As in all Hare Krsna temples, the devotees in Canada begin the day at 4:30 in the morning with a formal arati ceremony. Accompanying themselves on drums and hand cymbals, they sing prayers to the spiritual master, a pure representative of Krsna.
Sesa dasa, my traveling companion, says that in this pleasant tropical clime people don’t watch the problems of world politics so closely. They tend to drift mildly in this climate, where you can pick ripe mangoes from the trees.
Apart from the hundreds of European and American devotees who come to visit Krsna-Balarama tourists constantly fill the guesthouse and vegetarian restaurant, which are considered Vrndavana’s finest.
Ask anyone who lives near the New Vrindaban farm community, Who built Prabhupada’s Palace? and chances are they’ll say, “Oh, the Hare Krsnas built it.” Ask the devotees, and they’ll all say, “Srila Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada built the Palace.
Just around a bend in the road in the West Virginia panhandle, stands Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, a handcrafted seven-years-in-the-making miracle of inlaid marble walls and floors, stained-glass windows, crystal chandeliers that glitters like a second sun.
Hare Krsna Land receives two to three thousand guests daily, ten times that many on Sundays, and as many as 100,000 for its major festivals.
“In the Dvapara-yuga people should worship Lord Visnu only by the regulative principles of the Narada-pancaratra and other such authorized books. In the Age of Kali, however, people should simply chant the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
“Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods, those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me”
After the chanting (it usually goes for twenty minutes or so) there’s a talk on Bhagavad-gita. This is the basic book of spiritual knowledge the Hare Krsna devotees get their philosophy from.
Things get started with some chanting of Hare Krsna. It’s a kind of meditation. The idea is to meditate on the sound. And if you decide to join along in the chanting too—well, so much the better.
This is the second of three celebrations of the construction of the palace. The first, last September, was a dedication. When the third occurs, on the occasion of a festival named Janmastami over the Labor Day weekend, the finishing work will still be continuing.
The Sunday Feast a kind of open house. You come alone of with your friends or family. When you come in, you might like to meet some of the devotees. Maybe you’ll just wander around on your own and see what the place is all about. It’s up to you.
Today ISKCON in Australia and New Zealand includes four temples and three farms totaling more than 1,200 acres. It has opened four vegetarian restaurants, initiated two drug rehabilitation programs, and established the Ratha-yatra chariot festival.
Full-time devotees number three hundred in Britain and Life Members and other supporters tally in the tens of thousands. They have, for the most part, come in contact with devotees through daily street chanting parties and ISKCON publications.
Delicious, traditional Vedic cuisine was part of the legacy Krsna consciousness brought to Western shores. Eating, like everything else for Krsna devotees, is a part of the complete spiritual experience of life.
As we began to work on Prabhupada’s home, it began to take on the shape of a palace. This was not the original conception—the original idea was rather modest.
We didn’t have, any kind of professionally drawn architectural plan. It’s not a matter of what inspired the Palace. It’s a matter of who inspired the Palace. That was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Two hours from Sydney, the Society has acquired a new farm, Bhaktivedanta Ashram—136 acres of mandarin orchards, vegetable gardens, and forested hills, near the Colo River.
The grand opening of ISKCON’s Sri Sri Radha-Radhanatha temple drew 100,000 visitors, including leaders of the Afrikaans, English, black, and Asian communities.
In the spirit of Srila Prabhupada’s voyage to America in 1965, devotees are bringing Krishna consciousness to the Hawaiian Islands on the Jaladutta II boat.