Sri Krishna Mandir, Imadpatti, Bihar

Our grandfather “KarnShree” Khadga Ballabh Das ‘Swajan’ (KB Das hereafter) (1912-1999) is known for authoring his Maithil epic Seeta Sheel. His emotional attachment to our ancestral village Imadpatti was strong, and a temple he built is worth mentioning. Imadpatti lies in the Jhanjharpur division of Madhubani district in Bihar.

As was, perhaps, the “cool” thing to do in those days, my grandfather took early retirement from his government job in 1970’s after his eldest son (our father Sri Lakshman Das: 1932-1993) took over the family responsibilities as a government officer. That did not particularly help with the financial situation of the family and my father struggled for decades to make the ends meet in his family (that included his two siblings, parents, occasional cousins who lived with him, and his own kids). In the meanwhile, KB Das’s second son (our uncle) Sri Ramakant Das joined the Bihar Police force. Sri KB Das counted on his sons’ (and his son-in-law’s, in later years) support to fulfill his selfless desires for community service. Despite the challenges, his family always supported his missions.

Sri Khadga Ballabh Das in Doranda, Ranchi (1988: visiting his eldest son Sri Laskhman Das)

While his Maithili epic Seeta Sheel was being written, KB Das concurrently launched another ambitious project i.e. to build a temple in our ancestral village. His second son Sri Ramakant Das remembers: “Babuji realized that beyond the symbolic Brahmsthan, our village did not have a temple at the entrance. People did not have a place of worship when entering or exiting the village, as is customary. So, he reached out to us with the idea of building a temple. His book project already needed some budget. Moreover, fundraising from the village was not immensely successful. Yet, we brothers happily agreed to fund the temple construction wholeheartedly, although over several years

Seeta Sheel

[Clockwise: KB Das and wife Smt. Indramaya Devi | Eldest son Sri Lakshman Das (1932-1993) | Daughet Smt. Vidya and son-in-law Sri Arjun Narayan Chaudhary | Second son Sri Ramakant Das and daughetin-law Smt. Sheela | Eldest daughet-in-law Smt. Ashal Lata]

Here are some glimpses of the temple:

The temple has three deities: (1) Sri Radha Krishna (2) Sri Mahadev, and (3) Sri Chitragupta. For the first several years, Sri KB Das continued to send some “stipend” for the priest. His nephews in the village (Sri Vijaykant Das, in particular) was helpful in administering the construction. The Mukhiya ji of the village was also supportive in building the temple. In recent years, the temple has evolved as one of the destinations in the humble village and supports some small shops.

Prashant Das (Gram- Imadpatti) | Lausanne, Switzerland | 21 Aug 2020

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