on Sept. 10, 2011
Huddled amongst the thousands of buildings in one of the busiest Delhi markets, at end of one of the myriad narrow lanes, a rustic but palatial structure in Chippiwada would miss out any common man’s sight. But to the followers of Srila Prabhupada, this building housing the Deities of Sri Radha Krishna is where he had began his initial preaching of Krishna Consciousness years later which was to burgeon as a global movement spreading the message of Lord Chaitanya.
After establishing ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada visited the temple several times and later instructed his disciples to request acquire the temple which he himself had initially tried but backed out as the trustees were not interested in it then.
But after nearly 4 decades, beginning early this year, ISKCON’s Governing Body Commissioner Gopal Krishna Goswami and a team lead by Raghava Pandit Dasa began meeting and a negotiating with the trustees of Chippiwada temple to donate it to ISKCON and after several months of discussions, the legal procedures for the transfer of the temple was completed on 19th of August, remarkably just 4 days prior to the appearance day of Srila Prabhupada.
“Prabhupada told us that he got the inspiration to write and preach in Radha Damodar temple, but this [Chippiwada temple] is where he really began writing, especially Srimad Bhagavatam” said Brahmananda Dasa, one of the early disciples of Srila Prabhupada.
The temple located close to the famous Red Fort and in the heart of a printing market proved an ideal locality for Srila Prabhupada to begin his book publishing. While staying there he would personally worship the 103 years ago installed Radha Krishna Deities and deliver discourses on Srimad Bhagavatam. But at the same time would spend his time on translating Sanskrit literatures into English.
“Swamiji [Srila Prabhupada] would sit on his type writer and would translate for hours together sometimes as long as 11 to 12 hours without even taking a break. And we would offer him little food late at night which he would humbly accept,” remembers Mr. Sharma, one of the trustees of Radha Krishna Madir.
Srila Prabhupada in appreciation with the hospitality of the hosts wrote in the temple’s guestbook:
“I am pleased to write herein that I have come to Delhi from my H.Q. 1/859, Keshi Ghat, Vrindaban (U.P.) purely on spiritual mission to propagate the cult of devotional service of the Lord. And I am more pleased to mention herewith that Sriman Sri Krishna Sharma, Haribhaktanudas, has provided me a suitable room for my literary activities. I am publishing an English fortnightly magazine of the name “Back to Godhead” from this place and the Nawal Prem Shabha of which Sri Krishnaji is the Hony. Secretary is arranging for my daily lectures on Srimad Bhagwat.
Late Pandit Jyoti Prasad Sharma, father of Shri Krishnaji, was also known to me, and during his lifetime whenever I used to come to Delhi, Late Pandit Jyoti Prasadji would provide me with residential place. His good son is also following in the footprints of his noble father, and as secretary of the Nawal Prem Shabha, he is doing good service in propagating Rama Nama all over the city.”