Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

Behind Closed Doors

The interview describes what Bharata had to do to get the dimensions right for the cleities to be carved. The Silpa-snstra deals with such topics, but is mainly in the South Inclian tradition. Since Panca-tattva appeared only 500 years ago, the scrip- tures clon't include them; especially also since those Sdstras don't cover Bengali traclitic'rns. So Bharata had to do his own research: reading through all the descrip- tions in Caitanya-caritamrta ancl Srl Cqitanya-bhagovata, and contemporary literatures about Sri Paflca-tattva. He used the calculation methods given in the Silpa-sastras to determine the size o[ these deities ancl Their specific measure- lnents. lt was flascinating talking to him and learning what he went through to get this final result that we see on the altar today. He says also that the western influ- ence was inevitable, and actually it was necessary, since we have a specific idea of beauty that hacl to be incorporated, and which is sometimes missing in other clcities. Bharata also stressed that they didn't follow some set protocol, some basic "guiclelines" of what the deities "should" look like: These deities are actually creat- ed from the meditation o[Jananivdsa Prabhu, who passed the information on to Bharata, who would make a clay model of a particular body part and then give it to the sthapatis, who would then create that part of the deity. Amazing. We have as a result a very unique, and very beautiful, Sri Panca-tattva...

Monday February 77, 2004

There's a lot to tell, and so much going on that it's hard to know where to start...the deities, of course. Have I mentioned how beauti[ul They are?! Srila Prabhupnda wrote in Cctitcuty a- caritlmrta'. Srrla Rupa Goswarni says, "How shall I glorify the Lord by chanting His name and pastinres? I havc got only one tonl3lle. IIl could possess millions o[ tongues and tril- lions o[ears, then it would be possible to glorily the Lord to sornc extcnt." This is our Lrusiness. So, down to business....the deities are exquisite. I have to start with that, even though I keep repeating it, because it's hard to express how beautiful They are.... so perfectly formed, so unique, so soft to the touch. Last night I was again on the


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