Beware The Marble Hearted Fiend – an appreciation

Beware The Marble Hearted Fiend

By Abhay Das of D.C.  On January 15, 2013

I have just returned from a sabbatical at New Vrindaban (if you were wondering where my blog had gone), and quite enjoyed my visit. What really struck me was the incredible beauty of Prabhupada’s Palace and the main temple. It is astounding to consider the unlimited man-hours it took to create such a holy place. I imagine an army of talented devotees standing over vats of chemicals to make the elaborate molding, crafting the marble and onyx by hand,  and operating the earth moving machines (some devotees, like Varshana Maharaja, are still suffering the after affects of so much time on heavy equipment).

Also on display is the pinnacle of devotee talent and artistry.  In the temple room of the palace, the ceilings are adorned with incredible paintings by Murlidhara,  probably our premier artist in ISKCON,  where also hangs his original giant painting of the Panca-tattva (a picture of which graces our Gaur-Nitai altar here in DC), truly a window to the spiritual world.  The gorgeous golden altar of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra, also made by hand by devotees who careful studied the work of traditional Indian artisans, is straight out of Vaikuntha.  I witnessed the reaction of the many guests, both Indian and other, completely over-awed with hands folded while approaching the Lord.

And then there are the devotees whose hard labor paid for it all.  Droves of surrendered souls traveled the country for many years while performing the austerity of approaching the public for donations.  I have known many of them and can attest to their dedication.  They used up their youthful years and vital force to fill up the drop safe in the temple treasury office to make it all possible.

While I was enjoying the opulent atmosphere,  I started to reflect on my indebtedness to all those great souls.  I tend to get enlivened when in beautiful surroundings.  When traveling with my parents as a child to New York, we would stay at the Waldorf Astoria, and when visiting London, have high-tea at the Savoy or the Ritz. I was also trained in art appreciation by my father in many of the great museums of the world.  So being a vishayi (spoiled sense g ratifier), I get inspired when surrounded by works of art, and this visit to New Vrindaban was not only spiritually uplifting, it encouraged much meditation and introspection. And I owe it all to the sacrifice of countless sincere Vaisnavas there.

I wish to hold that mood of gratitude, to never forget the obligation to those who have helped make my journey back to the spiritual world possible. Indeed, William Shakespeare writes in King Lear, “Ingratitude, thou marble hearted fiend”. It is also written in the Vedas that even a Rakshasa (evil cannibal), will not eat an ungrateful person.

So I would like to take this opportunity to place my head on the feet of all the angels who descended to assist Srila Prabhupada in his mission to create a special place of Krishna’s pastimes in the western world, and pray to remain always grateful to all the devotees of the Lord.

Tagged with ? Abhays BlogNew VrindavanPalace of Gold

Here is the original link to Abhay’s Blog:

Beware the Marble Headed Fiend


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