Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir is representative of a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple in the city of Vrindavan. It is one of the main ISKCON temples in India established by the devotees of the sect. The deities of the ISKCON teple of Vrindavan are Krishna and Balarama, at the central altar. On the right altar are Radha Krishna with Gopi, Lalita and Vishakha. On the left altar is a Murti of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with Nityananda, and of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his spiritual teacher Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Krishna-Balaram Mandir enforces one of the highest standards of cleanliness and of deity worship in all of Vrindavan. At the entrance to the complex is located samadhi shrine or mausoleum of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, built of pure white marble.
History and Philosophy of ISKCON
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is known today as ISKCON was founded by Srila Prabhupada in New York City in the year 1966. ISKCON is based on a devotional tradition which preaches the teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. ISKCON’s genesis draws its legitimacy from its place in a succession of spiritual teachers and disciples . There are four major disciplic successions, and ISKCON belongs to the Brahma-Gaudiya-Madhva sampradaya, founded by Lord Krishna Himself, it is believed.
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The teachings and practices of ISKCON were taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was an said to be an incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna Himself, along with His brother Nityananda Prabhu and six of His principle associates, the Goswamis of Vrindavana.
The Bhagavad-gita, the principal scripture of The Hare Krishna Movement, is an eternal teaching, having its’ origins more than 5000-years ago, and before that time it was an oral tradition. Sri Chaitanya gave a powerful impetus for a devotional movement throughout India. ISKCON quickly spread to the major cities of the whole world in a merely few years.
Features of the ISKCON Temple
The Krishna Balaram Temple is known all over the world for its glittering deity worship. In a single day, up to 100 people will be actively involved with the worship. This includes at least 20 pujaris, 5 cooks, a number of assistants, purchasers, bakers, cleaners and garland makers.
One of the special features of the deity worship is the variety of flowers used to decorate Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara. More than 30 large garlands are offered every day for their Lordships as well as for Srila Prabhupada in his Samadhi mandir and in his house. The quality of the flowers and other aterial is set to be of international standards.
Since Vrindavan has plenty of flowers that grow locally, so the demands are met here but some exotics varieties of flowers are obtained from other places too on a regular basis. On important festival days such as Janmastami and Radhastami and other, over 100 kilogras of flowers are used to decorate the temple and deities.
The gorgeous deity outfits are very charming and beautiful. There is an inventory of about 64 deity dresses kept in stock at all times. Each outfit is used not ore than five years and then it is donated to other temples who may have limited resources.
A gaushala is also operational by the courtesy of ISKCON tepmple.
Timings of ISKCON Temple
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
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