The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) founded in 1966 by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is constructing a massive ‘Hare Krishna’ temple in Parsippany, NJ. Society members inaugurated the construction project on October 24, 2020, according to a press release from ISKCON.
As part of the celebration a special ‘kirtan’ or chanting of prayers, was conducted followed by a presentation outlining the project as well as a series of media interviews of the advisory committee members and temple leaders.
“It is our great honor to welcome all our guests and the media today as we celebrate this magnificent temple in the service of Lord Sri Krishna,” Temple President of ISKCON, NJ Nilamani Das, is quoted saying in the press release. “This magnificent temple is a labor of love made possible by the incredible hard work and support of our devotees, friends, contributors and well-wishers.”
The 3.25-acre worksite will have a completed structure of a 38,000 square foot building that will house the main prayer hall with ornate altars that are a trademark of ISKCON.
“Over the next 12 months we plan to complete the construction of the structure and move into this building. It is certainly an ambitious goal to raise the $2.5 million during this time, but we are confident that the Indian community and friends of Lord Krishna will step forward,” Piyush Patel, international entrepreneur, philanthropist and chairman of the ISKCON advisory committee, is quoted saying in the press release.
The society members and around 300 worshipers at the temple have been able to raise $4 million so far, the press release said. They require another $4.5 million to complete the first phase of the project, out of which $2 million was resourced as a loan from the bank and the remaining funds have to be raised.
The new temple will also include a professional-grade kitchen to prepare hundreds of free meals that are distributed weekly to the public, a library of scriptural texts, a number of classrooms and study areas, a large multipurpose hall for stage presentations and celebrations, a spacious welcome area and lobby, residential ashram facilities for devotees, guest rooms, books and gift store as well as a vegetarian restaurant, the press release said.
Indian American Jayadvaita Swami who was the chief guest at the event expressed his happiness about the temple construction.
“This is to serve Krishna and to serve spiritually inclined people, and even those who are not spiritually inclined. Everyone can benefit from the knowledge in the Bhagavad Gita and from hearing the Holy Names of Krishna,” Jayadvaita Swami said.
The new temple will also be used as resource to run the ‘Sunday School’ program by ISKCON which has more than 80 children across four age groups, enrolled for these classes.
The current Towaco location is now too small for the congregation, most of whom live in Parsippany, which was another rationale for locating the new temple.
Popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a worldwide confederation of about 600 temples and preaching centers, 100 vegetarian restaurants, and a wide variety of community projects, the press release said.