ISKCON Los Angeles
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New Dwaraka Temple
Los Angeles ISKCON recently celebrated the 40th Installation Anniversary of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha over the Janamastami weekend. The joyful festival spanned over two days and attracted a large number of devotees from all parts of the world.
The history of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha coming to Los Angeles is quite interesting. These Deities were originally meant for the San Francisco temple (New Jagannath Puri) and were shipped there. At the same time Los Angeles (New Dvaraka) had received Radha-Krishna Deities of its own. While the Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha Deities were carved in marble and were 48” tall, the Radha-Krishna Deities (later named Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda) were carved in brass and 24” tall. As a result of opulent and elaborate Deity worship already existing in New Dvaraka at that time, by transcendental arrangement it was decided that the Deities should be exchanged so that the large Deities could be served with pomp and splendor. And so it happened 40 years ago!
To celebrate Their 40th installation anniversary, magnificent celebrations were held at New Dvaraka on Aug 20-21, 2011. For this special occasion the street was closed to traffic and housed different stalls and booths on vegetarianism, Krishna conscious philosophy, prasadam, essence of chanting, books and music. The highlight of the festival was the sharing of the New Dvārakā Dhāma pastimes by several devotees such as Badrinarayan Prabhu and Madhudvisa Prabhu who were personally present during the installation. The temple room was an abode of sweet nectar recounted by the devotees as things happened 40 years ago and their exchanges with Srila Prabhupada in New Dvaraka.
The glories of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha on this beautiful occasion were further enhanced by Their inconceivable potency. On Janamastami day the Disney Channel came to New Dvaraka to film the activities of a 10-year old boy and capture the spiritual essence of the events in a documentary to be broadcast on the Disney Channel in the future.
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