“Metpally . . . Radha-Krishna installation . . . festival . . .” The ashram at ISKCON Chowpatty was buzzing with this discussion last week. Many brahmacharis were excited about visiting this small town in Telangana, around 800 kms from Mumbai. The temple managers were busy arranging for all the essential services that had to be taken care of in the absence of so many devotees.
Ever since the lockdown was imposed in Mumbai and the rest of India, most of the devotees couldn’t step out of their ashram for more than 10 months. All their outreach programs and book distribution were confined to video calls on Zoom. Although this was a phenomenal success, resulting in the opening of several unknown avenues, they were sorely missing personal contact with devotees and celebration of Krishna conscious festivals. Upon the arrival of this invitation, therefore, all of them were eager to come out of our virtual reality and experience the physical world outside.
Metpally is mainly an agricultural town with a population of 10,000. ISKCON’s activities began here a few years ago when Narahari Das from Chowpatty first started to come here. With a small group of young boys, he began his satsanga programs, which soon attracted local villagers. Many of them started taking the process of Krishna consciousness seriously and chanted Hare Krishna on beads regularly.
The Hare Krishna temple in Metpally
The Sunday festivals began to attract hundreds of devotees and the prasadam distribution increased manifold. The annual Ratha-yatra festivals were a huge success, and thus Hare Krishna became a household word in the nearby villages. As expected, the need for a temple was increasingly felt so that more devotees can assemble and participate in the congregational chanting of the holy names of Krishna.
On February 16th, the day of Vasanta Panchami, finally, a grand installation of Radha-Krishna Deities was performed, which was attended by thousands of devotees. With the arrival of the archa-vigraha, more devotees will start thronging the temple, and many will find opportunities for service. This will expand the Krishna consciousness movement even more.
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium