The artwork on the ceiling of the Radha Vrindaban Behari kirtan hall is something to leave the onlookers awestruck. The temple dome is fitted with the most exquisite earth-tone paintings depicting Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan. These works of art cover a total roof area of over 100 square metres and their installation marks another attraction to the temple along with the stone carvings. Along with the intricte stone carvings of all the twelve cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam and a detailed layer of carvings of the tenth canto pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavan on the Garbhagriha, these huge paintings on the ceiling offer a vibrant Vrindavan ambience for the visitors of Govardhan Eco Village.
The paintings are made by a team of eight artists including two resident monks of the ecovillage. One of them has been a hobby painter since childhood and his care and artistic skills added a devotional touch to these masterpieces. He spent around ten hours every day carefully adding in the finer details using a simple brush and a selection of ten earth-tone acrylic paints.
His Holiness Radhanath Swami has suggested that the style of these paintings match that of the natural village surroundings and the local countryside. For this reason earthy colours matching wood, turmeric and honey have been selected. A lot of research went into finding the right colours by mixing natural ingredients like soil and turmeric and also consulting village artwork from the region. The airbrush adds soft natural tones that really fit with the rustic and ecofriendly themes present throughout the village. This vision is open and connected to nature. The idea is that the temple will inspire not only locals but also people from Mumbai and abroad.
The themes of the paintings range from Vrindavan pastimes such as Damodar lila (Krishna being tied up by his mother) to Krishna with the gopis. They are all replicas of scenes selected by Srila Prabhupada and created by his disciples in the 1960’s and 70’s. The base sketches were done by professional artists Mr. Mahesh Pujari and Vishvanath Chakravarti Das, graduates from J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. In total there are fourteen large quadrangle paintings and eight Vrindavan peacocks mounted to the dome.
The paintings are mounted and ready by Sharad Purnima of October 2014 and the total project has been completed in a little more than two weeks. Everything has been done efficiently and and from local ingredients. Even the canvasses were constructed from a simple cloth material covered in primer paint. Each frame had to be carefully measured and custom made to fit into the unique shapes found in the temple ceiling.
A lot of dedication and energy has been invested in this temple and it is all for making the Govardhan Eco Village Farm community an attractive and spiritual environment for the visitors and residents alike.
A temple is the centre of any spiritual community; something that can be observed in the daily lives of the ecovillage’s residents. From early in the morning the temple is a bustle of activity, with devotees cleaning, cooking, singing and dancing for the beautiful deities, Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Behari. Everyone is appreciated for his or her contribution, be it big or small.
With the new paintings now completed the Radha Vrindaban Behari Temple truly is a standout attraction of the village neighborhood of GEV. Even internationally the ecovillage is famous for its natural and spiritual perspectives. Welcome to Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Behari temple at GEV.