I am a life member of ISKCON ( International Society for Krishna Consciousness ) for the last few decades. It was founded by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He had traveled to the US in the sixties of the last century and established the name of Lord Krishna globally. The organization has more than 700 centers around the world. The story of Prabhupada in the UK is quite interesting. He had spoken about the wealth that was taken from India by them and he jocularly stated that they had left behind the most valuable item - LORD KRISHNA. Prabhupada added that he had come over to give it to them.
All our family members are members of ISKCON. It is also popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement. I was introduced to this movement during my childhood days. Two American sanyasis had come over to meet my great grandfather Vysya Bhushanam Shri P.A.Raju Chettiar ( 1895 - 1984 ) those days. They spoke about ISKCON and requested him to become a member. He offered them something to eat but they had to politely decline the offer. It was Ekadashi ! My great grandfather was immensely pleased and he became a member instantly. My father K.Govindarajulu became a member too and he used to receive the magazine ' Back to Godhead ' regularly. I began to read that magazine from my childhood days. It used to carry stories and most importantly the gist of discussions between Srila Prabhupada and a couple of devotees.
I would additionally get to read books on the deeds of Lord Krishna or stories connected with His Holiness Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. These books had been printed in different parts of the world. The establishment of an ISKCON center in Coimbatore was a dream come true for many of us. I remember going to the VGR Puram premises. Now we have the Jagannath Temple near the Codissia complex in Peelamedu. The huge sprawling campus is visited by hundreds of devotees everyday. Bhagavad Gita classes are also going on regularly. Several teacher volunteers are taking classes in different parts of the city.
The Hari Nama Mandapam was inaugurated by our then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee those days. I find it a pleasure to recite the Hare Krishna Mantra while stepping on the 108 tables in this holy spot. The Annual Jagannath Rath Yatra is another major event in Coimbatore. Several thousand people participate in the same and receive the grace of their Lordships, Jagannath, Baldev and Subadhra. The Janmashtami celebrations at ISKCON draw thousands of people towards the temple. People get to enjoy the celebrations and it has added the spiritual upkeep of Coimbatore.
Bhajans, prasad, Bhagavad Gita classes, Nama Sankirtan etc., by ISKCON in Coimbatore has made the lives of the average Coimbatorean better. Coimbatore is a city known for its interest in infrastructure. On learning about the plans of ISKCON Coimbatore with regard to the KOVAI CHANDRA project, I realized that it was high time that the region gets the spiritual and cultural infrastructure. We are talking about airports, roads, bridges and the metro, but we had missed out the bridge that would connect us to Lord Krishna. Thank God, our friends from ISKCON are getting ready with the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple project.
Let us all contribute as much as possible to this big project. Lord Krishna will bless us with his presence and that will be the greatest form of wealth for each one of us. His Holiness Bhakti Vinoda Swami Maharaj has initiated this wonderful project. We should be grateful to him for doing something that was left out by all of us. His work reminds me of the words of Srila Prabhupada when he visited the UK long ago. The huge project will be a milestone in the history of Western Tamilnadu. This will make Coimbatore an important spiritual destination. It will improve the opportunities for entrepreneurs to indulge in cultural commerce.
The project will contain a big temple, darshan and kirtan area, puja rooms, spiritual & gift center , Tulasi Mandapam, Gardens, Govinda Restaurant, Annadanam center, Dining Hall, Samskara Hall, Kalyani Pond among other things. The rooms for devotees will be an added attraction. The project is being delivered in the Neo Dravidian style. Tamilnadu is famous for its temples and is known as the TEMPLE STATE OF THE WORLD. Most of the temples were built between 575 AD and 1736 AD ( the period that began with the Pallavas and ended with the Naicks of Madurai ). It is high time that we go back to building big temples.
Here is the golden opportunity to contribute. The Vamana Purana states that " Whoever constructs, or helps to construct, a Vishnu Temple will protect eight generations of fathers, grandfathers and forefathers from falling into hell ".
This multi crore project is under way. It requires a lot of our devotion and financial commitment. Lord Krishna has given us a golden opportunity through this project. Let us make use of it by contributing in a big way. It is our good fortune now. Let us be part of the massive Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple project.
For further information please contact
93448 96583, 99946 23608, 0422 - 2574812/13
Send contributions favoring ISKCON to :
Bank Account Number : 6308455038, IFSC Code : IDIB000S107
Indian Bank, Branch : Peelamedu , Coimbatore
Kindly email details of your online donation to : [email protected]
Let us all contribute to this grand home of Lord Krishna. Making him our permanent resident will be the greatest achievement for all of us.
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of The Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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