An Appeal to All from Bhubaneswar Devotees

Devastated devotees at Gour Govinda Swami’s samadhi and the remains of Srila Prabhupada’s bhajan kutir. (right)

Bhajan Kutir of Srila Prabhupada

The Most Sacred Place of All

An Appeal to One and All

Hare Krishna Prabhus/Matajis,

 Please accept our humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupad. All glories to Srila Gurudev.

Incidentally your goodself might know that the Bhubaneswar branch of ISKCON is the last Founded project of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the Founder- Acharya of ISKCON. Having deep love for his dear disciple Srila Gour Gobind Swami Maharaj who had taken sannyas from Srila Prabhupad during the year 1975 at Sridham Vrindaban, the most sacred pastimes place of Supreme Lord Krishna wanted to open a centre in Odisha.
By divine arrangement and with the sweet will of Srila Prabhupad, this patch of land on which ISKCON Temple was built up was donated by Smt. Chhabi Kanungo who was closely related to Srila Prabhupad while she along with her husband & children were in Kolkata. Srila Prabhupad was looking for a land in Odisha to open a branch of ISKCON. After he got his dear disciple his desire for a patch of land at Odisha gradually became more intense. After the land was arranged at Nayapalli, close to N.H.-5, Bhubaneswar, he wrote a letter to Srila Gour Gobind Maharaj to come to Mayapur to have a discussion on it. The moment Gour Gobind Maharaj reached at Mayapur, Srila Prabhupad introduced him with land donor Smt. Kanungo & her husband Sri Bijayananda Kanungo. On a suitable day both Mrs. & Mr. Kanungo came to Bhubaneswar to show the donated patch of land to Gour Gobind Maharaj who on the instruction of Srila Prabhupad then built a thatched cottage with 5” wall and made a green fencing to protect the land as well as the cottage from any trespassers. As per the holy sweet desire of Srila Prabhupad  Gour Gobind Maharaj went to Prayag Maha Kumbhamela in Uttar Pradesh on January 1977 and brought him to Odisha on 16th January, 1977.

Srila Prabhupada Chose to Stay

in that Dilapidated Mud Hut

Previously Gour Gobind Swami had already arranged two good accommodations with well-furnished comfortable arrangements for Srila Prabhupad as he was gradually becoming old and weak. But Srila Prabhupad refused those proposals saying that “I will stay in the cottage erected by you on the land given by Krishna”. Reading this in Srila Prabhupad’s letter Gour Gobind Maharaj was totally taken aback. He could not believe that Srila Prabhupad being one world-class international spiritual master would stay in such a dilapidated mud hut without modern facilities. But Srila Prabhupad only requested electricity, to use his dictaphone, which he used for translating Srimad-Bhagabatam from Sanskrit to English for western people. Gour Gobind Maharaj made the arrangement for electricity during that time. Ever since, the cottage has been duly honoured by both vaisnab devotees and outside visitors. During H.D.G.’s holy appearance & disappearance days the cottage was always decorated with flowers, mango leaves and banana trees, which was looking very attractive.

We are Terribly Shocked

But to our utmost surprise we are terribly shocked about the last incident which occurred on 6th August, 2012, at 12 noon in the temple campus. The N.H.A.I. Bhubaneswar staff (Land Acquisition Officer Asst. Director) had broken the memorial Bhajan Kutir of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. In this cottage Srila Prabhupad remained continuously for 17 days. H.D.G. finished his 9th canto Srimad -Bhagabatam English translation and had started 10th canto Srimad-Bhagabatam translation.
Besides that he had given a series of lectures on Srimad-Bhagabatam, Srimad-Bhagabat Gita and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita with quotations from different Vedic literatures. H.D.G. stayed in this cottage from 16th January 1977 till 4th February, 1977. This cottage was erected by his dear disciple Srila Gour Gobind Maharaj.

The N.H.A.I  Officer Ignored the Court Order

Everyday during Mangal Arati, the  first Mangal Arati was offered to H.D.G. along with similar arati being offered to Srila Gour Gobind Maharaj in his original adjoining samadhi, at the same time. Besides these regular offerings, shringar, other aratis and seva were being made sincerely by the devotees in this most sacred cottage.
However, unfortunately the N.H.A.I. Bhubaneswar staff on the plea of expanding the 4 lane to 6 lane system of the National Highway had tried their best to occupy ISKCON’s land at Bhubaneswar which is very close to the National Highway 5 since 1996. To protect this most sacred monumental cottage we, the devotees here at Bhubaneswar, filed a case against N.H.A.I. authorities in the court of Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.) Bhubaneswar at 9th June, 2000 with its statuesque order passed by Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) in Bhubaneswar that same year. The same statuesque was maintained till date with its period of continuance up to 1st October 2012. We the devotees had shown this Court order to the N.H.A.I Bhubaneswar officer, who was authorized as Land Accusation officer-cum- Competent Authority to prevent him from breaking Srila Prabhupad’s cottage along with other rooms (stalls) such as the reception, prasadam stall and books of Srila Prabhupad along with other paraphernalia & incense, but the same officer did not pay any attention to us. Exercising his Executive Magistrate power he ordered the squad with JCB machine and staffs to crumble down the above stalls including Srila Prabhupad’s cottage. By 12.45 P.M. everything was finished and the same cottage is now no longer in its original posture. H.G. Sachinandan Prabhu, who was informed late about the incident, came and requested the L.A.O. who was reluctant but forced to keep the granite stone base, on which the nicely carved wooden simhasan was being kept along with the divine murti of Srila Prabhupada, unharmed. That base is still there.

We Pray Fervently

We, the most unfortunate souls, pray fervently to Srila Prabhupad to excuse us of our offences and allow us again to re-establish H.D.G. in the same area and continue his seva as it was.

For this purpose we pray again and again to all the Vaisnavas around the globe to shower their mercy on these fallen souls here at Bhubaneswar so that we will be able to serve as before Srila Prabhupad, the great spiritual ambassador who preached the gospels of ancient vedic literatures around the globe 14 times within a period of 11 years of his most advanced age. This Bhubaneswar branch of ISKCON was the last founded project of
Srila Prabhupad & 108th branch of ISKCON.

Jaya Srila Prabhupad! Jaya Srila Prabhupad’s memorial cottage!

Devotees of Sri Krishna Balaram Temple
ISKCON, Bhubaneswar – 15
Odisha, INDIA.

N.H.    We request all the devotees around the globe to write individually/jointly to their respective High Commission/Embassy office to put due pressure on the President & Prime Minister of India, so that the shocking matter will have a permanent solution.

One Response to An Appeal to All from Bhubaneswar Devotees

  1. Nimai Pandit dasa August 16, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Dear everyone,

    It seems that this is a worldwide plea for help from the devotees at the ISKCON Bhubaneswar temple.
    They want and need assistance from the whole world, this plea for help from them should put to rest the idea that the whole world should simply sit still and watch and the Indian, Oriya devotees at the ISKCON Bhubaneswar temple will handle it. This is definitely not the case.
    Please everyone assist in what ever way you can, write to the four Govt. of India officials concerned, their emails are on this site and please sign the petition.

    Please click on the link below to sign the petition:

    https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/natonal-highway-authority-of-india-stop-temple-demolition-and-harassment-of-devotees-in-iskcon-bhubaneswar

    Your lowly servant,
    Nimai Pandit dasa.

Dedicated to the Life and Teachings of Srila Gour Govinda Swami