On January, 16th Radhanath Swami presided over the ground breaking ceremony of the ISKCON Vedic Education and Culture Centre in Aurangabad, India. The center will serve to revive and preserve the spiritual culture and values of the Deccan region of Southern Central India through education and the establishment of a temple. Thousands of guest and well—wishers attended the event.
At a press conference before the ceremony Radhanath Swami addressed journalists from local newspapers. “It was the desire of my guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada that we build temples for the spiritual progress of society. Traditionally, temples have been centers for disseminating education in society and means to transform their lives by providing positive values; selfishness is changed to selflessness, greed to generosity, arrogance to humility and envy to love amongst others. Thus, a living entity comes closer to its real nature and can connect to the divine Supersoul.”
A journalist asked, “What aspect of religion are you trying to present with your temples?” Radhanath swami replied, “We are trying to present that developing love for Krishna is the essence of all religions. It is by offering selfless, unalloyed devotional service to God that you can experience love in life. I studied all religions like Judaism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism etc and I undertand that God is one and there are many representatives of him; one Prime Minister and many ministers. That one is the cause of all causes, sarva karan karanam. Thus, Krishna consciousness is all comprehensive and answers and explains all the conceptions of God across all faiths.”
At the ceremony Radhanath Swami addressed the crowd. “A temple is like a hospital that cures us from the diseases of the material world and elevates us to a refined spiritual life. Some of us can sit under a tree alone and practice spirituality, but for the general masses we need such centers where people can inspire each other in tradition and culture by their behavior and character.” He expressed special gratitude to Rohini Priya Das who has been serving in Aurangabad for the last 16 years and has been most instrumental in the development of the Centre. He ended by saying, “We will meet for Deity installation in the temple though our aim is to establish Lord in our hearts.”