Vedic culture in Russia- part four
By: Vraja Bihari Das
Continued from Vedic Culture in Russia Part -3 Miracle of Tulasidevi
Potency of Indian temples
Alexander (Alex for short) was a fun loving, spoilt brat. He along with his three friends decided to visit India and freak out at the Goan beaches. A week of fun and frolic, and then they landed up at a remote maharashtrian village. One day they accidently entered a local Krishna temple at the village, and found the ambience to be an out of the world experience. The sense pleasures they feasted upon till now paled in comparison, and the contrast was striking. An English speaking villager befriended them and offered some prasadam. They found the spiritualized food intoxicating; nothing they had experienced with the drugs or intoxications came closer. After a few days of feasting on prasadam, courtesy this friendly villager who also spoke to them about Krishna’s sweet pastimes, they returned back to their homes in Belarus. And they thought that was the last they had heard of India and its myriad Gods and mythologies.
Alex went back to his office and shared his India experiences with his colleagues. One of his office friends, who had received a Bhagavad Gita on the street by a Hare Krishna devotee, thought Alex might be interested in the book. Alex found the book familiar, having heard about it while being in India. His Indian memory revived and he read the book with great delight. He told his two other friends about the book. They read and discovered that Srila Prabhupada had formed many such Krishna temples in the western world. Curious, they surfed on the net and discovered what ISKCON is all about. Fortunately they got the right kind of information and landed up at an ISKCON temple. Once again Since last four years Alex and his friends are brahmacharis serving full time Srila Prabhupada’s mission of spreading the Vedic culture. While his two friends are serving in Belarus, Alex is in Moscow.
Moscow devotees have been struggling to build a temple for Krishna for over a decade now. The orthodox Christian lobby has pressurized the government to create only troubles for the devotees. Still, the devotees with great determination are out on the street, distributing books, doing kirtans and spreading the message of Bhagavad Gita. The government took away their land, and now the devotees stay in a temporary arrangement with meagre facilities. The toilets are a real austerity with poor drainage system. The Christian lobby of Russia is aware that once the Hare Krishna’s get a temple, the Vedic religion will be unstoppable in Russia. The government intervened and forced the devotees to change their temple construction plans and got them to reduce the dome of the temple. The dome was originally the size of jagannath Puri temple but the Christians groups here feel insecure; no other religious structure could be taller than the Churches of Moscow.
As devotees are struggling to recreate Indian culture by building a Vedic Krishna temple in an unfriendly Moscow, we can thank these lone warriors, all of whom are of Russian origin, for their tireless sacrifices for spreading Krishna consciousness in such a hostile environment.
Alex is convinced that his entering that temple in an Indian village, and later getting Srila Prabhupada’s books, was no accident; it was causeless grace of the Lord upon him. He feels he has been given a rare chance to be a humble instrument in the hands of his guru and Srila Prabhupada, for spreading the Vedic culture all over the world.
To be continued…Lion on chase but a lamb at home