pouring out all over the altar. So we may have "seen" the deities, but in reality we haven't seen anything yet. Nityananda is a slightly different color: a hue of pinkish copper unclerneath the surface oI the gold; Advaita Acarya is a whitis]r-gold, and Gadadhara and Srivasa are different aElain. Bharata Maharaja Dasa is an Australian devotee who has been involved in the carv- ing of the deities flrom the sketching stage. He was responsible for the clay models, the fiberglass models, and in the encl, carved the [i.rer flacial details into the deities. He is also responsible for the renovations and extensions to the temple that houses the deities. He's what you would call a "busy rnan." I was talking to hirn flor an article in a special edition BTG that is being put togeth- er here, covering the entire installatior-r. While we spoke, the .sthapatis were taking care o[ the srnall delects that t'rccurrecl during the transportation: Lord Nitydnanda, for example, had a scratch on His arm that had to be filed away, which meant the entire shape of His arm changed, so Bharata was trying to file everyrhing into its proper shape. He is also filing down the ankles o[ the deities, which were made extra thick to support the 2.5 tonnes in weight. They are now a lot sleeker, more


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