“Hare ram, hare ram...ram ram, hare hare”
“Hare krishna, hare krishna...krishna krishna, hare hare”
With the unveiling of the majestic and magnificent idols of the superior power and the loud, clear and soothing vibrations from the sound of the shell, these hymns echo in the wide hall of the ISKCON Temple. The clock shows exactly 4:30 AM when the rites begin. Lord Krishna wakes up to the tunes of these morning prayers aka the Mangla Aarti. People of all ages come, dance and enjoy to the melodies instilled in the prayers offered to Krishna. There is a sense of freshness and tranquility all around. All the souls present are rejoicing and dancing away their worries and anxieties. It’s as if Lord Krishna is reviving enthusiasm in the spirits of the people who have, for some time, forgotten their woes and are wrapped in the faith provided by the benign presence of the Lord himself.
After an hour and a half of rituals, the devotees soothe themselves by being fully submerged in the chanting of hymns in search of peace, carrying the hope to find answers to the questions thrown by life.
In the mid 1970s, Srila Prabhupada supervised the design of the first full-fledged ISKCON Temple in Juhu, Mumbai. The Noida temple follows a similar model. Situated on a main boulevard and adjacent to Krishna Jayanti Park (owned by the government, maintained by ISKCON), the Temple is highly accessible and visible. As modern and progressive as the city it overlooks, it still represents the Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition. On either side of the front of the Temple are giant reliefs of Sri Chaitanya and Nityananda.
The stone façade, with balconies, is similar to Srila Rupa Gosvami’s sixteenth-century Radha-Govinda temple in Vrindavan. The façade and the interiors also feature hand-carved stone peacocks, elephants, and a number of intricate pillars, jails, jharokhas, and chhatris.
Apart from finding solace from the atrocities of life, one can get involved with ISKCON in diverse methods. ISKCON Noida celebrates ‘Sunday Love Feast’ where one can participate in spiritual discourse, ask questions about the philosophy and the devotional lifestyle and taste the delicious vegetarian feast!
A dynamic, interactive and enjoyable spiritual forum designed exclusively for young girls (ages 15 to 30 years) caters to the introspective and inquisitive minds of modern youth. They have also instituted a program called ‘Prahlad School’, mainly focusing on teaching good character and behavior as well as the study of the usual subjects found in mainstream schools for kids.
It is said that in Kaliyuga (modern day world), the method to make our life perfect is to perform congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Devotees of ISKCON dance their way to different areas of Noida with instruments like mridangam, hand cymbals and drums in their own Harinam Rath which is nicely decorated with the Lord’s pictures distributing prasad to everyone.
The temple organizes a 24 hour-kirtan on the occasion of every Ekadashi commencing at 4 AM, and ending the next morning. The night kirtan is a very special event performed by many enthusiastic devotees who feel closer to the divine soul blessing them with His invisible presence.
The Spiritual Discourse program opens doors to many spiritual activities like aartis, chanting, shringar darshan, guru puja etc. The program instils lessons on the glory of Srimad Bhagwad Gita and the life and teachings of Lord Chaitanya.
The Campus Preaching program consist of a team of dedicated devotees and volunteers who warmly welcome guests, be it first time visitors, life patrons, celebrities, tourist or any other visitors to the Temple and strike up a relationship with them, helping them step into a more devotional life.
ISKCON has their own Youth Forum, educating youth by presenting the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita, saving them from negative emotions like depression, hopelessness and giving them positive attitude towards the succession in creating a healthy, balanced life.
To help people escape the miseries of the world, ISKCON provides the privilege of staying in a divine atmosphere, attending daily aartis, honouring prasad and also taking part in spiritual discourses through their guest house in Noida (‘Back Home’)
The Temple showers mercy in the form of Govinda’s Restaurant, imparting scrumptious vegetarian dishes. Complementing the restaurant, there is Radha Rani Bakery specializing in flavored cakes and other baked offerings including pastries, cupcakes, Dry Fruit Bar Cakes and other savory preparations such as Aloo Puffs, Veg Roll Burgers etc.
The matchless gift shop fulfills all the devotional needs of the devotees, ranging from deity dresses to calendars and posters. A spacious library at ISKCON houses a growing reference section of religious, theological, cultural and philosophical works that support the courses offered by the Bhaktivedanta Academy.
ISKCON offers seclusion from the world and an opportunity to achieve mental peace under the invisible presence of Lord Krishna. It’s the ultimate abode. Hari Bol!
Location | A-5, Opposite NTPC Office, Agarsen Marg, Sector 33, Noida