New Vrindaban Deity Lore Part 2

by mrupa

I’m not sure of the time sequence exactly. It must have been very early ‘70’s though and Big Lord Jagannatha was staying in one of the old (not the present log cabins) shacks along the little road out from the Vrindaban temple building. These were small one room uninsulated wooden board buildings, some slightly raised off the ground. [There were also two A-frame buildings, one larger for Hayagriva, and a smaller one closest to the temple building. Two geodesic domes were also further down the hillside from the old pig barn. Both of these accidentally burnt down rather early on.]

Anyway, Lord Jagannatha stayed in the third cabin along the road from the temple. It had been the first school house here for a while. And of course, Hladini was also taking care of Lord Balaram, Lady Subadhra, and Lord Jagannatha then as well.

When Bahulavan was acquired, and Kirtanananda was recalled to direct New Vrindavana from the Road Show, Radha Vrindavana Chandra was to be moved to the Bahulavana Farm as soon as the temple room could be constructed on the back of the farm house there. And Lord Jagannatha was to be installed at the Madhuvana farm.

Lord Jagannatha was moved into His new temple on Gaura Purnima . Big Lord Jagannatha, Lady Subadhra, and Lord Balaram were originally carved from logs taken from along the old dirt track to Vrindavana Farm from the main road. I believe Bhagavat Ananda helped carve Them with Bharadwaj. At first They lived in the old Pittsburgh temple. Pittsburgh was sort of an annex of New Vrindavana at the time, sometimes called the gateway to New Vrindavana. When Srila Prabhupada came in ’72, He arrived first at the Pittsburgh temple and stayed there for a little bit before going on to New Vrindavana.

Big Lord Jagannatha rode up the steep hillside to the pavilion set up for the Bhagavat Dharma/Janmastami/Vyas Puja festival in a hay cart pulled by horses. He and Radha Damodara presided there on the stage for the entire festival.

For that visit, Srila Prabhupad and His staff and servant lived at the farmhouse temple at Madhuvana. That original near century old farmhouse and its outbuildings were the only structures there at the time. Madhuvana also included several large fields; one row in the corn field became the place where Prabhupad would respond to nature each morning while He was here.

Hayagriva Prabhu went to India to be with Prabhupada for awhile in Vrndavana in ’73. While there he acquired all the little Deities: three sets of small brass Gaura Nitai, and two small sets of Radha Krsna Deities to be installed at each of the farm-temples. The smaller of the Radha Krsna murtis was to be installed at Madhuvan and were eventually named Radha Madhava. The larger named Radha Vrindavanatha were to be installed at Vrindavana Farm.

Only one of the small brass sets of Gaura Nitai still live on the altar with Radha Vrindavana Chandra. One set of Them is served by Mahati in Talavan here in New Vrindavana, and I have forgotten who is taking care of the third set. The tiny little Laksmi Nrsingha were originally the presiding Dieties of the home/department of Dharmatma and the Sankirtana mothers at the house, now much improved by Lajavati and Sudhanu up the road from old Bahulavan. If I recall correctly, They did not arrive on the mail altar until or just before Radha Vrindavana Chandra moved into Their present temple.

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Reader Comments

One day at Bahulabana a cadillac, or a very posh car, drove up and parked right in front of Kirtanananda Swami’s house. This man got out and brought up to the Swami’s house Laksmi Nrsnga. He told him “This is Laksmi Nrsnga. They have brought me great fortune and I want to give them to you.” I believe Tyaga arrived with him and stayed in New Vrndavan in Mother Kutila’s care in the ashram.