Humble Success in Ukraine
Dear Your Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj!
Please accept our humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
We are Varanasi Devi Dasi and Gopi Nandini Devi Dasi, the disciples of His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu. In September 2014 by the causeless mercy of Guru and Gauranga we were lucky to get the nectar service, i.e. to develop the project of the Vedic Planetarium Temple in Ukraine. It happened right after Russian festival “Sadhu-Sanga” where Mataji Varanasi was serving you and helping devotees to spread the information about the project of the Vedic Planetarium and to collect donations for the Temple.
In spite of the difficult political and economic situation in Ukraine as well as the financial difficulties in Zaporozhye Yatra, the president of our temple, Badrinath Prabhu, was enthusiastic about collecting donations for the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in our city. He announced the launch of this wonderful project in our city and in Ukraine.
We decided to start the development of the project in our city first, and then being an example for other devotees to implement it in other towns and villages of the country. At first we had a feeling that collecting money for the first golden brick of Pancha-tattva will take us an eternity because economic conditions in Ukraine were just deplorable. But Krishna and Srila Prabhupada had a different plan. It is with enthusiasm that devotees start to collect money for the Temple, to fasten the process we suggested collecting the sum for the Pancha-tattva brick till the end of Kartik.
$ 1,600 is big money for our region and the fact that we have gathered half of this sum during Kartik was good news for us. But the devotees were unsatisfied, they said: “How come! We were going to do everything in this favorable month to collect the required sum, and we only have half of it!!!
We tried to reassure them that it is also a good result. But the real miracle happened on the last day of Kartik – our phones were ringing off the hook; all day we were just running around and gathering donations. At the end of the day when we counted the money and saw that we had collected even more than was required for our first gold brick.
Later we got to know that on the last day of Kartik, in the morning, Mataji Varanasi had darshan with His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu and asked for His blessings to collect the remaining sum as soon as possible…
The day when our first tranche went to Mayapur, Ukrainian financial system was in default. In the morning, all the bank staff was in a panic, but when we came with dollars (which that day no one was selling) and asked to send the sum to the Central Bank of India, bank employees were shocked. When we sent the bank transfer the password for banks was: “Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead! ».
Fundraising of the Nrsimhadeva brick was as well exceptional. Not only the devotees were donating, but also simple people were just coming from nowhere donating big sums of money. On the last day of fundraising the miracle happened again – we received thousands of calls – as if Nrsimhadeva himself was hurrying everybody up! The devotees who don’t visit the programs because of their health, the beginners, and even devotees’ neighbors – everybody was donating. We did not even notice how the sum for the Nrisimhadeva’s brick was collected! We weren’t even surprised when the dollar jumped upright on the day of sending the money to Mayapur. It seemed quite normal to us.
But when we began to collect Lakshmi for Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s brick the economy was just agonizing. Everywhere in Ukraine food disappeared from the store shelves. People swept everything away. There was no salt, no sugar, and no flour. The panic because of military actions came to a head, people fled the cities and at this time the devotees not only from Zaporozhye, but also even from other cities of Ukraine transferred Lakshmi for the altar of Sri Sri Radha Madhava. It was just magical.
However, we couldn’t send the sum for Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s brick. That day there was no Internet in the bank and all the programs didn’t work. We have never seen anything of that kind neither have the bank workers. The operator, who was sending the money by Swift delivery, politely asked us to go home and not to worry. “When everything is adjusted, the payment will be sent”, – he assured. And so it happened. We even were not surprised when the payment “left” in the first minutes of Akshay Tritiya.
The geography of donations collecting started to expand. Devotees from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Dnepropetrovsk joined us. Transcendental stories never ended.
Immediately after the Vyasa Puja of His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu we received a call from a young man named Marian. He served in the Ukrainian Army and phoned from the hot spot. Once during the “silence”, he visited the website of Alexander Khakimov (HG Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu) and saw a banner of the Vedic Planetarium Temple project. A young soldier, from a small town Chervonograd in western Ukraine, ordered Srila Prabhupada’s books and began to send all his salary for the construction of the Vedic Planetarium Temple. Now Marian is demobilized, he met the devotees from the Lvov city, he is chanting the Maha-mantra and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. He came to the All-Ukrainian festival “Bhakti Sangama” and was happy in devotees’ company. We were very pleased to meet him, and he thanked us for the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada.
Before the All-Ukrainian festival “Bhakti Sangama 2015”, by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy we had the opportunity to meet His Holiness Niranjana Swami and we told him about our service. He gave us His blessing to develop the project of Vedic Planetarium in Ukraine. In the festival, we were distributing cards and leaflets on the construction of the Temple. During the meeting of His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu disciples on the festival “Bhakti Sangama” we were trying to inspire our brothers and sisters from all cities of Ukraine to participate in the project. Currently, a group of devotees – regional representatives of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium Project in Ukraine is being organized. We hope so much for your blessings. We pray that all the Ukrainians would learn about the construction of the Vedic Planetarium Temple and our country will be actively involved in collecting donations for this most spectacular temple in the Universe.
This summer and autumn Mataji Varanasi Devi Dasi accompanied His Grace Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu on His tour in Ural and Siberia, where He presented the Project of the Vedic Planetarium Temple. He is very devoted to your Grace and to the project because he knows that the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is your heart, life, and soul. As a result, devotees and especially new people treat this project with great enthusiasm and warmth; they support this initiative and believe in it. Especially they are inspired by the fact that this project will be the personification of the Golden Age on our planet, it gives them great hope for the future. When accompanying Guru Maharaj on His tour we noticed a huge wave of interest towards the Vedic tradition, to the transcendental knowledge and its practical application as well as to the Project of the Vedic Planetarium Temple, especially from the part of new people. As a result, during the tour more than 1 million rubles was raised, and the collection of donations continues thanks to devotees who want to perform service in this Project in their own towns. After the tour, almost everyone in this region knows this wonderful project, and Srila Prabhupada’s dream to build this magnificent temple that will spiritualize all the mankind.
In December 2015, the special “Yoga Festival” is planned to be held in Kiev where a magnificent theater performance of “The Creation of the Universe” and the TOVP project will be presented for a few thousands of people.
We are praying for your blessings to continue our service to Srila Prabhupada, our Guru Maharaj, and You, Your Grace Jayapataka Swami, to be able to involve everyone in realizing of the Great Plan of Lord Chaitanya, to flood the Universe with the pure love to God.
Varanasi Devi Dasi,
Gopi Nandini Devi Dasi