Nitai Pada Kamala
Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We are writing you on behalf of the Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur. Recently the Mayapur authorities gave us the opportunity to be responsible for the repair and maintenance of Srila Prabhupada's Nitai Pada Kamala boat. Our plan is to have it fixed by the coming Gaura Purnima. We would like to use the Nitai Pada Kamala for preaching with our Gurukula boys, especially during Gaudiya Vaisnava festivals held in different holy places of Bengal.
For example, a few months ago we went to the place of Srila Abhirama Thakur in Hooghly district to observe his disappearance day (see CC. Adi 11.13 purport for more information on this festival). It was amazing to see the huge crowds eagerly taking part in the festival. Unfortunately the kirtaniyas were professionals from Calcutta (Gauranga-nagaris). We thought it would be very nice to have our own group of devotees to do kirtana, and distribute books and prasadam.
In letters to the managers of Mayapur, Srila Prabhupada himself emphasized the need for this boat preaching:
"So continue this boat program. I do not know about motor launch or not, but you should consult and do the needful. I simply want to see that the preaching goes on. That's all."
letter to Gargamuni, 7 June 1976
"The boat party must continue preaching. It is very nicely responded to."
letter to Jayapataka and Bhavananda, 7 December 1976
The Mayapur pujari brothers, Jananivasa and Pankajanghri Prabhus, who were in Mayapur when Srila Prabhupada started the boat program, also remember Srila Prabhupada saying that "The preaching on Nitai Pada Kamala should never stop." Unfortunately, for many years now the boat preaching had been suspended and the Nitai Pada Kamala was lying near the Ganga in disrepair. Now the chance is there for you to help revive this important program, and thus receive Srila Prabhupada's and Gaura-Nitai's mercy.
We need around Rs. 4 lakhs (US$ 8000) to complete the repair work. So far we have collected Rs. 87,000; so we need around Rs. 3 lakhs (US$ 6000) more. The first job is to fix the hull so the boat can properly float before the flood comes this year, which may be after 4-5 weeks.
Once the boat is on water, we will fix the upper deck, probably during the month of Karttika. We want to renovate the boat to become like it was during Srila Prabhupada's time, using only the best quality sal and teak wood that will last for many years.
So it is our earnest and humble request to all the Vaisnavas to kindly help us in this mission which was so liked by Srila Prabhupada.
Please contact us if you would like more details or pictures.
Thank you very much.
Your servants at the Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur
Priti Vardhana Dasa Subheksana Dasa