BY JAI SITA RANI DEVI DASI
PHOTOS BY MEGHASHYAMA LIM, BHAGAVADMRTA DASA, JAI SITA RANI DEVI DASI, PADMANETRA DASA, BHAGAVADMRTA DASA AND SURASRESTHA DASA
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: ISKCONMALAYSIA.COM
Just a day earlier to the consecration of the temple, a Vastu Homa which is a pre-installation ceremony was performed performed by the Mayapur gurukulis in the early morning. It is a fire sacrifice to sanctify the location by worshipping the Vasthu-purusha. The ceremony primarily involves the removal of vasthu-dosas and was followed by Vandapanam which is the offering of 25 plus auspicious items to the deities.
In the evening, Shayana adhivas (resting in the bed) was performed to entreat the spirit of sleep into the deities for invoking the presence of the Lord as well as the ability to bestow auspiciousness on the devotees.
Just as the sun rose on the 29th of August 2015, the Nyasa Homa, which is a fire sacrifice was performed to establish various aspects of the deities. The ceremony involved the awakening of different limbs by touching kusa grass accompanied by chanting of mantras. This was followed by the Maha Abhisheka for the Radha Krishna deities which is a ceremonious worship of the deities by pouring of various types of glorified items over Them. Next was the much awaited Maha Kumbha Abhisek which involved the circumambulation of the temple with the Kumbhas and Chakras and was followed by the Kumbha Abhisek and Chakra Prathistha. After this, was the inauguration of the Temple of Devotion and Understanding.
The Maha Kumbha Abhisek ceremony for the Temple of Devotion and Understanding attracted over 10,000 people.
The unexpected gliding flight of two eagles believed to be garudas circled over the temple during the Maha Arati and just before the Maha Kumbha Abhisek assured the faithful blessings of Lord Vishnu. And it was a fitting climax to the religious ceremony. But watching HH Jayapataka Swami being hoisted over 100 feet in a cherry picker crane to bless the Maha Kumbha Abhisek ritual was simply the icing on the cake for the devotees.
The Mandala-Abhishek Ubhayam is a prayer that is currently held daily for the next 48 days after the opening, where individuals or groups can sponsor for a day to benefit the deities of the temple, and also have prayers and a feast conducted for their well-being. Amazingly, one of our photographers managed to get an image of Sri Krishna in the fire sacrifice recently.
The Temple of Devotion and Understanding is an architectural marvel and has scored a number of firsts with its design. It is the first 3-storey octagonal-shaped temple in Malaysia designed after two famous temple in India i.e.Krishna Balaram temple in Vrindavan as desired by Srila Prabhupada, and the Jagannath temple in Puri. The sculpture and ornamental decorations is one of its kind in the world with 12 lions sitting on top of three large sikhara (domes) with the main sikhara and kalasha (spire) rising up to a height of 80 feet.
It is also stamps a first in Malaysia with 16 chhatris (ornate dome-shaped pavilions) which is located on each sections of the octagon that are aligned with the celestial deities or rulers of the eight directions (North, South, East, West, North East, North West, South East and South West) representing the various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Krishna.
Furthermore, it is the first temple in Malaysia to have two octagonal domes made from galvanized steel, stainless steel and glass that is structured like a pyramid in the brahmastana (centre) of the temple roof.
This octagonal and pyramidal shape is specially designed for natural light penetration and ventilation without using air-condition. And this superbly unique designed temple building is architecturally based upon the ancient Vaastu Sastra (Vedic Sciences of Geomancy).
The first floor of the temple is a prayer hall with a capacity to host 1,000 worshipers at any one time with an elevator provided for the senior citizens.
The inside of the temple is also fitted with acoustic wall panels and wall systems to provide acoustical treatment and beautiful aesthetics to its surroundings. Not forgetting the intricately carved Balinese teak altars with great finesse, not just for Srila Prabhupada and the presiding deities but also for all fourteen the smaller altars in the temple which houses the various incarnations of Lord Krishna. The words he spoke in Malaysia to Bhakta Neo in 1971 just before he took his flight echoes in our minds, "Whatever you do, do it nicely". Yes, we have done it with all we have got and we hope he is pleased with our humble efforts.
Radha Krishna Kanaiya ToDU Highlights, ISKCON Malaysia
Radha Krishna Kanaiya Maha Abhishek, ISKCON Malaysia
Radha Krishna Kanaiya Kumbha Abhishek, ISKCON Malaysia
Radha Krishna Kanaiya Maha Arati, ISKCON Malaysia