By Basu Ghosh Das
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Today, on Sunday, June 16, 2013, Jyesth Shukla saptami on the vedic calendar, Deities of Sri Sri Gaur Nitai were installed in a temporary, but well designed and stylish temple in one of New Delhi’s largest and ‘up and coming’ locale’s, Dwaraka Colony.
Dwaraka Colony is located just 10 minutes from Indira Gandhi International Airport, and is a vast area within the New Delhi State that is now being developed as a large residential locale.
ISKCON, largely through the efforts of local GBC Gopal Krishna Goswami, was able to obtain a two acre plot of land adjacent to a twenty seven acre Government “green belt” land, just opposite of the prominent Radisson Hotel.
This is where ISKCON has constructed a temporary temple.
Plans call for a grand temple to be built on this land in the future. The temporary temple is very artistically designed. White Italian marble has been used on the floor. The Deity Simhasan [”Lion’s seat”] has been carved by an artist from Ahmedabad. After completion of the permanent temple, this temporary temple will be converted to a hall for cultural and social programs.
In addition to the temporary temple, five rooms to accommodate residential brahmacaris, as well as a seminar hall were constructed behind the temple room, on portable units which can be moved anywhere. This allows the option of shifting them when the final shape of the permanent temple is decided.
At present, a team headed by donor and congregational devotee Bhakta Piyush Goyal is developing both the temple project as well as local preaching programs aimed at the residents of Dwaraka Colony, under the direct guidance of Gopal Krishna Maharaj.
Approximately six thousand local congregational devotees and residents joined in the Gaur Nitai Deity installation program. The program consisted of the Deity installation rituals, a fire sacrifice, and continuous Hare Krishna mahamantra harinam sankirtan.
This large turnout on the occasion came about without a major publicity campaign, since today’s function was a “partial inauguration”, with a larger function planned for this August, 2013, on the “Baladev Purnima” day. That is the day that the appearance of Lord Krishna’s elder brother Balaram is observed, i.e. the full moon day in the month of shravana.
The installation activities were performed outdoors in tents (pandals) erected on ISKCON’s land. Vrajabhaktivilas Das was the chief priest for the installation rituals.
After the purnaahuti (the conclusion of the fire sacrifice), there was a grand abhishek of the Deities inside the temporary temple room, followed by the inaugural arati performed by Gopal Krishna Goswami.
Prasad was distributed to around six thousand guests.
Bhumi puja (worshipping the ground upon which a temple is to be performed) was done in January, 2013.
Bhanu Swami, Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami, Mahaman Das, Bhima Das, Loka Sakshi Das (Brazil) and Basu Ghosh Das, all direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada, were present at the function.
Mohanrupa Das, Raghava Pandit Das, Janardan Das, Vedavyas Das, Indra Krishna Das (Dubai), Bhakta Avatar Das and a number of devotees from ISKCON New Delhi at Sant Nagar and at Punjabi Bagh were also present at the installation function.
The Dwaraka colony temple has a Sunday program attendance of approximately eight hundred area residents. The resident devotees go daily in the area for harinam sankritan and book distribution.
All in all it was a grand function and it is a small sample of what should be a great future for ISKCON at Dwaraka colony!