The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly known as ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, in its relentless mission of reestablishing Vedic civilization throughout the world, has opened yet another new Temple, this time at Kanpur, India.
By Basu Ghosh Das
On the auspicious day of Sri Rama Vijaya Dashami, aka “Dassera”, October 3, 2104, ISKCON inaugurated a grand new temple for Sri Sri Radha Madhava, on the outskirts of Kanpur city, the largest city in India’s largest and most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.
Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Sri Ram Naik, and the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Sri Padmanabh Acharya, presided over the inaugural ceremony.
A number of ISKCON leaders of ISKCON, including ISKCON Global Governing Body Chairman Anuttama Das, ISKCON India sannyasis Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Charu Swami, Radhanath Swami, Bhanu Swami, Navayogendra Swami, Lokanath Swami, Bhakti Vinoda Swami, Radha Raman Swami, Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, Atmanivedana Swami, Vedavyaspriya Swami, Bhakti Ashray Vaishnav Swami, Prabodhananda Saraswati Swami, and Murali Krishna Swami attended.
Senior ISKCON devotees such as Bhurijan Das, Deena Bandhu Das, Pancharatna Das, Bhaktarupa Das, Mahaman Das, and Basu Ghosh Das participated. ISKCON London, UK leaders, Shrutidharma Das, Prana Bandhu Das, and Gauri Das were present at the function.
ISKCON India leaders Braja Hari Das, Pancharatna Das (Jaipur), Dayaram Das, Sri Jeeva Das (Gauhati), Bhaktivinode Das (Chandigarh), Pancharatna Das (Brahmapur, Odisha), Surdas, Radheshyam Das, Sanat Kumar Das, Sumitra Krishna Das, Vanamali Das, Krishna Kripa Das, Adhokshaja Das, Advaitacharya Das, Surapati Das, Vrajendranandan Das, Sanak Sanatan Das, Murli Mohan Das, Shrestha Das, Nityananda Ram Das, Paramatma Das, Ekalavya Das, and Vishnunam Das were present.
Sunil Madhava Das and Shyam Krishna Das from the USA, and Krishnapriya Das from London were amongst the NRI devotees who attended the opening ceremonies.
Srinathji Das, along with his wife, from Bombay, and Vedavyas Das, from New Delhi, both major supportors of ISKCON India projects, also attended the function.
Devakinandan Das, Zonal Secretary for ISKCON in Uttar Pradesh, and ISKCON Global Minister for Fund Raising, who is the driving force behind the project, presided over all aspects of the temple construction and inauguration. Due to his efforts, the project at Kanpur, located on 17 acres of land on the Betur Road, has come up in almost record time!
He was assisted by a team of devotees, several of the University grads, as well as Lila Purushottam Das of IIT Kanpur, who is also principle of the ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Swami school at Vrindavan.
The day before the pran prathishta and maha-abhishek (bathing the Deities) ceremony, the netra unmilanam of the Deities was performed.
The installation rituals were conducted by Shitalanga Gauranga Das, Sevatulya Das and their assistants. Elaborate rituals following Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s satkriya saar dipika, and other agama shastras, accompanied by the chanting of vedic and upanishadic mantras were ably performed by these devotees.
Devotees in large numbers from ISKCON Bombay Juhu and Chowpatty (Bombay) temples, as well as ISKCON New Delhi assisted the devotees of ISKCON Kanpur in serving the visiting devotees and visiting members of the general public.
ISKCON Chowpatty devotees took charge of cooking during the festival.
There were a number of devotees from all over India who joined the festival who’s names are too numerous to mention.
There were lectures and kirtans by the senior leaders, and there were a number of cultural programs performed on the stage in the evening for the benefit of the visiting public, including an elaborate Krishna lila and Meerabai dance program by Smt. Hema Malini and her troupe.
Prem Kirtan Das from Bombay coordinated the sound systems, and Shyam Pandey from Baltimore, USA, coordinated the videography, and live streaming video of the function on ISKCON TV on the internet.
A number of prominent businessmen of Kanpur, who generously supported the project attended the opening ceremonies with their family members.
Besides the temple program, there was a “Natkat mela” area for children, mass prasad distribution to the visitors, prasad sales booth, kirtan and bhajan programs by outside artists, and kirtans and lectures in the temple by various devotees.
Thousands of members of the public at Kanpur attended the opening ceremonies on all three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Pictures posted on the internet at the following links:
http://tinyurl.com/ojvzrfk and http://tinyurl.com/ou4zhp4
For more detail visit http://www.iskconkanpur.com/
Srila Prabhupada ki Jay!