Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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ISKCON Temple Vrindavan

 

Place

:

Cuddalore District, Uttar Pradesh

Significance

:

The first temple built by ISKCON

Best Time to Visit

:

October-November

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Located at Vrindavan on Raman Reti Road, Uttar Pradesh, the ISKCON temple is the first temple built by ISKCON. One of the most significant spiritual centers in India, ISKCON (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness) was established by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the year 1966.

Born in 1896 in Calcutta, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada studied at Scottish Church College. He was the disciple of the Krishna devotee Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj. At the age of 69, Prabhupada left India for the US and founded ISKCON in 1965 in New York to Propagate the message of the Bhagwad Gita. His 'Hare Krishna Mantra had become famous and ISKCON swelled to an immense and wealthy spiritual society. Swami Prabhupada died on November 14, 1977. 

Today, ISKCON is a worldwide confederation of 10,000 temple devotees and 250,000 congregational devotees. It has more than three hundred and fifty centers including international braches, sixty rural communities, fifty schools and sixty restaurants situated all over the world. ISKCON regards Krishna as the supreme Lord over all deities. Contemplating the traditions of the ancient Vaishnava tradition, its main aim is to work for the well being of the society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness.  

Its temple is in Vrindavan, Lord Krishna's sacred city is a bustling place. Vrindavan was named after the delicate tulsi plant that is the symbol of Radha, Krishna's beloved mistress. Also known as Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, it is a well equipped with modern facilities. The temple courtyard is surrounded by verandahs with beautiful wall paintings depicting the life of Lord Krishna. 

The temple complex houses temples and shrines with exquisitely worked marble with statues covered in gold leaf. The Ashram complex has been divided into various sections. It has a reading room, classrooms, a reference library, a meditation hall used for chanting (holds upto five hundred people) and a museum recording the life of Srila Prabhupada. Opposite to this museum is Sri Prabhupada's samadhi made in white marble. Inside the Samadhi one can the image of Swami Prabhupada. Behind the temple there is a museum which was the house of Srila Prabhupada.

The ashram also runs a boarding school for children of devotees from all over the world. About two km distance away, the ashram runs a farmland with vegetable garden and a diary farm that supplies milk for the ashram.

The Sri Krishna Balaram temple at Brindavan has three altars - The first altar houses the deity of Shri Gaura Nitai, the incarnation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Krishna, his brother Balram are worshipped in the central altar and on the third altar Radha along with other gopis Lalita and Vishakha are worshipped. Among these deities, Krishna-Balrama is the main diety of the temple. 

There are daily lectures in English. The main spiritual activity is the chanting of the Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He says that the more you chant this mantra, the more blissful you become. In addition to chanting ISKCON, devotees are asked to follow the basic rules of the ashrams i.e; vegetarian diet; no gambling; no intoxicants; and no illicit sex life. 

There are many festivals that are celebrated in the temple. Janmashtami, Rama Navami, Gaura Purnima, Diwali, Chandan Yatra, Kartika, Gaura Purnima, Balaram Purnima, Radhashtami and Govardhana Puja are the major festivals that celebrated at ISKCON Temple.

   






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