On Thursday August 10th, a golden Sudarshan Chakra, weighing 1,400 kilograms (3,086 lbs), was installed on the Planetarium Wing dome of ISKCON’s under-construction Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur, West Bengal.
“This is a monumental step towards the completion of this adbhuta mandira, predicted by Lord Nityananda,” says Planetarium Director Jayapataka Swami.
On the occasion, project chairman and main fundraiser Ambarisa Das (Alfred Brush Ford), along with his wife Svaha Dasi addressed an international audience of devotees through a letter read out by MC Vraja Vilasa Das.
“The initial installation of the chakra for the planetarium dome is a monumental event, capping years of work and support from devotees like you,” he said. “The TOVP team has worked tirelessly for years to raise funds and bring the building to the point you see it at today.
“It has been a little over 10 years since construction started on Srila Prabhupada’s long cherished dream of Sri Mayapur Chandradoya Mandir, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. The progress has been amazing thanks to the devotees and disciples of Srila Prabhupada from around the world.
“On this day I want to especially express the gratitude of the entire TOVP team to Jayapataka Maharaj, for his stalwart support which has been there from the beginning. Maharaj has organized and enthused his disciples from all around the world to rise up in support of this project, and we are eternally grateful.
“The TOVP is the international home for all devotees of ISKCON, and the principle root of preaching for the next 10,000 years.
“Please, all of you do what you can to support and pray for the Deities to have a new home in Sridham Mayapur.”
Mayapur head priest Jananivasa Das, Managing Director of Construction Sadbhuja Das, acting chairman of the Mayapur Administrative Council Sankarsana Nitai Das, and Jayapataka Swami also addressed the assembled devotees.
Jayapataka Swami thanked all those who made the project possible, and mentioned how the GBC had been supporting the TOVP in various ways.
Sadbhuja gave some interesting facts about the Sudarshana Chakra itself. 3.5 meters (11.5 ft) in diameter, it was made in Russia of pure stainless steel with a liquid gold coating.
After the short speeches, a fire yajna was performed to invoke auspiciousness.
Other ceremonies included drsti (raising of the victory flag), puspavrsti (abhiseka of Sudarsana Cakra), and arati of Sudarsana Cakra.
The Chakra was then hoisted to the apex of the Planetarium dome and attached.
The event concluded with prasadam distribution to all participants.[ alfred-ford ] [ ambarish ] [ jayapataka-swami ] [ temple-of-the-vedic-planetarium ] [ tovp ]