Temples and Group Living
In the dormitory there was a sprightly mood, with some Argentineans making music and the youngsters playing card.
After breakfast we started a little barefooted tour to see two temples in the surroundings. The first was a huge temple of the Hare Krishna-movement. Of course there was again “photography prohibited”, but I remembered well that Krishna didn’t obey to what his step-mother wanted him to do nor did he follow imposed rules – so I prefered to follow him and tooks some nice pics.
There is a bridge-walk around the temple with 10 little shrines with statues of the 10 avatars.
Inside the temple.
There were a black statue of Krishna and a white one of Radha as well as three figures of Krishna, his brother Balarama and his sister Subhadra. Whereas Krishna (meaning black) stands for the background of creation, Balarama symbolises time and Subhadra the existence protected by the two others, as Navanetam explained.
Some people of the temple then started explaining about the Iskon-Society, the Hare-Krishna movement and distributed a booklet about their mission, which I discretely put back on a chair and went down to take some pics of the beautiful lotuses in a little pond.
We went through a little park with statues of avataras of Vishnu, had a look into the devotional objects store and then continued to the next temple. It was very different – grey colours with black and grey ornaments – a temple of Lord Subramanyam, a son of Lord Shiva representing Mars. There was a huge copper pillar in front of the temple, the metal of Mars.
In a side-shrine there was a black Ganesha and in the main shrine there was a statue of Subramanyam all in gold and silver. Navaneetam said they used several kilos of gold and silver, symbolising the solar and lunar energies, to manifest a powerful energy for the statue. I loved the sober, focused energy, which had nothing emotional. There was a fire place and they were giving us some vibhuti – holy ash – as a blessing.
The priest conducting a little ritual with camphor
A triangular mirror reflecting the shrine
The group sitting in front of the shrine
There was a beautiful view from the terrace of the temple over the Godavari river over to the long bridge of Rajahmundry.
We then returned to the WTT centre for breakfast and a little pause. At 3.30 pm we will leave the centre to spend the night at a temple 2.5 hs away from here.
The WTT building in Rajahmundry