Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

"I Har,e Brought M.t Lord"

cerernony would be held: the opening of the eyes o[ the cleities. At that time, aus- picious items are placed in front o[ the altar so they are the first things the deities see: rice, gold, silver, Ganga-jal, and so on. Some of Srila Prabhupdcla's disciples woulcl perflorm the ceremony. Ourjob was to prepare the deities and the altar for rhe ceremony. And rhe best part o[ all: the deities would finally be revealed for the first time. It was promising to be quite a night. I sat with Bhakta Gana on thc altar for four hours before we coulcl do anything. First, a lot of the supplementary scaffolding had to be removecl. The platforms behirrd the deities would stay for the abhiseha, while everything else hacl to go. But that coulcln't be clone until the cnrtains were Llp eithcr side and above the deities. They look very beantiful, clraped elegantly over the massive altar ancl clown the side walls; a sea of shimmering, muted gold and deep forest green. The curtains were clesignecl by Pankajatghri ancl Kurma Caitanya Prabhus, t'he pnidrt for Sri Sri Raclha Midhava. One Chinese devotee, Gunamala Devi Dasi, also macle some con- tribution. She is a clesigner, and wantecl to clcl some service for Srt Paflca-tattva. Rdja Laxrni ancl Jalingi Devi DAsis were translating-so they all worked with Pankajanghri ancl Kurma Caitanya, in finalizing the design of the curtains. With rhe help of the experr sewing of the ladies from ChineseyaffA. the curtains are the most beautiful curtains ISKCON has ever seen. So tinally, just when I was thinking I should have brought a sleeping bag ancl a packecl lunch, solncone walkecl in with bncl<ets o[ tamarind pulp, ancl the com- mancl, "OK, let's go!" ancl so we began. The team consistecl of a group of people who were pullecl rogether almost (it woulcl seem) ranclomly. Nirgata and Sradcllra Devi Dasis are the laclies who polish all the cleities' brass every Monday: it's hartlly sur;:rising then that they "happened" to be in the area at the time . Latika Bhal<ti, a resiclent o[ May6pur lor over thirteen years, .ittst "happcned" to be walking past the altar. The cloor was open, she looked in, someone grabbed her, ancl there she was, stancling in front oI Nityanancla, reacly to bathe Hirn. t was in front oI Advaita Acarya, and she turned to me and saicl, "1 can't believe this! How clicl I get here?"


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