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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Restoration of a Pastime Place of Lord Balarama in Mayapur is Underway 
By Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Aug 08, 2023
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Bhaktivedanta Charity Trust, under the guidance of its lifetime chairperson, HH Jayapataka Swami, in cooperation with the Gaura Foundation, is restoring one of the holy places (Lila Sthali) in Navadwip, Mayapur. This is traditionally recognized as the place where Lord Balarama was approached by village Brahmanas to rescue them from the ferocious attacks of the demon Mayasura. Still, it has sadly been neglected for a long time.

Sri Radha Govinda Dasi, the founder of the Gaura Foundation, has taken the initiative to start restoring this important place. She said, “My spiritual master, Jayapataka Swami, actually asked me if my NGO could take on this important project.”

The historical setting for the pastime was during the Kurukshetra War. Lord Balarama went on a pilgrimage rather than participate in the battle. When He reached the holy land of Navadvipa, the locals approached and informed Him of the turmoil caused by a demon called Mayasura. Hearing this disturbance caused by the demon, Balarama killed Mayasura to protect the villagers. The fight continued for a long time, after which the land here became sunken and a pool of Mayasura’s blood (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda 4.37). 

This field was known as Mayamari, but the villagers did not know the origin of the name. Mayamari comes from the words Maya, the demon’s name, and Mari, which means “killing.” The place where Lord Balarama killed the Maya demon. It is non-different from Talavana in Vrajamandala.

Sri Radha Govinda shared the details that it will not be a big temple but rather a place of worship. She revealed, “The team of the Gaura Foundation has started building this place of worship. Before, it was just a shack with no concrete roof or pillars. So, we built the pillars, roof and put a kalash on the temple top. This place of worship will have an altar floor where the local villagers can come together to celebrate festivals like Ramnavami. They will be regularly worshiping Mother Ganges here.”

If you wish to be part of the legacy of restoring this holy place, you can contribute toward completing this temple through their website or email them for more information.

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