Malaysia gets a new temple of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna

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ISKCON has added one more feather to its image of being a society of people from many different nations, cultures, religions, and languages, who come together and follow a single path – the path of bhakti, or devotional service to Lord Krishna. The Sri Sri Radha-Krishna Kanaiya Temple of Devotion and Understanding in Penang, Malayasia, is the latest offering of the ISKCON to the world.

malaysia temple3The RM 10 million three-story octagonal temple was opened on 29th August in the presence of some 10,000 devotees and guests from around the world. Despite his ill health, ISKCON Malaysia’s current Governing Body Commissioner, His Holiness Jayapataka Swami was also personally present during the function.

In the picture above, the temple is shown receiving the final touches preparatory to its consecration ceremony on August 29. There may be many Hindu temples in Malaysia, but the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple of Devotion and Understanding in Seberang Jaya, Penang, is in a class of its own in terms of building design and function.

International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) national general secretary Simheswara Dasa said the temple was modelled  after India’s two famous temples – Jagannath in Puri and Krishna Balaram in Vrindavan.

International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) national general secretary Simheswara Dasa said the temple was modelled  after India’s two famous temples – Jagannath in Puri and Krishna Balaram in Vrindavan.

He said the temple was envisioned by the society’s founder, CC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, during a visit to Malaysia in 1971.

“Swami Prabhupada had left a rough sketch of the temple with  instructions for the devotees here to follow.

“We are happy to finally fulfil the wishes of the late Swami Prabhupada, who passed away in 1977,” he told Bernama recently.

Simheswara, who is also the building committee chairman, said the locations of the 16 chatris on the octagon were aligned with the celestial rulers of the eight directions.

“Each direction ((north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest) represents the various incarnations, or avatars, of Lord Krishna,” he said.

The temple sculpture, which is 30.5m tall, with ornamental work by 14 artisans from India, including 12 lion figurines sitting on top of the three shikara domes rising up to 26m, was also unique, he said.

“The octagonal and pyramidal shape is  designed for natural light penetration and ventilation.

“It is a temple built and designed according to the principles of ancient Vedic geomancy (Vaasthu Sastra),” he said.

“An elevator is provided for the elderly. A few rooms will be used to store Lord Krishna’s attire, flowers, and a devotee will be assigned to bring down food to be placed before Lord Krishna before distribution among the worshippers,” he said.

He said mezzanine floor was dedicated to the founder as the Srila Prabhupada Gallery, in conjunction with  the 50th anniversary of ISKCON.

“The temple’s main prayer hall on the first floor would have two deities – Lord Krishna and Radha – placed on a grand Balinese teakwood altar that sits right under the main domes.

Simheswara said the temple would educate and train devotees and visitors on yoga, chanting methods and the spiritual disciplines.

The  four-storey multipurpose hall located adjacent to the temple has an open dining hall to provide free vegetarian food, 10 guest rooms and a viewing gallery. The cultural centre at the hall will house a restaurant, a gifts and Vedic books shop, an education centre and meeting rooms.

On August 28, the eve of the consecration ceremony, Simheswara said 20 priests from the International School of Vedic teachings in Sri Mayapur, India, would lead the ceremonies beginning with meditation and rituals before the deities were installed.

“It is an ancient deity installation ritual called ‘Prana Pratistha’, whereby  pranic powers trickle down a copper wire and enter the deity installed inside the sanctum and sanctorum of the temple,” he explained.

Excerots Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple is Penangs newest landmark – The Malaysian Insider