Audarya Photos

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 10, 2007 5:58 pm

Cow confederation:



More cow shots:



Pregnant Sukhi (the due date is 2-4 weeks away!) and the soon-to-be father (Audarya's first-born, Mohan):




Although it's been a cool summer, we're still getting plenty of beautiful veggies:


Babhru Das - September 10, 2007 10:52 pm

Very sweet! I was thinking that the first pic looks like a cow caucus.

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 10, 2007 11:31 pm

Yes, that's it!

Gaurangi-priya Devi - September 11, 2007 6:42 pm

Thanks for posting those pics. It's always nice to be transported to Audarya with the photos.

Bijaya Kumara Das - September 13, 2007 7:30 am

totally blissful



Vrindaranya Dasi - September 14, 2007 1:59 am

Citta Hari applies Japanese plaster as Guru Maharaja looks on:



Forest portrait of smiling Swami:


Rathi Krishna Dasa - September 14, 2007 2:27 am

These are great!

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 15, 2007 1:34 am

The exterior of the temple is just about finished, other than the deck. Awesome job, gents!


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Syamasundara - September 15, 2007 8:49 am

Pictures that speak loads, but not the way one might think. For example, I looked at them and thought: "Well, it's beautiful. Sure don't look like a temple, though." I had never realized that, because to us that was the temple all along, but for example in Puri no one could have a doubt where Jagannatha is sitting, or in a Japanese temple, or a Christian cathedral, there is always something towering and majestic that reminds of the majesty of God, whereas here, if someone came for the first time and had no idea what the function of each building is and how many to expect in total, he or she might think the temple is probably further down the valley, hidden in the woods or something.

So, I did a lot of harmonizing, because I didn't really like my initial (though true) impression. My conclusion is that this is the perfect raganuga temple: it doesn't talk about majesty, it has nothing to prove and it's not making any statement. If anything, it's trying to keep a secret. The only statement it is making is: "Go inside. If you want to know if it is a temple, go inside. Don't stand outside and judge. Don't wait for someone to tell you or give you their opinion. If you have any greed, any desire, then you go within; then you'll find two beautiful princes and your life will have found its fulfillment."

Then I was more pleased. It's a building that says go within. Or go without.

Babhru Das - September 15, 2007 9:55 am

I thought the concept was perfect from the get-go. I felt the aesthetics were a perfect fusion of raganuga ideal and the physical setting. I think the big, fancy temples are cool to look at, but I like the small, comfortable, simple temple s, like many in Vrindavan and Mayapura, best.


When Srila Prabhupada visited the farm we had on the Big Island in 1975 (if I've said this too many times, please feel free to skip it), the temple was funky. It had begun as a one-room hunting shack, and we built the rest of it from materials salvaged from old plantation houses. We bought nothing new, not even nails. (We had to straighten those that were salvageable.) Srila Prabhupada's opening remarks were something like, "So, you are very humbly maintaining this Gaura-Nityananda temple, and it is very nice. Please do not ever leave this place." Later, he told the devotees who lived there that it should be organized so that minimum time would be spent maintaining the place, and maximum time would be reserved for hearing and chanting. The leaders from Honolulu wanted to show him plans for a big, neo-Vedic temple, but he wouldn't even look at them. He told them, "This nice just as it is. For worshiping Radha-Krishna, opulence is desirable; for worshiping Gaura-Nitai, simplicity and austerity are desirable. Don't even put in windows." (One of the window casements in the temple room had no window.) I think this is the perfect Gaura-Nitai temple for the Redwoods.


Years later, a friend had a plan to build a South Indian-style temple on the Big Island. I thought it was a nice idea, but I felt something simpler, humbler, would be more in keeping with the local culture, and closer to what Srila Prabhupada envisioned for that island.


When I lived in San Diego, I supported Badrinarayana's efforts to build a big, fancy Indian-style temple for Sri Sri Radha-Giridahari, although I made it clear to him that his vision was just not my style. My own style runs more to the simple, renovated plantation house in a beautiful setting that Gopavrindapala and Mulaprkriti made in Hilo. Audarya's new temple is a grown-up Redwood-forest version of that. I can't wait to get back. And I can't wait to see how the vision unfolds at Audarya del Sur!

Madan Gopal Das - September 15, 2007 11:59 am

The temple is absolutely beautiful. I love it! I'm so glad that I've done even the smallest amount of work on it; no blood, and just a little sweat. I can only hope to lose some tears there in service to Guru and Gauranga. Congratulations to all of you whose service manifested that building. You should be proud of your work. Any chance we can see pic's of the inside?

I was wondering, did the sound reflection problem you were having work out well?

Syama Gopala Dasa - September 15, 2007 12:44 pm

wow, great to see the plaster on the temple!


It looks very great, can't wait to see it.

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 15, 2007 1:41 pm

One bank didn't want to give us a loan because we were getting a loan based on the temple being a single-family dwelling and the assessor said it looked like a temple!


About the interior: nothing new to post about the interior, but that should change soon. Presently Citta Hari is working on the doors and trim, Gaurasundara is finishing the outdoor Japanese plaster and interior dry wall, and Gurunistha and team are working on retaining walls in the garden below the temple. After the retaining walls are finished, he will work on the deck with Nitaisundara and Mayapura-candra. Gaurasundara has to go to Canada to renew his visa, so unfortunately we'll be without his services for a week or two.


I'll continue to post pictures as things develop.

Prema-bhakti - September 15, 2007 3:16 pm

The temple looks spectacular!!!! My pranams to all the Audaryavasis who I have witnessed over the year pour their hearts and souls, blood, sweat and tears literally into this project. :Praying: This temple is the manifestation of Guru Maharaja's heart and he spent hours on painstaking details that reflect a deep appreciation of spiritual aesthetics.


When I see it it reflects as many have already said in their posts "the inner calling". I also appreciate its reaching out to the world with its earth friendly construction and touches of Japanese minimalist influences which are so popular in high end design and which is the spirituality of the masses these days. It is a temple they can definately relate to. The craftsmanship could stand up in any design book in my opinion.


I can't wait to see it finished. :Applause:

Bhrigu - September 15, 2007 5:48 pm

The temple looks beautiful! I'm not a particular fan of this Japanese style otherwise, but somehow it suits Audarya excellently, and I couldn't even imagine anything else there. Great details -- they say the devil is in them, but I'm sure Krishna is as well, at least in these! A great job, and I am sure that Krishna and Guru Maharaja will give their full blessings to all that have helped in manifesting it.

Caitanya-daya Dd - September 16, 2007 1:13 pm

the temple is absolutely stunning. And i love that pic of GM!

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 16, 2007 3:23 pm

The magnificent Sridama:



Bhumi and Damodara express their feelings about the grueling nature of a photo shoot:



Gaurasundara sneaks into a portrait of Guru Maharaja:



On the other end of the camera:


Madan Gopal Das - September 16, 2007 4:18 pm

Forgive me for saying, but Sridama is the most handsome of the Audaryavasis!! :Applause::Praying:;) What a great picture!

Bhrigu - September 16, 2007 4:41 pm

Nice to see the photographer as well! :Applause:

Syamasundara - September 16, 2007 6:05 pm

Whose son is Sridama again?

Madan Gopal Das - September 16, 2007 6:28 pm

Sukhi is his mother and his father is some good looking chap from North Carolina. She was pregnant with him when she came to Audarya.

Babhru Das - September 16, 2007 8:23 pm
Nice to see the photographer as well! :Applause:


Ditto to that! Images of her are notoriously rare.

Syama Gopala Dasa - September 16, 2007 8:39 pm

Is Mayapurchandra at audarya right now?

Syamasundara - September 16, 2007 8:56 pm

OH so Sukhi is pregnant with the second one?? Time goes so fast.

Madhavendra Puri Dasa - September 16, 2007 9:41 pm
Is Mayapurchandra at audarya right now?

Yes, he and Braja Sundari are sending us stories from there, few times a day. Now we can say we are updated :Applause:


The temple has got a style. Are we going to get the same sort of architecture in Costa Rica?

Nitaisundara Das - September 17, 2007 8:27 pm
Forgive me for saying, but Sridama is the most handsome of the Audaryavasis!! :lol::D;) What a great picture!

I'm with you 100%, but we gotta stop talking about it, it's already gone to his head. The little guy thinks he rules the dhama. I've been his biggest advocate, I want him to be the next cow-acharya and I'm practically in love with him; but he has no respect!. He trots around on the deck like it's his perch. Yesterday Vrindaranya told me to pose woth him for picture and he gave me a black eye! :Cow::Applause: -a little horn right to the face. But he's so beautiful though, I think I'll just have to let him keep abusing me. Oh what to do......woe is me. :Praying:;)

Prema-bhakti - September 18, 2007 12:55 am
Yesterday Vrindaranya told me to pose with him for picture



Now that's an Audarya postcard moment. The cutest bull ever and the young boy monk. Awww! :Applause:

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 18, 2007 4:27 am
Syamasundara - September 18, 2007 5:25 am

Way to go Tanoojer! And I haven't even looked at them yet...

Syamasundara - September 18, 2007 8:04 am

Ok, now I have. My favorite one is the one where Gurunistha is studying Yamuna's "Bible." It reminded me of so many intense and intimate moments in Eugene, just me and that book, mentally harmonizing textures, colors, flavors, alternative ingredients, variations, because a Vaisnava was coming, or it was the appearance or disappearance of an acarya, or GM's birthday, or Krsna's.

To cook for the Lord and his devotees: I wish I could find the best words to express how elevated that is, but maybe they don't exist.

Lucky you guys. Maybe with the blessings of the audaryavasis I will get another chance some day, and without messing up.

For now I am living in a room with only a bed, a fridge, a microwave and a mouse. Having major milk and cereal meals, and making sandwiches on saran wrap on my bed. Hopefully one year from now I'll be much better off.


By the way, that salagrama sila is really beautiful, and who is that sannyasi with the cane sitting on a chair on the deck? Satsvarupa Maharaja?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 18, 2007 2:50 pm

Yes, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami.

Bijaya Kumara Das - September 19, 2007 12:07 am

they look like pictures


they are so real like you are there

Gandiva Dasi - September 20, 2007 4:30 pm

Thank you for all the pictures Vrindaranya and Nanda Tanuja ,

I just had to add I think the temple looks so beautiful, it really calls to me! And I do think it definitely looks like a temple, warm and subtle, a labor of love.

Jiva-daya Dasa - September 21, 2007 12:56 pm

Thank you for posting these wonderful pictures. What a lovely picture of Guru Maharaja! The temple is absolutely beautiful! Someday we will make the pilgrimage... until then, thank you for sharing the views :ninja:

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 23, 2007 11:20 pm

I had a computer problem and lost a roll with some great shots, including the one of Nitai with Sridama. Bummer. It was a gem.


Guru Maharaja has ramped up the pace here...we're having a marathon to complete the temple. Everyone but the pujari will work through sundara arotika. We've had a steady flow of guests: Sridama for a week, Hari Bhakti and her partner for a couple of days, and presently Prema.


I'll start this batch of photos with one of Guru Maharaja reading a Goswami grantha. Who can guess who the picture in the small frame is of?



With Gaurasundara up in Canada, Nitaisundara has taken up the position of lead drywall tape & mud engineer:



Prema proudly displays Audarya's bitter melon harvest (yes, it consisted of only one bitter melon. Apparently the vine didn't like the cool weather. Or perhaps it was miffed at sharing the row with lowly cucumbers):



Vraja-sundari tirelessly harvests and weeds in the garden:



Gurunistha and Mayapura-candra have been constructing retaining walls in the garden below the temple. It is intense physical work, driving a digging bar through hard clay soil and hauling load after load of soil and rock. Mayapura-candra is valiantly keeping the pace, not to be swayed even by the raw blisters that have formed on his hands.






Vrindaranya Dasi - September 24, 2007 1:50 am

The long-awaited first peek at the temple trim:

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A finished retaining wall:



Roses, winter squash, and seedlings for the fall garden:

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Mayapurcandra Das - October 8, 2007 4:11 pm


Sri Sri Gaura Nityananda!


more pics you can see here

Caitanya-daya Dd - October 10, 2007 11:55 am

you have quite a photographer's eye, MCd


Very nice pics :Batting Eyelashes:

Mayapurcandra Das - October 12, 2007 3:15 am

Quite new pics (from today afternoon) of the Deities


and small Sri Sri Gaura Nityananda on the new wood base, made by Citta-hari.


Syamasundara - October 12, 2007 4:02 am

Wood that looks like marble! ;)

That looks quite superlative. :Just Kidding: What is it?

Citta Hari Dasa - October 12, 2007 2:29 pm

It's a redwood burl--the root wood. Sanded very smooth, then finished with Danish oil to further bring out the grain.

Syama Gopala Dasa - October 12, 2007 5:27 pm

that indeed looks very nice!!

Vamsidhari Dasa - October 13, 2007 5:06 am

Wow, looks great Citta Hari! I really like the idea of Their Lordships having the seat of Their own like that.

You are the real wood master.

Citta Hari Dasa - October 13, 2007 5:07 pm

Vamsi, I'm a looong way from being a "wood master", but I'm learning. It's fun!

Bijaya Kumara Das - October 15, 2007 6:04 am
I'll start this batch of photos with one of Guru Maharaja reading a Goswami grantha. Who can guess who the picture in the small frame is of?


It is His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami and His Divine Grace Sridara Maharaja

Madan Gopal Das - October 15, 2007 10:04 am
Who can guess who the picture in the small frame is of?

Tell us! I can only make out what looks like about 4 heads, black and white (old maybe) photo... Thakur Bhaktivinoda? Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati? Ramananda Raya's darshan of Mahaprabhu as Radha-Krsna?

Syamasundara - October 15, 2007 3:15 pm



Are you guys for real? I guess I am facilitated because I saw it many times. Those are the adi buddies! Dharma and Bhumi at less than one year of age, and I was delighted to see that picture is still there on the desk.

When I went to Audarya after four years I was a little shocked to see that Dharma and Bhumi, that used to give us so much joy, were now the boring ox and the depressed dehorned cow, and no one seemed to care about them as much with the other buddies around. But I guess it's not true, as I suspected deep inside. Family is family.

Babhru Das - October 15, 2007 4:05 pm

Ah--now I can see it! I was having as much trouble as everyone else making out that little bitty picture, but now I can see.

Bijaya Kumara Das - October 16, 2007 5:25 am

yep it is dharma and bhumi at Audarya Eugene


I did not see this small frame at first