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50th Anniversary of Sri-Sri Radha-Parisisvara to be Celebrated in France
By Rasananda Sankirtana Dasa   |  Сен 21, 2023
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Radha-Parisisvara Deities installed by Srila Prabhupada.

On September 22nd-24th, 2023, the community of Radha-Parisisvara temple will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the installation of Sri-Sri Radha-Parisisvara on the most auspicious day of Radhastami.

On the 22nd, a Maha Harinam will proceed from place Saint-Michel (the historical location where devotees would go on Harinam back then) to rue Lesueur (which was the former location of the temple), passing by Luxembourg Park, where Srila Prabhupada once held an initiation ceremony.

On the 23rd, devotees will celebrate Radhastami and revisit moments of the installation of Sri Sri Radha-Parisisvara. 

On the 24th, devotees will share the glories of Sri Sri Radha-Parisisvara, concluding with a cultural program and the presence of ambassadors and local representatives. A special invitation was extended to disciples of Srila Prabhupada and devotees who were present during the installation to speak on a Zoom call for the benefit of the assembled devotees. Guest speakers like HH Indradyumna Swami are already creating a lot of anticipation for the French Yatra. HH Janananda Goswami Maharaj and Dr. Gopaswami Prabhu are also expected at the ceremony. Everyone is invited to the Radha-Parisisvara temple to chant the holy names on this most auspicious occasion. 

Local devotees will be able to add this jubilee celebration to the list of recent successful festivals like Krsna Janmashtami, the 35th Ratha-Yatra, and the visits of different honorable guests, including HH Radhanath Swami and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami. In this way, the French Yatra continues to exceed all expectations and inspires hope for the future of Krishna Consciousness in France. 

The first Radha-Parisisvara temple in Paris rue Lesueur. Srila Prabhupada is on the top balcony of the building.

History

Fifty years ago, under the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada came to France to uncover the lost holy places in the heart of the French people, share the teachings of Bhagavad-Gita, preach the glories of devotional service and establish the first temple of Radha-Krishna in Paris. A historical moment made possible by a “wonderful culmination of years of work doing sankirtan and so forth in Paris,” recounts Hari Vilasa Prabhu in Prabhupada Memories. 

In 1973, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was in a rapid state of growth and expansion. Temples and centers were opening worldwide, Harinam Sankirtan was part of the public scene, and the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra became a household name. In many ways, France was an inevitable checkpoint for spreading Krishna Consciousness in Europe, given that it could appeal to the intellectual class of French society. Of course, the very first day that Srila Prabhupada arrived in the city, he didn’t miss the opportunity to advise the mayor of Paris on the duty of the politician to educate the citizens on spiritual matters and the highest good they can benefit from God consciousness.

On the importance of Paris, Srila Prabhupada wrote: “So Paris is a most important city of the world. Work with great enthusiasm and make Krishna more prominent than Napoleon and Eiffel tower.” (Letter to: Guru-Gauranga, Paris Devotees – London 24 August 1973).

Since then, to fulfill his instructions, devotees have endeavored for years to provide Radha-Parisisvara with sincere seva and a stable situation in terms of accommodation. Located an hour from Paris city by transport, the temple is the property of ISKCON. It allows local devotees to have daily darshan of Sri-Sri Radha-Parisisvara, Jagannatha-Baladeva-Subhadra, and Sri-Sri Nitaï Saci-Suta.

Cooperation as a basis 

Under the inspiration and involvement of HH Janananda Goswami Maharaj, the Radha-Parisisvara temple has a fresh and youthful perspective on the future of the preaching mission. In his Vyasa-Puja offering for Srila Prabhupada in 2017, HH Janananda Goswami Maharaj wrote that in Paris, there is a “small but enthusiastic crew of young devotees eager to push your movement forward there.” It is, as of today, the home of about ten resident devotees and a congregation of about 200 members distributed between more than five communities (French, Bengalis, Tamils, Hindis, and Brazilians).

Srila Prabhupada said, “Your love for me will be shown by how you cooperate with one another.” Following in his footsteps, the management team emphasizes inclusiveness in decision-making and delegation to make the servants of Radha-Parisisvara feel part of the community.

Combined with the enthusiasm of brahmacaris pushing the preaching in Paris, Harinam Sankirtan has become an integral part of temple life. As Krishna says: “For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear” (Bg. 18.68-69).

Devotees are also welcome to sponsor Sri-Sri Radha-Parisisvara’s 50th anniversary and Radha’s appearance day by making a gesture at www.gofundme.com/f/50th-anniversary-of-radhaparisisvara.

 

 

 

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