A long letter came from Tushta Krishna Swami in New Zealand. He has been busy trying to rectify bad media reports on the bombing issue. He told Srila Prabhupada that the police have volunteered to clear them at the upcoming coroner's inquest.
He and his men are taking Srila Prabhupada's instructions to build a temple seriously. He enclosed basic plans for a square-shaped temple of approximately one thousand square feet. It has a central dome with four smaller domes on each corner. Each dome, square at the base and rising to a point, will display one of the four symbols of Lord Vishnu?conch, lotus, disc, and club?on its outer surface. On the single central altar the main Deities will be Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, made by one of his men, Dhaumya dasa, from either brass or imitation gold. He also requested permission to install a Deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva. He proposed to have the interior of the temple decorated with panels of wood or plaster, depicting Caitanya-lila. They have chosen a site on a hill which he said will make it a landmark in the Auckland area. They intend to begin work on Janmastami.
As far as their preaching work is concerned he said that with help from some newly joined Polynesian devotees they had started a program aimed at attracting the Polynesian community. He enclosed a small handout which they produce in English, Samoan and Tongan. It was an attractively designed leaflet inviting the recipient to a "community gathering" for the purpose of "* Singing the Names of God * Dancing * Free Vegetarian Feast * " On the back it bore the maha-mantra. They were getting some response, although he said it was difficult to gain their confidence because of past exploitation by whites.
He is also corresponding with various governmental officials and ministers on the abortion issue which is currently being debated in the New Zealand Parliament. He has received favorable personal replies to his letters from the Prime Minister and the Health Minister on their letterheads. "Hopefully," he told Srila Prabhupada, "they will begin to view us as serious thinkers with real solutions to the problems they can't solve."
Prabhupada made a few corrections in the temple design and asked him to style it after our Vrindavana temple, with three domes situated over the top of the Deities, not over the darsana area. Nor did he approve the placing of the symbols of Lord Vishnu. He included a simple hand-drawn sketch to show what he wanted. As for Deities, he said that Guru-Gauranga should be in the center altar, Lord Nrisimhadeva to their right and Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra and Baladeva to their left. With Jagannatha deities he said they could also have Ratha-yatra each year.
On the whole Srila Prabhupada was pleased with Tushta Krishna's report, but he also cautioned him about the bomb incident. "It is my fervent request that the devotees not make any 'bombing-lila,' as it was publicized recently."
Prabhupada asked him to send copies of all his correspondence, both to and from the government officials. Finally he added a few words on his preaching to the local people. "Let them chant Hare Krishna mantra, nothing else, and dance and take prasadam. There is no need of teaching them philosophy in the beginning. In America also, neither white nor black like each other, but in our society they are chanting and dancing. This is on the basis of Hare Krishna; everyone can join." And as far as the leaflet was concerned, he also suggested a correction for that. "On the small invitation it should read: Singing the Names of Krishna (God)."
A disturbing letter came from Tejiyas prabhu in Delhi. He is now living outside the temple at the house of another devotee and has practically ceased to function as temple president. He said the cause of this was heavy politics against him by the head pujari, Omkara dasa, coupled with a complete lack of support from his GBC, Gopala Krishna prabhu. This has caused a breakdown in his relationships with the rest of the devotees, thus resulting in his inability to function as president. Consequently he suggested that Gopala Krishna become the interim president and develop the New Delhi center as he likes.
He suggested various projects he could personally continue to work on, especially the development of the sales of standing orders of Prabhupada's books. He expressed confidence that he could sell full sets of books to important and highly placed officials. In a post-script he added that he had recently sold a full set of Srimad-Bhagavatams to Dr. Nagendra Singh, an International Court Justice and former secretary to the President of India.
By Tejiyas prabhu's own admission, both in this letter and his previous one, he has difficulty in his personal dealings with devotees, so Srila Prabhupada avoided commenting on the details of the politics in the situation. He replied instead in a positive manner. "If you can arrange with Gopal Krishna then I have no objection to you increasing your preaching activities there. If Gopal Krishna wants to be interim president, then if that is your 'mutual' arrangement, then you can do more preaching work, especially to the government officers. I was very pleased to see how you are getting top-ranking men to read my books. That is real preaching. If all the government officers at least purchase some of our books, it will be a great credit so do it very nicely."
He also added as a post-script that since the programs at the new center are now being well attended, Tejiyas can arrange meetings with important government officials in New Delhi over a weekend when Prabhupada returns to Vrindavana. He told him that New Delhi is the most important place for preaching to the leaders of India.
Saurabha dasa, our India based architect, also sent a letter to clarify his plans for Srila Prabhupada's residence in Mayapur. His letters have been crossing over Srila Prabhupada's replies, resulting in some confusion. So now he stated clearly what is currently planned, and requested Prabhupada's response. He is actually planning two residences. The first will be what he referred to as a kuaira, situated near the existing west gate at the corner of the existing small lake. This will act as an interim place until the main temple and the surrounding city are built.
According to the master plan, one of the gurukula buildings nearer to the main temple in the north-east corner will house the future main residence on its top. This is intended to be at least sixty feet high so that Prabhupada gets plenty of breeze and sun and is free from disturbance.
His proposed kuaira incorporates most of what was suggested in the original residential plan (which he enclosed) but with a few improvements to the balconies to allow more light and air. He assured Prabhupada that this building would be away from any noise and disturbance and would give complete facility for Prabhupada, his servants and any important guests he may want to stay with him.
Prabhupada endorsed the current plan, although he expressed some doubts about his future residence being situated over the gurukula. As far as the kuaira is concerned, he liked the idea of being near the Ganges, where he could take his daily bath in the summer. As long as trees, plants and flowers were planted all around for privacy he felt it would be fine. The only thing he asked him to reconsider was the inclusion of the kitchen in the main part of the ground floor. To avoid noise he suggested it be separate, as in his Vrindavana quarters.