Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

their own jewelry and assorted precious metals. The various donations were taken to South Inclia and melted in massive vats o[ liquid metal, which were then poured into the moulcls o[ the deities' forms. My grandrnother's wedding ring macle its way into the casting, as did rny heavy platinum wedcling ring. Months ago, when they were asking flor donations, Jananivasa Prabhu told my husband tl"rat although platinum wasrl't one of the eight metals, he wotrld rnake an exception. As he was holcling the rings in his hancl, he said, "lt's too late for Caitanya or Nityananda." I was secretly holding out for Advaita Acarya, but I didn't really mind wherc the rings went. Jananivasa then said, "lt will have to be Advaita." I coulcl have danced all over the temple room with joy, but I settled for smile and a quick "Thank you." Their forms are really beautilul: each one is individually shaped, all are dilTerent. Their armlets are all varied clesigns-Gadaclhara's is the thickest. Lord Nityananda's is the sirnplest, bllt both Advaita's and Srivasa's are the flanciest. Their: dhotis are exquisitely carved. The hancls and feet are amazing, clelicate and refinecl, and the carving in general is so expert. Ihey are all stancling in similar poses, but slightly diflferent. Even Their lotus stancls are exceptionally opulent; they look like solid gold, and the carvings are all inclividually clesigned. When I sat on the altar the other day speaking with Bharata Maharaja Dasa, I was behind the deities, and spent arouncl two hours looking at Their backs. That image is kind o[ burned into my mincl at this point, and ['m rather reluctant to let it go. The lread sthapati's name is (believe it) Radhakrishna. Who else?! His lhther was approached first, as he was the most expert sthapail in India. He accepted the job, and gave the nocl for the work to cornmence, telling his sons, "Take extra care witli this work-itrs a special project." Saclly, he would not see the cornpleted pro.l- ect; he passed away late last year. There is now a book printed, The Advent oj Sri Panca-tattva by Ganga DAsa and Bhigavatamrta DAsa-the first book ever ptrblished on Sri Panca-tattva, and a won- derful pictorial memoir of the manifestation of these beautiful deities. I also inter- viewed Bharata Maharaja flor the special eclition BTG that has been cornpiled.

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