Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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New Book Recounts History of Building Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi
By Madhava Smullen   |  Feb 19, 2021

“The Rising Sun: Vrindaban Samadhi Diary” by Alfred Valerio (Bhaktisiddhanta Das), now available on Amazon Kindle, recounts the story of how the Vrindaban samadhi, or mausoleum, for ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada was built. 

Author Bhaktisiddhanta Das, a seasoned professional in bronze casting, fiber-glass and mixed media sculpture, assisted in the design and construction of both the Vrindaban Samadhi and Mayapur Pushpa Samadhi of Srila Prabhupada. He also created sculptural panels and oil murals for the ISKCON Delhi Glory of India Museum, and has been assisting in the design of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur. 

His book covers Srila Prabhupada’s final moments, and tells the history of his Vrindaban Samadhi, starting with the beginning of construction in 1978 and ending with the recent installation of new bronze panels in 2016, including all the setbacks, difficulties and successes. Along the way, paintings show each stage of construction.

The book describes how the late Surabhir Abhipalayantam Das, who was tasked with constructing both Srila Prabhupada’s Vrindaban and Mayapur samadhis, conceived the design.

The book’s cover

“The original design was his creation,” Bhaktisiddhanta says. “In the very beginning he gave me some rough ideas and I put it all together in a finished drawing of the front view as it looks today.”

Meanwhile Murti Das was responsible for most of the working drawings, while Mayesvara Das refined the accounting system and worked out the practical applications of the construction.

More recently, Bhaktisiddhanta created two new bronze panels for the Samadhi, depicting Srila Prabhupada bringing the spiritual world down to the Earth planet, and Prabhupada at the New York City Rathayatra.

“Right from the beginning, following the departure of Srila Prabhupada, I felt that this samadhi construction was the most important project on earth so it had to be documented, and I promised Surabhir that I would do this book as he was the man behind the whole idea,” Bhaktisiddhanta says.

The exterior of Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi

He feels that the Vrindaban Samadhi will stand for many years to come “as a shining tribute to our eternal spiritual master and also to the many devotees who gave a helping hand in the construction.” 

 “My hope is that this book will kindle more interest in learning about Srila Prabhupada,” he concludes.  

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Find the book here:

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