Gaura-Nitāi in South Africa and Nairobi (08/27/10)
Dear ____ Goswami,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Nice to hear from you.
The Gaura-Nitāi originally from South Africa had one arm up and one arm down. The Gaura-Nitāi originally from Nairobi had both arms up.
On my way to India to take sannyāsa in 1976, I went thru Nairobi and picked up the Gaura-Nitāi there (both arms up) and took them to India. In India I took sannyāsa and went back to SA via England. And we took the Gaura-Nitāi with us all the way back to SA. After a few months, I took off back to India to be with Śrīla Prabhupāda and the Gaura-Nitāi were left in SA. Then there were two sets of Gaura-Nitāi in SA, plus the small Gaura-Nitāi that I gave to you.
G____Mahārāja did not bring the Deities of Gaura-Nitāi to SA. P______ brought the ‘one arm up, one arm down’ Gaura-Nitāi to SA. Then, when I returned after taking sannyāsa, I brought the ‘both arms up’ Gaura-Nitāi to SA. What happened after that I do not know, because I have never been back to SA or kept much contact with what has been happening there.
Years later, I heard that someone went to SA and took one pair of Gaura-Nitāi back to Nairobi, but took the wrong pair. Then there were some other exchanges or something, but I do not actually know what happened next.
I hope this information is of use for you. I also hope your health improves and that you will successfully preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness for many years to come.
It is nice to hear that you have some appreciation for Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja – he was indeed a very saintly Vaiṣṇava and the well-wisher of Prabhupāda’s disciples.
I hope this meets you well.