Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Grand Opening of the ISKCON Temple at Tempe suburb of Phoenix, Arizona

A new place of worship had its grand opening in Tempe, Arizona – a suburb of Phoenix, where Arizona State University is located on Sunday, January 19. It is devoted to spreading Krishna consciousness in the Valley of the Sun in accordance with teachings of Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
The event started with an auspicious homa performed by Ram Prasad das. Gaur Arotik was conducted by Bhaktaraj Das, accompanied by Govinda das and Kirtan Yajna das. Sandamini mataji performed the first arati. The chanting was so ecstatic that everyone in the room, including students, kids and new guests was dancing.

We were honored to have His Holiness Ganapati Swami come and bless the new endeavor on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and give a very enlivening talk. It was a very successful event and the place was full of positive spiritual energy as if we had been transported 15 years back to the happier days of the opening of the Radha Madhavah Temple in Phoenix. So many senior Srila Prabhupada disciples and grand disciples from Arizona gathered in one place, and gave blessings which are so beneficial to the Krishna consciousness atmosphere. Krsna will surely shower His Mercy to a center whose mission is to stay one hundred percent true to Srila Prabhupada and his teachings. The center is open and welcoming to all devotees so no one made to feel the slightest that this is someone's private property.

When Dasarath prabhu and Sandamini mataji started the ISKCON of Phoenix temple in 1995, everyone always felt the warmth and welcome from the management. All of us felt it was our own temple and Sri Krishna is ours. We were fortunate to have both of them present at the opening of the new place. The atmosphere was, as Ganapati Maharaj said 'like the Hare Krishna movement 40 years ago'. Sandamini mataji comments, 'That is a compliment as the movement was small but very personal and loving in its dealings with everyone, particularly in the initial stages of the movement.'

The devotee hosts were very caring in the service to the guests (the ladies came around 6 times to see if anyone wanted anything else) and encouraging everyone to participate and heaped thanks on all who helped make the center a reality.

A dozen of spiritually minded students from Mesa Community College attended the gala evening along with their teacher, Tom Shoemaker. They were given free copies of Bhagvad-gita As It is along with flyers of Goshala, whose motto is "Protect Cows- Live Naturally". It should be mentioned that Goshala has completed four years and has two cows and two calves. It successfully celebrated that event this month with 200 congregation devotees who loves and supports cow protection. ISKCON is encouraging its temples worldwide to start cow protection and fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire to implement Varnashrama in society.

Srila Prabhupada wanted Lord Chaitanyas's message spread to every town and village, so we now have one more town dedicated to that principal.

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