A Summary Of The History of The Jayapataka Swami Archives in the 1980's
The audio ministry of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami was founded in the early 1980's by His Grace Balabhadra Bhattacharya das Adhikary a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and a god-brother of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami.
Early in the 1980's, His Grace Balabhadra Bhattacharya das Adhikary approached His Holiness Jayapataka Swami with a recommendation that he create an audio ministry to record his classes. Since the disciples of His Holiness were spread out all over the world, it was hard for them to have constant personal association.
It is said in the Vedas that a sadhu is not seen, but is heard. This means that one cannot understand the heart, the level of spiritual advancement or the mood of a saintly person just by seeing him. The only way to begin to understand such people is to hear from them, to read their words.
Srila Prabhupada always used to say. "If you want to know me, then read my books."
Mother Yoga Siddha helps in Atlanta
Under the guidance of His Grace Balabhadra, Mother Yoga Siddha dasi was assigned to edit the cassette tapes and distribute copies to the disciples. If you understand the state of technology in those days you can see it was no easy task for one devotee. She was faithful to this service for a long time and did all she was able to do to increase and improve things.
Around 1987, Mother Yoga Siddha left Atlanta for Murari Sevak Farm in Tennessee. She called us and asked us to come to the farm and take the audio ministry. She felt she could not longer handle the service. We traveled several hours journey to retrieve the audio ministry.
His Grace Laxman Nityananda helps in New Talavan
At the same time Mother Yoga Siddha was doing the service in Atlanta, His Grace Laxman Nityananda das Adhikari was helping edit tapes at New Talavan Farm in Mississippi. He was in terminal stage of health and spent his days before leaving his body editing tapes for distribution. He personally told us that this was his life-line and helped him to transcend the suffering of his body. Many of the early tapes have his voice as the introduction to the classes.
When His Grace Laxman Nityananda left his body, we were contacted by his wife Mother Krishna Shakti to please come and take the audio ministry equipment and tapes. So once again we traveled for hours to bring the audio ministry home.
Realizations come from sincerely trying to do your best
When we came to ISKCON in 1986, we were personally asked by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami to assist in this endeavor. At this time we were working full time jobs and very busy in our own lives. But Gurudeva personally asked me to edit one tape per day and both of us to help as much as we could.
For about 1.5 years I continued to do this regularly and found much support, guidance and nectar by daily hearing. My realization at the time was that this was keeping me in close contact with my Spiritual Master and actually answering any doubts and problems that were arising.
I was also reading Srila Prabhupada's books at the time and found that the classes closely followed the books. So much so that when I read something in one of the books and was thinking "How can I apply this in real life?" the class I was editing that same day gave the answer on how to do it.
Over the years of this service we found that this is regularly the case. When we hear nicely all doubts and questions are answered and we find so many solutions to the day to day problems in life.
From 1987 until 1991 we continued to edit tapes as a full time service. We tried constantly to improve the equipment and sought out ways to increase the distribution. But still the technology and distribution methods were very slow and awkward. In spite of this we managed to get many tapes and lectures series out and distributed.
The ministry moves to New Talavan Farm for a year
In 1989, His Holiness Jayapataka Swami was attacked by a deranged person in Spain. When he left the hospital, he flew through London to Atlanta New Pani Hati Temple. My husband and I spent 2 months there taking care of him. He then traveled to New Talavan Farm in Mississippi to recuperate there for over a month. We traveled to join him and care for him during that visit and later visits until 1991 when we moved to Mayapur, India.
During 1990 and part of 1991, several Matajis helped copy and edit tapes. They also helped with funding and we are most grateful. They are listed below:
- Mother Latika Bhakti - helped with copying tapes
- Mother Kaivalya Sundari helped with copying tapes
- Mother Haridvani helped with funding
- Mother Kalavati helped with editing tapes after they were copied
If I have forgotten to list anyone who helped at that time, please contact me to add their name to the list.
ISKCON in the 1980's was going through many growing pains and the devotees were swamped with the services of protecting and providing for the temples that Srila Prabhupada had founded. There were not many devotees with much free time to help with this service, so we did what we could.
The ministry moves to Bangalore
In 1991, we moved to Sri Mayapur in India and carried the audio tapes with us to be taken care of by His Grace Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees in Bangalore. That is another story which I will write about soon.
I hope this helps to understand a little about the beginning of the Jayapataka Swami Archives in Atlanta in the early 1980's.
Your humble servant
Caitanya Rupa devi dasi