ISKCON opened doors of yet another temple to the world. A mesmerising milky white marble temple of Sri Sri Radha Govinda in the township of Faridabad in the Indian state of Haryana was inaugurated on the auspicious day of ‘’Vijaydasmi’’ this year. It has captured the hearts of all who come to see it from far and wide.
The temple has an interesting and inspiring history. Shri Kul Bhushan Sharma, a big developer in Faridabad, designed part of the town with a temple and a big hall called Gita Bhawan on an acre of land. He was not content and felt the temple lacked the feeling of sanctity and purity. One day his son, Shri Sunil Sharma, met with a devotee named H.G Advaita Krsna Das who introduced him to the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Sunil was attracted to the devotional life of the devotees and their surrender to the Supreme Lord. He wished to see this in the temple built by his father. He discussed with his parents and brothers who mutually came to a conclusion to officially hand over their temple and the Gita Bhawan to ISKCON.
The message was put forth to the devotees and it was forwarded to the seniors in ISKCON, and they were happy to accept the gift.
Shri Kulbhushan was elated. But a problem erupted before him; a few local residents of the area did not like this. They protested to have a club or a recreational centre rather than a hall for the Lord. It took a lot of great convincing to pacify them. As we know, Sri Krsna’s mercy flows in such tough situations, and that happily happened in this case.
With all respect and reverence in their hearts, Shri Kulbhushan Sharma along with his wife Shrimati Avinash and sons Sunil Sharma, Rajiv Bhushan Sharma, Atul Bhushan Sharma and in the loving memory of his late son Aseem Bhushan Sharma offered the temple building and the hall spread over an acre to ISKCON.
The process of cultivation of devotees was the necessity now. A young couple fully dedicated to the movement with the blessings of Gopal Krsna Goswami took to the service of building a strong congregation. Gopeshwar Das and his wife Krsna Ganga Devi Dasi took the charge to spread the Holy Name among the residents of Faridabad. Their endeavours bore fruit and over the span of a few years, hundreds of people joined them to serve in Srila Prabhupada’s movement. They all now craved beautiful Deities and a tranquil ambience to serve Their Lordships. Their prayers were heard by the Lord; they were motivated and guided well. Soon the old temple hall was demolished and the beautification process commenced.
Gopal Krsna Goswami Maharaja sent his disciple Rasapriya Das to take the charge of the architecture and the interiors of the temple. Being the architect and the interior designer of the beautiful temple of ISKCON Bahadhurgarh he took the new initiative with full vigour. His immaculate sense of art and the flair for Palace style building had won the heart of Gopal Krsna Goswami and the congregation. His vision of creating an aristocratic palace for Their Lordships delighted all.
His hard work and passion for exclusivity took shape in a period of one and a half years. One could see the beauty of the temple from the gates themselves. The big iron grills with ISKCON logo engraved with strong pillars and majestic Gates welcomed all.
From the flooring to the ceiling of the temple one is fascinated by its grandeur. The temple is very simple and serene yet its full of art.
Lord Caityana’s mood of the ‘Sankirtan movement’ reflects right from the doorstep. Engraved marble mural of dancing and singing devotees adorn the wall above the grand carved wooden door at the entrance. The depiction is so enchanting that one enters the temple with the spirit of devotion. The circular temple hall with a well-designed flooring and heavy marble pillars enthrals all. The high dome in the temple hall bedecked with Rajasthani tikri mirror work hypnotises one and all. The silver and the white background of the dome spreads over the entire temple enhancing its beauty. Hand paintings depicting various pastimes of the Supreme Lord and His devotees decorate the walls beneath the dome. Paintings are alive and takes one to the spiritual journey. The richly carved Burma teak altar with an antique roof with gold mirrored boxes added to the splendour of the temple. All intricacies for the pleasure of the mystical Deities were taken care off. Added are the grand carved wooden altar doors.
The august Deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda and Sri Sri Sita Ram Laxman Hanuman were installed. Their beauty illumined the temple.Their hypnotising darsan enticed the crowds. The Deities were welcomed with various Homa or Yajnas . All done under the brilliant supervision of HG Sewatulya Prabhu ji. The melodious Hare Krsna Mahamantra Kirtan led by so many senior vaisanvas maddened the crowds. All present were bathing in the nectar of Harinaam. On both the sides of the altar are two life size wooden frames holding the portraits of Lord Jagannath and Lord Narsimha to bless all.
To grace the auspicious occasion came HH Gopal Krsna Goswami Maharaja ji, HH Bhanu Swami, HH Bhakti Anugrah Janardhan Swami,HH Bhakti Rakshak swami, HH BB Govinda swami, HG Mahaman Prabhu,HG Sri Dham Prabhu, HG Panch Gauda Prabhu , HG Vaiseki Prabhu, HG Madhava Prabhu and many more senior vaisnavas. A two day Harinaam Kirtan Mela was led by these exalted Vaisnavas. The beautiful grand white shikhar with Krsna’s golden Sudershan Chakra atop marks its presence from far.
There is a well planned two-story administrative block with a basement to host devotees for various activities. A twin room set has been specially designed for the stay for sanyasis. Nevertheless a massive Deity kitchen too has been well designed to take care of Bhoga preparations. The minute details have been taken care of in the making of the beautiful abode of Their Lordships.
‘Sri Sri Radha Govind Dham’ (the temple) has blossomed in the township of Faridabad to bless the masses. The mercy of the Lord has descended to take the residents of Faridabad ‘Back to Godhead.’
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Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer
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