Significance of temple worship and spiritual community

romapada swami on significance of temple worship and spiritual community

The long-awaited occasion of formally establishing deity worship and an official congregating place at a Temple are major steps towards establishing a Vaisnava community within Central New Jersey.

The rituals involved in this process, namely the appropriate pujas and prana pratistha mantras and procedures, must be very carefully and meticulously executed to ensure auspiciousness on such an occasion.

The essence of auspiciousness, however, is created by the chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. This was very clearly explained by our Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the occasion of such ceremonies. Even during the most auspicious three-day installation of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama in Vrndavana August 8 to 10, 1974, a magnificent event which was carefully overseen by the Gosvamis of the principle temples in Vrndavana town, the continuous resounding chanting of the Holy Name for those three days was the primary catalyst for purifying and creating auspiciousness. I personally heard Srila Prabhupada explain this point during the three day installation ceremony.

As written in Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, “In Ramana-reti, in a place where there was no temple, a pure devotee desired, ‘Let there be a temple, and seva, devotional service.’ And what had once been an empty lot was now a place of pilgrimage.”

The same is happening here in Central New Jersey, as has happened in hundreds of locations throughout the world, under the inspiration of ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya. We now have an additional “place of pilgrimage” in the world!

What is the purpose behind such an endeavor? To create a spiritual community, which in turn can exemplify the sublime teachings of our awesome disciplic succession! Bhakti is awakened in the living entity by contact with one who is carrying bhakti. Spiritual communities are meant for that very purpose: extending the opportunity to one and all to re-enter into the eternal realm of Krishna’s devotional service.

One very powerful statement found is Srila Prabhupada’s writings in Nectar of Instruction is as follows: “The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees.”

The following six loving exchanges are specified by Rupa Gosvami: “Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasada and offering prasada are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.”

A Temple is a place where these six loving exchanges take place, where the sublime devotional teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam can be heard regularly, where the deity form of the Lord can be worshiped and where the lively chanting of the Holy Name can be celebrated.

Please accept our invitation: come regularly, join this attempt to serve Krishna together, with a view of building a strong spiritual community of Vaisnavas, right here in Central New Jersey!

About the author

Romapada Swami

Romapada Swami‘s first encounter with Krishna consciousness came in Buffalo, in the shape of a lecture at the State University of New York in 1969. The lecturer was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The following year, Romapada Swami joined the movement in Boston and was initiated in 1971. Despite being admitted as a pre-med student, he decided to follow his spiritual path 100% and never looked back. He took sannyasa in 1983 and became an initiating spiritual master in 1985.

Under Romapada Swami’s guidance, congregational groups of devotees of Krishna have grown in many places in the US and abroad, including Chicago, Washington DC, St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, New York, New Jersey, Houston, Orlando, Tennessee, Boston, Hyderabad and Guyana.

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  • It is wonderful and amazing to see so many temples continuing to be established all over the world! ISKCON truly is an unprecedented movement in the world’s history–making devotional service and Vaisnava philosophy so easily accessible to one and all in all the major cities, and now also suburbs and other smaller places, of the world! This is all due to the disciplic succession’s mercy flowing from Lord Caitanya and inaugurated worldwide by Srila Prabhupada! May that disciplic succession shower mercy upon anybody who has a tiny spark of faith in their hearts!

  • Its very amazing to see so many temples come up by the tireless services by so many Srila Prabhupada followers.. Where ever we go to any part of the world we have ISKCON temples making us feel connected to home away from home