ISKCON to hold VIP opening of major Hindu Mandir in suburban Washington DC

Potomac: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), often referred to as the Hare Krishna Movement will be celebrating a special VIP opening of their grand 11,200 sq. ft. new temple in Washington DC’s suburb of Potomac, Maryland on April 6, 2024. This follows the very successful initial inauguration of the temple on March 22-23.

This VIP opening will host leaders from academics, international diplomacy, political affairs, religion and religious liberty. The Honorable Aruna Miller, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; the Honorable Brooke E. Lierman, the state of Maryland Comptroller; His Excellency Shridhar Khatri, the ambassador of Nepal; His Excellency Purmanund Jhugroo, the ambassador of Mauritius and representatives from the Indian Embassy will be in attendance.

The April 6 invitation-only event will include a ribbon cutting by dignitaries, remarks from special guests including Lieutenant Governor, Aruna Miller, and representatives of different faiths, a traditional performance of bhajans (musical meditation), and a vegetarian feast. The opening is scheduled for 4 PM – 7:30 PM with 300 guests expected.

The new temple building boasts many features common to temples in an Indian, or Vedic motif, including elaborate arches and columns, extensive use of marble, and traditional temple domes. It includes a temple room of 4,000 sq. ft., a 3,200-sq. ft. cultural hall for community events, a gift shop, classrooms, and a large commercial kitchen to support the temple’s extensive distribution of free food.

ISKCON is part of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, centered in West Bengal, India, and based on the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a 16th-century saint and mystic. ISKCON is rooted in the much older tradition of bhakti-yoga (the yoga of devotion) and the Bhagavad-Gita, the most famous and well-read of Hindu texts.

ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, brought the tradition of Krishna bhakti from India in 1965, when he first established ISKCON in New York City. Scholars have noted his contributions, both in terms of the many books he authored, and in his ability to transplant an ancient culture intact to foreign shores around the world.

Dr. A. L. Basham, one of the world’s authorities on Indian history and culture, wrote of ISKCON: “It arose out of next to nothing in less than twenty years and has become known all over the West. This, I feel, is a sign of the times and an important fact in the history of the Western world.”

Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said: “The voyage of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the United States in 1965 and the spectacular popularity his movement gained in a very short spell of twelve years must be regarded as one of the greatest spiritual events of the century.”

Today, ISKCON has grown to over 700 temples, 100 vegetarian restaurants, and dozens of eco-communities worldwide.

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