On the 15th April’ 2014, Radhanath Swami inaugurated a new temple and a Vedic Cultural and Educational Centre, at Govardhan Eco Village (GEV) near Mumbai.
A special feature of this new centre is the stone carvings in the garbhagriha, the sanctified altar of the temple. The upper layer has been carved with the pastimes of the Lord contained in the first to Twelfth Cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam while the lower section has been beautified exclusively with Lord Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes described in the Tenth Canto. Traditional stone artisans from the Indian states of Orissa and Rajasthan had been staying at GEV for the past few months to make these beautiful stone artifacts. A total of 4,500 cubic feet of pink sandstone has been used to make this solid stone temple with a traditional architectural design. The temple hall, that can seat around thousand guests, is a simple yet beautiful octagonal shaped, gazebo like structure.
Amongst the four thousand guests who graced the day long festivities were Radhanath Swami’s friends Bhakti Vidyapurna Swami, Jananivas Prabhu, and Pankajanghri Prabhu.
In his address, Radhanath Swami highlighted how in the timeless traditions of Bhakti, the installation of the form of the Lord and the inauguration of a temple is a sacred service. Rupa Goswami, a principal teacher in the Bhakti tradition has given us sixty-four items of devotional service and of these, five, which includes the worship of deities in a temple, are most important. Although chanting of the holy names of God is the prime method of Bhakti yoga for this age, these other principles help us sustain the practice of chanting. Besides, deity and temple services help us develop an intimate and personal loving relationship with God. He also pointed out the list of prominent saints throughout the history of India who have put so much of their hearts and lives into worshipping the deity form of the lord.
Radhanath Swami expressed a desire that as a service to his spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, devotees would be working to recreate a forest of Vrindavan at GEV by next year. This forest would feature the seven major temples of Vrindavan, the sacred Govardhan Hill and the holy river Yamuna.
“By the Lord’s desire, this new project can attract not only our own hearts, but can help us come together on a higher spiritual platform to expand Krishna’s family” revealed Radhanath Swami. He concluded his talk to a roaring approval from the audience, “We hope and pray that people from everywhere would come here to experience Krishna’s love, Krishna’s beauty, Krishna’s attraction and Krishna’s abode of Vrindavan. That is the purpose of Govardhan Eco Village.”
Thanking the pioneers of the Mumbai community, Radhanath Swami explained how a few members sacrificed all comforts to stay in this remote village for over a decade. He also expressed profuse gratitude to all supporters who by their dedication, are helping this dream turn into a reality.