Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple, the First Vedic Temple of Devotion and Understanding (TODU) had performed consecration on the August 29th, 2015 between 10am – 1pm. It was done in conjunction with Sri Bala Purnima & Holy Appearance Day of Lord Balarama. The temple was built and designed according to the principles of ancient vedic geomancy a.k.a. “Vaasthu Shastra”.
It is the largest Radha Krishna temple in South East Asia which is now open to the public. The octagonal shaped 3 storey temple worth RM10 million with 16 ornate dome-shaped pavilions (chatris) is located in Seberang Jaya, Penang, Malaysia. The 30.5m tall building includes 12 lion figurines sitting on top of 3 Shikara domes rising up to 26m. These ornamental works was done by 14 artisans that were brought from India. The octagonal & pyramidal shape is designed for natural light penetration & ventilation.
The temple established by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) provides free food during lunch time every Fridays also proposes to instruct devotees on Yoga, chanting, spirituality, run an educational center which also includes a Srila Prabhupada Gallery. Simheswara, the building committee chairman explained that “the locations of the 16 chatris on the octagon were aligned with the celestial rulers of the 8 directions. Each direction, North, South, East, West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest represents the various incarnations or avatars of Lord Krishna.”
ISKCON National General Secretary Simheswara Dasa explained that the temple was modeled after India’s 2 famous temples which are Jagannath in Puri & Krishna Balaram in Vrindavan. This temple was envisioned by the society’s founder, CC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada when he made a visit to Malaysia in 1971. He had then left a rough sketch of the temple with instructions for the devotees here to follow. It has come to reality now after 44 years. Swami Prabhupada passed on to the other side in 1977 but his legacy continues for decades even after he has left.
The building has an elevator which was built with the elderly in mind and a few of the rooms will be used to store Lord Krishna’s attire and flowers. The mezzanine floor was dedicated to the founder as the Srila Prabhupada Gallery in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of ISKCON. Lord Krishna and Radha will be placed in the main temple hall on the first floor while the 10 statues of the incarnations of Lord Krishna will also be placed within the temple.
Adjacent to the building is a 4 storey multipurpose hall which has an open dining hall to provide free vegetarian food, 10 guest rooms & a viewing gallery. Meanwhile, the cultural centre at the hall will house a restaurant, a gift and Vedic books shop, an education centre plus meeting rooms.
Here are some snapshots that I captured during the consecration ceremony for the benefit of those who missed this auspicious ceremony:
Photo above: Street was filled with shops with vendors selling refreshments and other HK centres selling books.
Photo above: Banner at Front right of entrance welcomes the devotees in various languages.
Photo above: View from the front entrance of the new building
Photo above: Side view of the temple
Photo above: Devotees singing and dancing in ecstasy inside the main hall before the consecration ceremony
Photo above: A unique view at the octagonal ceiling of the main hall at 1st floor
Photo above: A drone can be seen from the air capturing the footage of the consecration ceremony
Photo above: Crane carrying HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj for the consecration ceremony past noon.
Photo above: HK volunteers pouring holy consecrated water on the devotees
Photo above: Devotees swarming at HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj as soon as he reaches ground after the consecration ceremony
Food was served concurrently while the ceremony was going on and Balarama Purnima Festival was observed on the same day from 6pm until 9pm. Mandala Abishegam Ubhayam will follow for the next 48 days beginning August 30th until October 16th.
CONTRIBUTION:Picture credit: The first photo of the bird’s eye-view of building courtesy of Malaysian Insider