Big Launch for South Africa Krishna Temple
BY: STAFF CORRESPONDENT
Dec 21, SOUTH AFRICA (POST) The highly anticipated launch of the multi-million rand temple at the corner of Longbury Drive and Pandora Street in Phoenix takes place from December 30 to January 1.
The reason for opening the R10 million International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple is to render diverse cultural activity and teaching to people of this highly populated Indian suburb and to keep culture alive, according to ISKCON Plans for the temple began in 1991 and construction began in 2000.
Although the temple is not as opulent as the acclaimed Hare Krishna Temple in Chatsworth, it's main altar is bigger.
The temple will cater for people who want to hire the hall for weddings, eat at the restaurant and buy gifts at the gift shop, construction of which will begin next year.
ISKCON dignitaries from around the globe will attend the launch.
Devotees can look forward to offering prayers with His Holiness (HH) Bhakti Caitanya Maharaj (formerly of New Zealand), HH Bhakti Brnga Govinda Maharaj of Kazakhstan, HH Bhakti Caru Swami, pictured, of Mayapur, India, HH Bhakti Vallabaha Puri Maharaj of Scotland, HH Krishnadas Maharaj of India, HG Dinabandu prabhu of Vrndavana, India, HG Hari Sauri prabhu of America, HH Kadamba Karana Maharaj of Holland, HG Shymlal prabhu of Navadip, India, and HG Ramanujarcharya prabhu (formerly of America).
Some of the activities for the launch include lectures, bhajans, kirtans, plays and dances on December 30.
On December 31, a chariot procession of Lord Jagganath, Baladev and Lady Subhadra, starts at the Gandhi Luthuli Park (subject to confirmation) at 11am, proceeding along Phoenix Highway to the temple.
There will be a cultural stage programme featuring top local artists, harinam (street chanting), plays and dances, bhajans, midnight arti and a Maha Abishek for the installation of the deity of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder Archarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
And, on January 1, from 10am, a Maha Yagya (fire sacrifice) takes place along with the cutting of the ribbon to the temple, the opening of curtains to the main altar, addresses by visiting dignitaries, lectures by international visiting gurus, a cultural stage programme, a breathtaking fireworks display, the Maha Abhishek, including the installation of the presiding deities of the temple.
The temple also hosts a Food for Life programme. On a daily basis, over 1 600 meals are distributed to disadvantaged children in Phoenix.
A college programme is also run at the temple for the Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture.
On Sundays from 5pm to 6.30pm, voluntary devotees teach children, from ages four to 12 years old, about the Bhagavath Gita, Vaisnava etiquette and teachings from Srimad Bhagavatam.
A programme for adults takes place on Saturdays where they can
obtain a Bhakti Sastri degree as well as a diploma class. These teachings are based on the Bhagavath Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
Plans for a Hindi language class, a classical dance class as well as a music class are also in the pipeline.
For more information call the temple at 031 507 6559.