A Brief History of Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple of Devotion & Understanding

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History
Our respectful obeisances to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Srila Prabhupada visited Malaysia in 1971. Srila Prabhupada came with a mission to officially honour his pledge to receive a plot of land for a Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple building project in Kuala Lumpur. This gift of land did not however materialise as the conditions which came with the gift were not favourable with ISKCON management principles.

Srila Prabhupada continued with vigorous preaching programmes covering 4 major towns from central to north Malaysia within the remaining 5 days while also pursuing the purpose he came for. In Kuala Lumpur, Toh Puan Uma Sambanthan, the wife of a federal minister who was the head of the Indian Congress Party requested for a darshan with HDG. At one point during darshan she begged Srila Prabhupada for his mercy.

Srila Prabhupada immediately summoned his secretary to get his briefcase. Opening his briefcase, HDG took out a paper sketch of a temple and said “I want a temple like this”. Toh Puan Uma did not commit and nothing happened after this meeting. Days passed and Srila Prabhupada left Malaysia for Australia. He had already set his lotus feet and planted the seeds of devotional service in Malaysia. We just needed to cultivate these seeds, realise the fruits and eventually fulfil his instructions. His instruction “I want a temple like this” remained to be fulfilled.

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In 1980 ISKCON was officially a registered organisation. By 2001 ISKCON Malaysia had purchased a land of 10 acres bordering Kuala Lumpur and a 17,000 sq. ft. land and building in the city. Around the country the society also operated about 24 preaching centres, some were purchased and some on rental. By this time ISKCON had already been established wherever Srila Prabhupada had set feet and these preaching centres were operating in their owned properties except for the centres in Penang. It is hard to predict how the mercy of the spiritual master works. Last but not least, in Gaura Purnima 2001, the unfailing mercy of Srila Prabhupada was showered on the Penang state. Serving at the heart of the town planning office of the

Penang Development Corporation, HG Kalesa dasa highlighted to ISKCON leaders the availability of an acre of land amidst a religious enclave at the new Seberang Jaya Township. ISKCON made no mistake and with all proper formalities, secured this God given land. More of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy on the Malaysian yatra will be spoken at the temple opening on 29 August. So, please be here during this time.

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Srila Prabhupada left behind us other instructions and spoke of his desires for the Malaysia Yatra. Srila Prabhupada expressed one such desire in a letter to HH Giriraj Swami on 13 July 1972 “…So best thing is to open centres in Malaysia and Singapore, recruit as many Chinese speaking devotees, translate our books into Malaysia and Singapore languages, then with a party go to China later on”. Incidentally, about 150 Chinese devotees are scheduled to attend the temple opening. His Divine Grace also said that nature had made Malaysia famous for her Malaya Candan trees or Malayan Sandalwood. But during the colonial rule, the British made Malaysia famous for rubber plantations. The resins from these two trees have exact opposing odours. One is king of fragrance and the other, is guessable. One is very, very expensive and the other very, very cheap. Still, the British preferred rubber, notably for so-called economic development. In the Caitanya Caritamrta, there is mention about the resin of another tree which is used to anoint Krishna. This tree is also nature’s gift to Malaysia. And it is said that amongst all species the Malaysian Aguru species or the Malakansis is best. Srila Prabhupada also mentioned that the Vedic culture was once prevalent in Malaysia.

Malaysian history is certainly related to the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the history of Bharata Bumi. No wonder the many ISKCON devotees who visited Malaysia said that Malaysia is the “Hidden jewel”. You just need to make it to the temple opening to know more about Malaysia, the “Hidden Jewel” of Krishna consciousness. The “Hidden Jewel”, these histories, Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and desires for Malaysia preaching will also be explained and exhibited at our Srila Prabhupada gallery. The gallery is to be an innovation by the temple youths. The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple of Devotion & Understanding is scheduled to open on Balaram Purnima, August 29 this year. The address is Plot 10, Lorong Jelawat 4, Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Prai, Penang. The Co-Zonal Secretaries of ISKCON Malaysia, HH Srila Jayapataka Swami and HH Srila Bhanu Swami, and the President of ISKCON Malaysia, HH Bhakti Vrajendranandana Swami, will preside over the installation ceremony. HH Bhakti Vighna Vinash Narasimha Maharaja, HH Janananda Goswami Maharaja, HH Ramai Swami, HH Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami, HG Deena Bandhu prabhu, HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami, HH Bhakti Nityananda Swami, HH Bhakti Purushotam Swami have also confirmed attendance. The Mayapur Gurukul priests together with Mayapur Chandras from ISKCON world headquarters at Sridham Mayapur will perform the fire sacrifices, installation ceremonies and kirtan respectively.

On the 30th of August will be a National Abhiseka for Srila Prabhupada to warm up towards the 50th anniversary celebration of ISKCON in July 2016. There will be an initiation ceremony followed with the opening of the Srila Prabhupada gallery.

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