Hari-kathaArticlesOpening of Sridham Mayapura Navadvipa Exhibition

Opening of Sridham Mayapura Navadvipa Exhibition

The Harmonist
[Feb 1930, 443 Caitanya-Era. Vol 27. Pg. 269-271]

IN order to give a wide publicity to the teachings of the Supreme Lord an All-India Theistic Exhibition on a noble scale has been opened at Sridham Mayapura, the holy Birth-place of Lord Sri Caitanya. The Exhibition grounds adjoin the compound of Sri Caitanya Math the Head-Quarters of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha who stand for the religion of pure devotion taught by Lord Caitanya and handed down by Sri Rupa Gosvami and those Acaryas who have followed him.

The Exhibition commenced on the 3rd of February. The secular section was formally opened by Sir P.C. Roy on the 9th.

The Industrial side of the Exhibition, which is secondary, has already proved a great success. Many of the staple commodities, both country and foreign products, are represented by the leading firms. The successful application of physical science to the problems of social and agricultural well-being is being demonstrated by prominent organizations. The sweetmeat stalls and eating places vie with the cinema, black art, & Jatra pavilions to supply a variety of comforts and entertainments to all visitors.

The rows of industrial stalls are tastefully disposed over the spacious grounds, which are kept scrupulously clean, securely enclosed by a high and substantial fencing partly built of brick. The entrance is by a lofty gateway, artistically designed after Indian fashion, and the exit is by the main gate of Sri Caitanya Math. The visitors enters by the elaborately decorated gateway at the west end of the Exhibition enclosure and, after traversing the grounds occupied by the stalls and visiting the spiritual sections, gets out of the grounds occupied by all sections by a passage leading into the compound of Sri Caitanya Math. Passing round the front of the great Hall facing the Temple the visitors reaches the public road by the gate of Sri Caitanya Math. The buildings of Sri Caitanya Math are left on his right as the visitors crosses the front of the great Hall.

The Exhibition grounds and Sri Caitanya Math with its lofty Temple dominating the landscape present the picturesque appearance of a walled town equipped with all the most up-to-date appliances of modern civilization. The total area is over one square mile. During the night the whole space with every separate structure is brilliantly illuminated by electricity. The entrance gate is decked with sixty lights of various colors. The exit is served by a garland of about a dozen. The high steeple of the temple wears the resplendent beauty of a garland of many colored brilliants against the unforgettable azure of the clear moon-lit sky of Bengal spring.

The address of welcome presented to the President by the organizers, members of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha, touches some of the most important problems that face today, and have always faced, this country no less than the rest of the world, and the unique and only possible solution of them represented by the Exhibition.

Sri Caitanya is the Lover of all animate entities irrespective of caste, creed, color or country. Not far from the site of the Exhibition grounds there stand the sacred mausoleum that marks the place of burial of Fouzdar Moulana Sirajuddin, known popularly and also among Caitanyaites, by the name of Cand Kazi, the Moslem Officer in charge of the administration of the district under Sultan Hussen Shah, King of Gauda (Bengal), and a contemporary and actual participator in the activities of Sri Caitanya, Cand Kazi had at first opposed the congregational chanting of the holy name of Krsna promulgated by Sri Caitanya as the dispensation for this Age, but was converted by the mercy of Sri Caitanya by means of the Kirtana into a great Saint and a consistent and staunch admirer of the Lord. The tomb of Cant Kazi shaded by the reputed four century old wonderful Champak Tree has been a place of pilgrimage ever since the days of Sri Caitanya to the people irrespective of caste, creed of color.

The worshippers of freedom must experience the possibility of the realization of his dishonest perverted dreams of the Truth as he pays the tribute of the homage of his heart to the place that witnessed the extinction of the political independence of Gauda-desa (Hindu Bengal) and the establishment in its stead of the eternal throne and the Empire of universal freedom from all dis-harmony. The remains of departed worldly greatness, the ruins of the palaces and opulence of the Kings of the bygone ages testified by ‘Ballal’s Stupa’ and ‘Ballal’s Dighi”, the Tomb of the Moslem Governor, Fouzdar Maulana Sirazuddin, and the unexplored Buddhist ruins of Suvarna Vihara, supply ideal conditions for the comparative study of the nature of the real freedom offered by Sri Caitanya.

To the lover of learning the place must also possess the most profound interest. It was here that the Lord of learning Himself taught those principles that reach beyond all limits to the eternal Truth Himself. The eternal spiritual learning has once again been revealed to the world by the grace of the Acarya and is being taught in the Para-Vidya-Pitha of Sri Caitanya Math, the portals of which stand hospitably open to all seekers of the Absolute of every race and clime.

To Sir P.C. Roy personally, as a teacher of world-wide reputation of the physical sciences, it must be the real red-letter day of his life to be brought to the door of the Laboratory that lays bare the true Source of this phenomenal world, in the light of the pure soul. He is here to play the unique role of the agent who is to unlock officially the gates of Sridham Mayapura Navadvipa Exhibition to the restored vision of the blinded world. It recalls the day when Sri Caitanya deva, the Master of Sri Rupa Gosvami, the original Acarya and Source of the Rasayana (lit. the Chemical Science) of pure spiritual Love, Himself preached the service of the Truth to all animate creatures. It is the demonstrations of the principles of the Sciences of Reality that constitute the specialty and subject-matter of this Exhibition. It provides the only means, which is identical with the end, of the final solution of all problems, wants, and miseries of our worldly existence.

The Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha expresses its sincere gratefulness to the President for finding time in the midst of his multifarious duties to accept the task of opening this theistic Exhibition, and invites him to devote the remaining days of his earthly life to the search of the real principle of all bliss (rasa). May the real bliss be recognized even as the life of us all!

Sir P.C. Roy was deeply moved as the address was read out and made an appropriate response. The substance of his speech is given below.

After expressing in felicitous language his great appreciation of the honor conferred upon him by the invitation to open the Exhibition Sir P.C. Roy referred to the peculiar suitability of Sridham Mayapura, the holy Birth-place of Sri Caitanya, for holding such an Exhibition. Every particle of dust of the place is an object of worship and such worship is far from idolatry, being the only true worship. He proceeded to declare that he was not at all fitted for the task of dealing with the spiritual subject. But he could very much a appreciate the secular portion and felt reassured to find that the devotees of Sir Caitanya Math do not think it incompatible with the principle of pure devotion to Krsna to pay the most careful attention to the industry and health of the country. The old Indians did not certainly neglect secular interests. They achieved most remarkable success in the cultivation of the science of Chemistry, which they defined as the Science for the cure of diseases.

The speaker regretted that the religion of spiritual love taught and practiced by Sri Caitanya deva has not been preserved in its true condition among His professed followers. This is the plight of all the religions at the present day. It is a most encouraging circumstance that the question of the restoration of purity to the religion of love has been taken up in earnest by the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha who have organized this Exhibition for the purpose, and who are themselves persons of irreproachable moral character and real culture. Unless there is a decided improvement of the general lever of the moral character of the people there is no chance of peace and prosperity. Old Hindu Chemistry aimed at the cure of the diseases of the body. The true Chemical science (Rasayana Sastras) of Lord Caitanya is capable of removing the diseases of the mind. It is necessary to begin with the cure of the diseases of the mind if we are really desirous of laying the true and lasting foundation of every form of blessing. Sir P.C. Roy felt specially for the miserable condition of the masses. He was convinced that the excessive passion of the peasant classes for foreign luxuries is the chief cause of the present wretched condition of the masses in Bengal. This tendency has been produced and fostered by the bad example of the educated and upper classes. He was convinced that the movement represented by the Exhibition points to the right direction in striving to bring about a return to simple, cultured and morally pure life. He was, therefore, whole heartedly with the movement.

Transcribed and transliterated by the Bhakta Bandhav Team from photocopies of the original Harmonist.

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