President of India, Sri Pranab Mukherjee delivering his speech at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

My deep respects to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, who came in the tradition of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and took the message of Krishna Consciousness all over the world.

My profound appreciation to Srila Prabhupada for authoring nearly 70 books including the Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and the Bengali classic, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita in English language to spread the glorious message of Krishna Consciousness in a manner that the contemporary generation all over the world can appreciate and benefit from this message. Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual influence continues to resonate in the hearts of Krishna devotees all over the world even to this day. Srila Prabhupada was a powerful influencer of Krishna Consciousness all over the world in the 1960’s and 70’s. After His passing away in 1977, his devotees are planning gigantic projects like the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir based on his inspiration is an eloquent testimony to his enormous and abiding influence even now in the world.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was indeed a great saint, reformer and an incarnation of Godhead, who spread the Sankirtana chanting of the names of Lord Krishna all over India in the 15th century.

Besides spreading the Hari nama sankirtana, Sri Chaitanya and his chief disciples the six Goswamis were instrumental in excavating many of the places of pastimes of Lord Krishna, in Mathura, Vrindavan. They also established very huge temples in Vrindavan which served as centres of cultural renaissance and devotion. Sri Chaitanya was instrumental in making Vrindavan the seat of science of bhakti. Principles of Bhakti as enunciated in our ancient scriptures were promulgated throughout India by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciples.

Srila Prabhupada the founder and Acharya of ISKCON is a true visionary and an ambassador of Indian culture who took this message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.

Indeed he took the message and glory of Vrindavan Dham the world over.

I am happy to hear that the followers of Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON Bangalore have conceived an iconic project of setting up a skyscraper temple for Lord Sri Krishna in Vrindavan. This is a historic undertaking. This project will highlight the significance of Vrindavan in multiple ways. For devotees of Krishna it is a joyous moment as their dear Lord Krishna will be worshipped in a gorgeous temple of monumental proportions. Thousands of pilgrims who come to Vrindavan will have a new dimension of heightened experience with this grand temple.

This temple project will also have far reaching impact from the perspective of spiritual tourism. Tourism is good for the society, for the state and for the country. It creates many jobs, invigorates the local economy and helps many people improve their socio-economic situation.

Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, who has conceived this temple project, has explained that this temple will not only be an edifice of concrete and steel, but also a centre of learning and education. The Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir will strive to disseminate the great philosophical message of the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam in a rational manner so that young people can understand and appreciate the same. I respect their conviction that the sublime message of Lord Sri Krishna can transform an individual, a family, a community and even the entire society into an abode of all good qualities like truthfulness, compassion, peace, kindness, brotherhood of all humanity and so on. These sublime qualities are so much desirable in today’s world.

I wish Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and his team of devotees behind the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir a great success in fulfilment of their aspirations in the service of the society.

I have also learnt that the devotees of this Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir project have the lofty goal of uplifting the society through various social initiatives.

I am glad to learn that through the Akshaya Patra programme, they are providing mid-day meals to nearly 1.4 lakh children in 2,160 schools in Mathura District for the last 10 years. I have also learnt that they wish to participate in the restoration of the ancient sites of Lord Sri Krishna’s lilas in Braj Mandal, get involved in community development projects to make better amenities available to pilgrims and Vrajavasis. And take part in various initiatives to make Vrindavan cleaner, greener and better.

Vrindavan should become a beacon in spreading the spiritual culture of bhakti to Lord Krishna and give solace to thousands of people from all over the world. Apart from this it should grow to become truly the spiritual capital of the world. With this end in mind I request the devotees of Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir to not spare any efforts towards the betterment of Vrindavan.

Government of India and Uttar Pradesh have taken up various initiatives towards making Vrindavan a religious tourism hub. I implore the followers of Srila Prabhupada and devotees of ISKCON Bangalore in particular to become part of these various initiatives, like Swachh Bharat and betterment of widows of Vrindavan.

I wish this project and the team involved in this project a grand success.

Thank you.

– Speech by Honourable President of India,
Sri Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir on
16th November 2014