28 Mar 2014

Sri Swami Vishwananda visits Krishna Balaram Iskcon Mandir in Vrindavan

On the 25th of March 2014, Sri Swami Vishwananda received an official invitation from the Temple President Panca Gauda Das of the Krishna Balaram Iskcon Mandir in Vrindavan to come through and take Darshan of the Deities Krishna and Balaram and the full complex.

Krishna Balaram Mandir

Swamiji was warmly greeted and led to the office of Panca Gauda Das who is the Temple President and welcomed Swamiji with due respects and honour. At first there were only a few devotees with Swamiji when we first came to sit in the office but after a few minutes the office was packed with devotees and the president jokingly remarked that next time Swamiji comes He will need a larger office!

In the President's office

Panca Gauda Das kindly extended the facilities and accommodation to Swamiji offering the use of the lecture Halls in the future if he ever wishes to give class and even to come and stay in the Ashram that is situated behind the main Mandir Complex. After offering Swamiji and a few of the devotees garlands directly from the Deities, he began to take us on a tour of the complex.

Beginning Tour

Panca Gauda Das led Swami to the main Mandir area and offered Dandavat Pranams to His Guru His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Sri Prabhupada, as it is customary in the Hindu culture to honour the Guru first and then the Deities. We then moved to the Deities and offered obeisance's to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, who are seated to the left of the main Deities. The temple was very full and the temple President first offered Pranams to the Deities and then cleared a path in front of the Deities so Swamiji could offer His respects by bowing down and offering Pranams. We repeated the process by offering our respects to the Main deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and then once more to Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar, who are situated directly to the right of the Main Deities.

Krishna Balaram Deities

The next stop on the tour was the Samadhi place of Srila Prabhupada, where He is depicted sitting in Samadhi with a carved white marble memorial constructed in his honour. There is also the house of Srila Prabhupada which now serves as a museum with various items that Srila Prabhupada used during His life for devotees to venerate. It is a beautiful place of honour and gratitude to their Guru that resonated closely with many of us as we naturally feel that same spirit of devotion and gratitude towards our own Gurudev.

Srila Prabhupada Memorial

After the tour we were asked to join the Kirtan that was taking place in front of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Swamiji was lead to the front of the Kirtan session and asked to sit near the musicians. After 30 minutes of vibrant chanting, Swamiji had another engagement to attend to and so we were led back to Panca Gauda Das's office to offer final Pranams and bid farewell to a fellow Vaishnava.

Kirtan session