Worth Seeing and Being
I landed here at 4:30 am. A driver sent by the ISKCON Temple was punctual. I arrived there promptly and got shown my room. The last two days were rough as far as sleep goes; you catch an hour here or twenty minutes there. And as far as walking is concerned - not much of a chance as the monsoons set in and temple obligations occuring including delivering two classes.
The temple opened just recently in April and is labelled as the Centre for Spiritual Art and Culture. Icons of sizeable elephants adorn the centre's entrance. As a common element in temple iconography here they are positioned to provide the energy to keep space well defined.
The temple represents the visva-rupa, a universal form. From a bird's eyeview the feet are represented by the main gate and the head as the garbha grha that houses the deity which is also the soul of that form. In the principle temple hall granite floor patterns express six chakras or energy centres within the body of that cosmic form. Beginning at the base of the form you have the energy centre of the earth. Above it is a pattern representing water, then fire, then air, then ether. Finally there is the mind and a seventh energy depicts the atma or spiritual realization of the self.
Pilgrims come here to step on the patterns and collect the energy at those spots while it may be suggested they chant simultaneously.
The windows to the temple are highlighted by images of the deities that preside over the eight directions. Moreover the glorious structure has been well thought out as a destination place for sincere seekers of a universal truth. My godbrother, Bhanu Swami, a Japanese-descent monk from Canada and who resides at the premises, next to the gorgeous temple, was a major player in the incorporation of the imagery and mandala instalment.
This is a place worth seeing and worth spending time to deliver some bhakti, service, to the universe and its' source.