The Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA) in Radhadesh, Belgium, has just published two lusciously illustrated books for devotees to feast their eyes on: “Illuminations from the Bhagavad-gita” and “Prabhupada Meditations.”
Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita
On Sunday January 24th, MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das presented “Illuminations…” to the murti of Srila Prabhupada at ISKCON Radhadesh.
MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das (right) presents Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita to Srila Prabhupada
The book is in fact the fourth edition of the classic 1980 work by artist Kim Waters and Chris Murray, after the original by Harper and Row, and two in the 1990s and 2000s by Mandala.
Kim’s gorgeous, colorful, and completely charming paintings inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and illuminated with verses from the ancient text remain, as do the original introduction by Satsvarupa Das Goswami and preface by musician Donovan.
One of the beautiful images from Illuminations
But at 184 pages, the new edition is expanded to nearly double the size of previous ones with extra material. There are more drawings by Kim. There’s a new text by scholar Satyaraja Das recounting how the work came to be, and how Srila Prabhupada met and encouraged Kim and Chris. And there are photos of Srila Prabhupada viewing the illustrations on two different occasions in New Vrindaban, West Virginia and Potomac, Maryland.
Chris recalls on the book’s back cover: “After a pause, Prabhupada said to us – and this is verbatim: “You are introducing a new art form to this country.” And then he added, “You will get great rewards for this.” And actually, that’s when I said, “Prabhupada, we’re trying to get this published with a big publisher in New York, Harper and Row.” And he turned to us and emphatically uttered the following words: “Do it.” Like that, just, “DO IT!” And then he walked away. We just stood there. It was as if Kim and I were in a timeless transcendental moment.”
Flipping through Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita
Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita is now available from Bhaktivedanta Library Services in Europe, and will be picked up by other distributors around the world over the next two months.
An exhibit featuring all the original paintings will start on May 28th at the MOSA Gallery in Radhadesh. The opening will be attended by the Ambassador of India, authors Kim Waters and Chris Murray, members of the Hindu community, and the ISKCON congregation. It will include a cultural program with music, dance, and a prasadam meal.
“We will also inaugurate a Bhagavad-gita Walk in the forest, with big boards showing the paintings and verses from the Bhagavad-gita, along with translations in Dutch, French and German,” says Mahaprabhu.
The following weekend, during the Radhadesh Mellows Festival on Saturday January 30th, Mahaprabhu presented another new book, “Prabhupada Meditations,” to Srila Prabhupada.
Yadunandana Swami browses the Prabhupada gallery
The book, well-timed to coincide with ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, features 59 beatiful portraits of its beloved Founder-Acharya in color and black and white by Mayapur-based artist Anuradha Dasi.
It also includes an introduction by Satsvarupa Das Goswami on the 26 qualities of a devotee, as well as accounts by a host of Prabhupada disciples about how Srila Prabhupada imbibed each of these qualities. Among the contributors are Krishna Ksetra Swami, Yogesvara Das, Anuttama Das, Jayabhadra Dasi, and Nikunja Vasini Dasi.
The cover of Prabhupada Meditations by Anuradha Dasi
An exhibit of Anuradha’s Prabhupada portraits was launched at MOSA along with the book. Around 80 devotees attended, browsing the galleries and also taking in Patita Pavana, a new abstract dance performance by the Samadhi Dance Company.
“All the devotees were very happy, and enjoyed the show – we sold about sixty copies of the book over the weekend,” says Mahaprabhu.
A scene from the dance 'Patita Pavana'[ belgium ] [ mahaprabhu-das ] [ mosa ] [ radhadesh ]