Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in Ireland
ISKCON, Hare Krishna Island, Ireland
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – ISKCON FounderAddress:
Hare Krishna Temple, Krishna Island, Derrylin, Co Fermanagh BT92 9GN.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India.
He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent devotional scholar and the founder of sixty-four branches of Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge in the Western world.
Srila Prabhupada became his student, and eleven years later (1933) at Allahabad, he became his formally initiated disciple.
Srila Prabhupada left us a veritable library of Vedic philosophy and culture. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, his books are used at colleges and universities around the world.
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publishes his works in over 50 languages.
The following institutions provide educational opportunities for people of all ages interested in systematically studying the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. Some offer degrees.
Now Open To The General Public.
Come visit to see what we are all about.
- Experience A Fully Functional Hare Krishna Temple
- Free Vegetarian Feast Every Sunday Starts 12:00 Noon! Chanting starts at 12:30 pm.
- Understand The Science Of Self Realization
- Meet Friendly and Approachable Devotees Of Lord Krishna
- Celebrate The Major Spiritual Festivals Each Year In Good Company
- Understand the ancient Vedic Science of Krishna Consciousness from the original source and apply it in your life
- Hear Famous Guest Speakers From Around The World For Lectures And Seminars
- And much, much more!
And Remember, It’s Always FREE For You And Your Family…
HistoryJenny Cathcart looks at community life on Inish Rath Island
Most of us can remember the tune and introductory lines of George Harrison`s 1969 hit song ‘My Sweet Lord’, but upon on closer inspection, perhaps only dedicated Buddhist followers will note cleverly similarity between Harrison’s tune and the sanscrit Hare Krishna chant.
This chant is central to an early form of Hinduism, founded 5000 years ago in India, when God is said to have appeared in a rural setting in India.
Hm my Lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (krishna krishna)
My lord (hare hare)
Hm, hm (guru brahma)
Hm, hm (guru vishnu)
Hm, hm (guru devo)
Hm, hm (maheshwara)
My sweet Lord (guru sakshaat)
My sweet lord (parabrahma)
My, my, my lord (tasmayi shree)
My, my, my, my lord (guruve namah)
My sweet lord (hare rama)
George Harrison and the other Beatles travelled to India as part of their own quest for spiritual fulfillment. In 1965, Krishna consciousness spread from India to the West when His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded a world-wide society of over one hundred temples, farm communities and schools to teach Hare Krishna followers about vegetarianism, non violence, yoga, meditation, the vedic scriptures, and the path to bliss (ananda) which is achieved by repeated chanting in praise of the Lord Krishna.
There are just two Hare Krishna communities in Northern Ireland, one in Belfast and the other in County Fermanagh.
On a calm autumn Sunday morning, we drive through leafy lanes leading off from the main Derrylin to Lisnaskea road to the Krishna Quay on Upper Lough Erne. We are joined by Hare Krishna followers on the ferry to Inish Rath Island, where the Hare Krishna Centre was established in 1985. From the quayside, age old trees and foliage give no clue to the peaceful island settlement hidden from view.
Upon arrival, one is surprised to discover an impressive Victorian mansion, built in 1854 by Cavendish Butler, which later became a hunting lodge owned by Lord Erne. In 1939, the island, which includes a twenty two acre nature reserve stocked with stags and deer, peacocks and peahens, was purchased by Baronness Schoenart, a Polish lady who in turn sold it to the newspaper barons, the Morton family.
At the height of The Troubles, in 1982, property prices slumped in this border area. A group of Hare Krishna monks, led by a German follower, Prithu Das, pooled their resources and took out a bank loan to buy Inish Rath, a perfect setting for a Hare Krishna centre.
The Hare Krishna temple was established in the west wing of the house with a magnificent golden altar at one end of the long room and a life size representation of Swami Prabhupada at the other. Oriental arches frame the windows and polished pine floors add to the overall feeling of light and space. A powerful scent of incense envelopes us as we enter the temple. A lone Indian devotee sits cross-legged on the floor, playing oriental cadences on a violin, which he holds in an unusual position against his chest, rather than his chin.
In an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, the curtains are drawn on the glittering altarpiece and the kneeling Hare Krishna worshippers press their foreheads to the ground as a mark of humble respect for their Lord Krishna.
The Bhajana band provide the music as the temple President leads the service, which begins with repeated chanting of Lord Krishna`s name. The leader himself plays the accordion, while his son beats the mrdanga drum. Another devotee sits at the harmonium, the small bellow powered keyboard which the British took to India instead of the organ. Other members play kartala cymbals and flutes. As the chanting gains momentum, devotees get to their feet, dancing to a trance inducing rhythm.
A sari-clad female stands in the inner sanctum beyond the wrought iron altar gates making offerings of fire, water, incense, and flowers to the twin forms of Krishna, who has a black face, and his other half, the female Radha. As part of the purifying ritual, a server then passes the fire around in an amphor, so that each Hare Krishna follower can receive the purifying flame. Purified water is also poured over their heads.
Individuals are free to approach the altar with a lighted candle to make their personal supplications and prayers. Finally the altar is carefully swept, cleaned by the attendant and the curtains are drawn once more. Passages are read from the Bhagavad Gita, underlining basic Hare Krishna principles, such as humility and chastity.
The resident monks who tend the temple wear saffron robes, a sign that they are unmarried. As keepers of the Temple, they follow a stringent regime of daily worship, which begins at 2am, when a nominated monk draws the altar curtains. At 3am the server wakes the Radha and Krishna deities and offers them some food. From 4.30 to 5am, incense, fire, water, handkerchief and flower offerings are blessed until finally all of the monks assemble for the first devotions of the day.
Hare Krishna families live on the mainland near Inish Rath, while regular visitors usually arrive for Sunday worship. An Irish lady with a Krishna name, Murli Priya, her Ukrainian husband, Haridas, and their daughter Lalita travel up for the day from Carrick-on-Shannon. The couple met at the Hare Krishna cultural centre in Dublin. Tim McEvitt and his Panamanian wife Carmen met through a Vedic centre on the internet. They brought their two week old baby to the temple.
Indian doctors practising at the local Fermanagh hospital or IT experts working in the new ‘tiger economy’ in southern Ireland have also contributed to the community. In an effort to promote eco tourism, the centre offers weekend breaks that include yoga or vegetarian cookery classes.
A recent attraction was the visit of the Australian vegetarian guru and TV cook, Kurma Dasa. Aware of the need to promote cultural diversity, the local Fermanagh Council have supported Hare Krishna open days on the Island and offered a grant for the building of a row of eco toilets. The centre has also applied for Lottery funding.
The Sunday worship ends in the dining room with a magnificent Krishna Feast, a wholesome array of vegetarian dishes including subji, curry, dahl, pakora, rice, chapatis, samosas, halva and sweet rice cooked by the weekend cookery class.
History of Krishna Island
The island of Inisrath was formed towards the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. The pressure of the ice followed by the retreating ice as the Ice Age ended carved into the landscape and produced Lough Erne, Inisrath and the neighbouring islands.
According to local historical references, there is some evidence that there was a ‘rath’ on Inisrath, perhaps 2000 years ago. This was a fortified homestead of an extended family with a chieftain at its head. A rath on the island offered extra protection from wolves and other aggressors, such as cattle-raiders.
Through history after this early period we do not know if Inisrath was inhabited or not. The next events that we are aware of is that the island was apparently part of the lands of Lord Erne. In the mid-19th century his daughter was married to Sir Henry Cavendish Butler, and Lord Erne gifted Inisrath to his son-in-law. Sir Henry built the existing house at this time during the Victorian period.
For most of this time into the early 20th century Inisrath House was used as a pleasure house or Summer house for the gentry. They would gather on the lawns, have parties and functions, go yachting and boating on the lake and apparently enjoy life! However, during the first world and then the second world war many of the local gentry charged off to fight… and were killed. This ended the period of ‘Upper Class’ society on Lough Erne. The house remained in the Cavendish Butler family for a 100 years, and then in the 1950′s was sold.
The island went through continuous change of ownership for about 30 years, where a family would buy, own for 3 – 8 years and then sell on again. And then the island that originally was the property of Lord Erne came into the hands of Lord Krishna! ISKCON NI, the Hare Krishna Society, purchased the island in November 1984, and converted the House to a temple and ashram which was formally opened as such on July 20th 1986.
WelcomeWelcome to the “Friends of Cows Association” official website. We are here to serve you and encourage you to make a difference in your own life and that of others.
Try to read carefully and remember, you can make a difference, you can actually help.
Just imagine the world where there is no unnecessary violence and where the cow is happy to give you milk the way mother would give it to her child… And you are happy to receive this wonderful, pure and healthy gift of your mother cow…
Happy cows on a graze! Yes, happy cow means plenty of happy milk and butter, and cream and yoghurt and cheese and so much more… Learn how you could become a member of our association and help the world by relieving it from the burden of reactions awaiting for the mass exploitation and slaughter of our mother cow.
Being a member is very easy and it is free of charge, we ask you only to make one simple and easy step in your life, just… STOP (!) eating cows…
By giving a stop to the bad habit of eating the flesh of cow you contribute greatly to the cause of cow protection and thus you create a very positive future for your own self and for the whole planet as well. Why the whole planet? Well, according to knowledge coming from the Vedas, the oldest and most profound scriptures of this world, killing the cow is most sinful act and it affects the whole planet creating very dark karmic reactions that all people will have to experience to some degree. By refraining from being part of the mass slaughter program, we create better future for ourselves and for others.
So, whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever your believes are, right now forget about all those things and become a loving wonderful person, who understands that LOVE is most important principle in life and that it expands to all living creatures.
And the cow is special, as the cow gives you milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese and so on…
Now that you may feel inspired to make a difference, do not hesitate to do so, contact us and become a member, we will help you in every possible way, just contact us…
- To propagate and teach far and wide the principles of love for mother cow
- To help to understand the importance of cow protection for the welfare and spiritual balance in the human society
- To bring auspiciousness in the life of individuals and thus positively enhance loving exchanges among living entities
- To give example of cow protection and to redirect the human society from it’s present course to a sane and loving human culture based on love and trust
MembershipIf you would like to become a member and you don’t know how…
It is actually very simple, you just say “YES” to changing you diet by not allowing yourself to indulge in eating cows (beef-for clarity) and give us your name, email, postal address etc. in the form below – we never spam your email or abuse it in any way.
In time you will be given membership id and also newsletter etc. There is no other membership rule that would need to be followed. By stopping eating cows you greatly help our cause and also help yourself in your life. There are more things that you could do as a member and you will be informed about these possibilities.
(Contact UsEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 00353 87 794 70 37 or 0044 77 664 832 72 or 0044 28 6772 38 78 – landline (ask for Gopal)
or Write to:
Gopala Acarya das
Inish Rath Island
GOMATA KI JAY!
We would like to thank all devotees and well wishers who contributed towards our goshala construction. We have not finished the construction work yet and we need a bit more funds to invest. Here we want to present the expenses so far:
2840£so far and have some funds left for few more things we need to buy to go ahead with the construction work. Thank you all who kindly contributed and helped with this important service to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha Govinda!
Goseva – an opportunity for you to serve mother cow – now
Dear devotees and friends
Dear devotees and friends
As you may have already heard we have had 2 cows on the island and we are planning to have more in the future as well. The idea is to protect our mother cow and supply milk to Radha Govinda and the devotees without being entangled in the system which is based on exploitation of the cow and other natural resources. At the moment our plan is to build a small goshala (cow barn) on the island as the cows have to be kept on the mainland due to lack of shelter on the very island itself. But as devotees desire to have more association with cows and do more service to them, we need them over on the island, and their presence will be appreciated by all of the residents as well as guests and the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna as well. So, our appeal is to you, pls take this opportunity to serve our motehr cow and support the goshala project by contributing towards the purchase of the timber, stone, cement etc. here
We will post daily the scores of our Radha Govinda Sankirtan Party and if anyone else does any books in our area, pls let us know, we will post your scores here as well. Srila Prabhupada was always very eager to hear the scores:
The happy news is that we are going to have Manidhara Prabhu with us giving us lots of time of spiritual inspiration, so that we can take to heart instructions of Guru and Krishna to distribute the transcendental gift of Spiritual knowledge in form of transcendental literature of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada!
If there is anyone who could help us transport a small moped given to us, pls contact us asap. We need to bring it from Dublin, 2.5h drive… We need either a van or a car with the trailer. the moped will be used in service of Sri Sri Radha Govinda by going to local people with books of Srila Prabhupada and prasadam as well. Hare Krishna
ASK FOR GOPAL
028 6772 38 78
As the spring is coming, we would like to invite both our devotees as well as well wishers and volunteers to become “happy growers”. We have land available to be used by those who are interested in eating healthily and offering healthy food to Krishna. You could also support our efforts to grow food for Krishna by donating towards this project and thus supporting us. We need to invest around 2000£ in building poly-tunnels etc. It is a great opportunity to be engaged in nice service and also get a taste of simple living on the land. Being able to grow may soon be the most important skill… If you are interested, pls let us know and we will discuss the details together. Our simple, general rule is:
- you grow on Krishna’s land and give 25% of the crop to Krishna, or more if you like. The rest is for your own use.
- you give donation towards our simple living investments, you are always welcome to come and we will offer something in exchange of your loving offering, and remember, Krishna will reciprocate with you within your heart, that is for sure.
- you come and help in the garden and we feed you with prasadam and you go home very happy, and we have some kirtan together before you disappear…
AND REMEMBER YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME, YOU CAN CONTACT US AND WE WILL TEACH YOU WHAT WE KNOW OURSELVES AND SHARE WHATEVER WE CAN
just call 028 6772 38 78
or email us:
Dear devotees and friends,
We r going to have a two weeks event of wood collection from Radha Govinda’s forest. Everyone is welcome to come and help. The whole work will be overseen by Madhava Krshna das and Trilokatma das Prabhus. There is plenty of wood on the island, which is already dried (it may be wet from the rain, but once stored in a woodshed it will dry up very quickly) and almost ready to use. We would like to collect as much as possible to prepare for the winter and thus engage the energy of the forest in the service of Sri Krishna and His devotees. Extatic prasadam and place to sleep provided. If you feel like coming just let us know by calling 028 6772 38 78. We can collect you from Deryllin if you come by bus. Morning program and japa in association of devotees! You can’t find a better offer anywhere, and it is all free! Real retreat! Back to nature, back to Krishna! You can come for a day or a week or two, whatever, every help is needed and appreciated.Hare Krishna
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
We would like to thank all well-wishers and the devotees for their kind offerings towards meeting our winter struggles. By Krishna’s grace the winter has not been too severe so far and our service to Their Lordships is going on smoothly. We still have few months to go before spring fully manifests it’s gentle nature, we welcome and appreciate your support. It helps us not only to survive the winter but also in preaching the glories of the Lord and bringing Krishna consciousness to others. So far we have used more than 10 tones of wood to keep the temple and the ashram residents warm and it was possible with the contributions from these kind souls:
Babu Rajendra Prasad Bodi ,Sonitra Singh, Aditya Vaishya, Kumara Rudraraju, Lawrence Chettiar, Alex Krasnakov, Olegas Trilupovas, Nigel Telford, Sabareesan Nair, Kevin Boyle, Sri Rupa das, Haridas Thakur das, Nandagrama Mahidhara dasi, Jaya Gauranga das, Jaggannatha Suta das, Simha Gaura dasa, Mitra hari das.
Thank you very, very much again and please remember that we are very happy to serve you here, so visit us at any time. We are open every day and we are meant to serve you with Kirtan, Krishna katha and Prasadam. If you cannot come and visit but you live in Ireland, we could visit you, if you so desire, just let us know…
You can also order Srila Prabhupada’s books from our temple. These are not ordinary books, they give an end to all material suffering and infuse the reader’s heart with inspiration and great feelings of purification! Just by reading these books, your life will be a success!
Thank you very much again
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
May Sri Sri Radha Govinda and Srila Prabhupada bestow Their blessings upon you always.
Gopala Acarya dasa
PLease accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
If any devotee from eu contries would like to come and live happily
serving Sri Sri Radha Govinda, be careful, your heart may be captured by
but if you are not afraid of that, we are open and welcome devotees who
would like to serve in any capacity and help developing this place in the
spirit of simple living and high thinking as per Srila Prabhupada's
desire. It is of course a challenge to live on the island, but a blissful
one! And it is definitely a shelter from the influence of Maya and the age
of Kali. it is essential to remember that we follow full morning program
daily and whoever wants to come needs to do the same.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
If you want to know more, just contact me at: email@example.com
or by phone : 0044 28 6772 38 78
And here are few verses you can meditate a bit more on, just see what Krishna says about such fortunate souls who decide to act in a more devotional frame of mind.
“If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”
“The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.”
“One who acts in devotional service, renouncing the fruits of his actions, and whose doubts have been destroyed by transcendental knowledge, is situated factually in the self. Thus he is not bound by the reactions of work, O conqueror of riches.”
“O Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.”
“It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. But he who renounces the fruits of action is called one who has truly renounced.”
If you feel like having enough of materialistic way of life or you are just hungry for some peaceful living or maybe you would like to help in the garden, feel free to contact us. You are welcome to come and spend time with us working on the island. There are many different jobs available here, so you can choose what you like:
eco gardening free from chemicals of all sorts
house work-cleaning and maintanance
renovation of the building and the grounds
come and stay as long as you wish, experience difference in your life, we have simple accomodation facilities and the best food in the world! you will not regret coming…
Call Us Now: 00442867723878
Directions to Krishna-IslandHare Krishna Temple,
Co Fermanagh, BT92 9GN
If you are using a GPS or Satellite Navigation System, these are the coordinates to the Govindadwipa Ferry:
N 54° 11.482´ - W 007° 29.409´ or use UK postcode BT92 9GN
Road Directions within Ireland: Inis Rath is 7 miles from Belturbet in north Co. Cavan and 7 miles from Lisnaskea in south Co. Fermanagh. The quay adjacent to the island is easy to reach form the cities, e.g. Belturbet is straight up the N3 from Dublin, and Lisnaskea is reached directly form the M1 and A4 from Belfast.
Both drives from these cities take less than 2 hours. Or, if coming by bus, please see the section ‘From outside Ireland’ below.
Coming from the directions NW, W, SW, S and SE (e.g. Donegal, Mayo or Dublin) go to Derrylin (which is just north of Belturbet).
Coming from the directions N, NE and E (e.g. Derry, Belfast or Monaghan) go to the Spar shop in Lisnaskea.
Derrylin and Lisnaskea are linked by the B127 road, which traverses Lough Erne. If you are coming from the Derrylin direction slow down after 2 miles and watch out carefully for the sign and right turn.
If you are coming from the Lisnaskea direction then you will first go over one bridge, and then another, and the sign and turn-off is a left turn directly after the 2nd bridge. From this point from all directions simply follow the road signs to Inish Rath.
From outside of Ireland: Fly into Dublin www.aerlingus.com or www.ryanair.com.
If you’re not hiring a car or getting a lift then here are the details:
Walk outside the main entrance of airport and there are buses every 15mins to the main coach station in the city (journey takes 25minutes, charge 5 euro). From the main coach station, called Busarus, take a bus to Belturbet. The timetable is at: www.buseireann.ie
In Belturbet get a local taxi. Phone the Republic of Ireland numbers (+353) 087 2561243 or 087 2622418. It’s best to book the taxi hours in advance and also tell Benny or Pat, the drivers, that you’ll be in Belturbet 20 minutes later than the scheduled time. This is to allow for traffic out of Dublin. Benny or Pat will take you the rest of the way. The charge is 10 euro per journey.
You can also come to us via Belfast. The details are not listed here for brevity, but please enquire if this is more suitable for you.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )