Srila Prabhupada’s Memorial Bhajan Kutir Demolished, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
On the 6th Aug 2012, just prior to Sri Janmastami Celebrations and Srila Prabhupada's Appearance Day, Srila Prabhupada’s Memorial Bhajan Kutir was demolished by the workers of N.H.A.I of Bhubaneswar. There has been an out cry worldwide because of how significant this memorial bhajan kutir is to ISKCON and especially the disciples of H.D.G Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja. This humble cottage is a holy vaisnava tirtha.
H.D.G Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, in 1977 stayed 17 days in this simple cottage awaiting Lord Nityananda Prabhu’s Appearance Day to lay the corner foundation stone for the Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Srila Prabhupada’s last founded temple project. This humble cottage was originally built by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja for the very purpose of Srila Prabhupada’s visit in 1977. It has been the center of spiritual inspiration for many devotees as it has been a part of many significant events including Srila Prabhupada completing the 9th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam in this very kutir. Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja’s residence and samadhi are in the room adjacent. H.D.G Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has been worshiped in this bhajan kutir since 1977.
The N.H.A.I. of Bhubaneswar (National Highways Authority of India) are widening the National Highway 5 from a four lane to a six lane highway. The local devotees of ISKCON Bhubaneswar have been working with the authorities to preserve this memorial bhajan kutir from being demolished since it is close to the highway. In 1996 and 2001 they had been given notice of the expansion of the National Highway and that the NHAI wanted to procure land from the ISKCON property. The devotees had obtained a court order on 6th June 2000 and a continual valid approval up until 1st Oct 2012 that the bhajan kutir and front reception buildings will be untouched. It is a stay order issued from the civil courts that declares that the ISKCON property will be maintained as it is. A margin of 3.06 meters of land was agreed upon to assist with the widening of the highway. The NHAI had progressively changed the plans to ultimately include all the land from the current highway to the middle of the chandan yatra pond which includes Srila Gurudeva's samadhi and Srila Prabhupada's bhajan kutir disregarding the stay order.
On August 6th, 2012 the officer from NHAI and fifty police officers arrived to bulldoze the area. The NHAI officer decided to exercised his executive order for the bulldozers to first demolish the front reception buildings (reception, mahaprasad and book stalls) and then began destroying the bhajan kutir of Srila Prabhupada. Only after the devotees, in particular Sacinandana Prabhu intervened and prevented any further demolition. Please click here to see video of Atmaram Prabhu on Utube.
Meetings are being held on the ISKCON property between senior local devotees and NHAI to try to reach a permanent solution. Sacinandana Prabhu has further met with the Minister for Roads in New Delhi with some promising results.
It is our ardent prayer that further destruction be halted and that Srila Prabhupada’s Bhajan Kutir be restored to its original condition and all worship of Srila Prabhupada be resumed as before. Devotees from around the world are expressing such heart felt sentiments and are looking for ways to help.
Please click here to sign the petition.
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