In Vrindavana, India, work is underway on repairing and remodeling the Samadhi (mausoleum) of Sanatana Goswami, a great sixteenth century saint and author.
Sanatana was a principle disciple of Gaudiya Vaishnavism founder Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and the seniormost of the famous Six Goswamis of Vrindavana. The Samadhi of his younger brother, Rupa Goswami, was remodeled by ISKCON in 2007.
The idea to follow suite with Sanatana Goswami’s Samadhi came to American-born Vrindavana resident and tour guide Dina Bandhu Dasa during his many soujorns around the holy town, when he noticed that fading paint and the entrance’s large large, clunky pillars eclipsed the beauty of the original structure.
“Things came together quickly,” he says. “I had just been thinking about the project, when the next day an anonymous donor approached me with a large sum of money to make it happen. I was amazed, and of course I accepted.”
Dina Bandhu approached Sri Sanatana Kishore Goswami, head-priest of the Samadhi and the nearby Madan Mohan temple. He was overjoyed at the news, and gave Dina Bandhu carte blanche to take the necessary steps.
His first move was to seek advice from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and to pay them the appropriate fee, as the Samadhi is a protected monument under their jurisdiction.
Next, he employed the same contractor that had remodeled Rupa Goswami’s Samadhi, as well as the same material. “Since the red sandstone commonly used in ancient temples is not as good quality these days, the ASI advised us to use the pink stone for which Jaipur, The Pink City, is famous,” he explains.
Phase one—remodeling of the Samadhi itself—was completed on July 7, Sanatana Goswami's disappearance day. Phase two—remodeling the arched entrance—is now underway, with devotees designing a more elegant structure that will enhance the beauty of the Samadhi.
The full refurbishment is expected to be completed in just over a month.