Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in United Kingdom-16/1

Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in United Kingdom

ISKCON Manchester, United Kingdom

20 Mayfield Road
Whalley Range
M16 8FT 
Ph: +44 (0)161 226 4416

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (known as ISKCON) Manchester's mission is to promote the well-being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to Bhagavad-gita and other ancient scriptures

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a branch of the monotheistic Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition within Hinduism dating back 5000 years to Lord Krishna Himself. ISKCON was established in the West in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada) and has since developed into a worldwide confederation of over 500 temples, centers, communities, schools, and restaurants with some 250,000 devotees.
The mission of this nonsectarian, monotheistic movement is to promote the well-being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to Bhagavad-gita and other ancient scriptures.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada incorporated the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1966 with seven explicit purposes. This list of purposes (below) was one of the official documents incorporating ISKCON as a charitable organization
1.      To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
2.    To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
3.    To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
4.    To teach and encourage the sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
5.     To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
6.    To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
7.     With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.  

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is the extraordinary person who dedicated his life to teaching the world about Krishna consciousness, ancient India's most noble message of spiritual wisdom.

The philosophy of the Hare Krishna movement is based on ancient Indian scriptures known as “The Vedas”. This vast body of knowledge, originally written in Sanskrit, dates back to about 3000 BC, yet before that it was passed on by word of mouth.
The Vedas describe “sanatana-dharma”, the eternal and natural inclination of mankind towards spiritual activity. There are many sections of the Vedas, but the best known are Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. These constitute the cream of Vedic knowledge and form the foundation of the philosophy of the Hare Krishna. Some key principles are give below.
  • We are not our bodies, but are eternal spirit souls, part and parcel of God (Krishna). Although we are essentially spiritual, we mis-identify ourselves as our material coverings (Our bodies).
  • Our Dormant relationship with Krishna can be reawakened by the devotional practice of Bhakti-yoga, the science of spiritualising all human activities. This ancient yoga system gradually frees us from the entanglement of karma and therefore the cycle of birth and death.
  • The process of bhakti-yoga begins with daily meditating on the Hare Krishna mantra.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

ISKCON Manchester - Activities 

Harinama-sankirtana (the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord) dancing and chanting the maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama,Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare accompanied by mridangas (two headed drums) and karatalas (hand cymbals).
Krishna's holy names are endowed with all of His potencies and this sound vibration can reawaken a person to his spiritual identity and existence. We have forgotten our real identity as spiritual beings, part and parcel of Krishna, and this forgetfulness is the root cause of all our suffering.

500 years ago Lord Krishna came as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (or Lord Gauranga). He appeared as a devotee of Krishna (Himself) to reawaken all the conditioned souls by the method of Harinama-sankirtana. He would go with His followers into the streets and chant the names of Krishna so that people's suffering could be ended, and they could take to the real activity, the spiritual activity, of worshiping and serving the Supreme Lord.
Harinama in Manchester: Second Sunday of every month 2:00pm to 4:00 pm.
For more information please contact temple Harinama-Sankirtana team.

Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad gita(18.69) that there is no one in this world dearer to Him than one who preaches His message.Preaching is an integral part of our temple's activities. Srila Prabhupada writes "Preaching is the easiest way to realise the Supreme Personality of Godhead" (Srimad-Bhagavatam,7.6.24 purport).
ISKCON is based on the timeless teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as received in disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Classes are held regularly at our Manchester temple on Friday and Sunday evenings and other locations around Manchester during the weekdays.
For more information please contact temple Preaching team
Spiritual Counsellor System 
Spiritual Counsellor System is introduced in ISKCON Manchester in 2010 with six counsellors. Counsellor system is to help congregation devotees to progress in their devotional practice; a Counsellor is a friend, Philosopher and guide in Krishna Consciousness. Counsellors are to inspire and encourage their counselees in Krishna Consciousness and monitor their progress.  

Counsellor system is meant to:
1.    Educate and train devotees to live according to the Krishna conscious principles.
2.    Provide systematic training to devotees in matters of philosophy, sadhana, Vaisnava behaviour, etiquette, lifestyle and attitudes.
3.    Provide a formal framework within which personal care and attention can be extended to all devotees so as to make them feel loved and wanted and part of a wonderful spiritual family.
4.    Foster warm personal relationships and a spirit of love and trust amongst devotees based on Krishna Conscious principles.
5.    Provide a forum through which allocation of service, organization of major events, communication of important decisions, etc., can be facilitated.
For more information please contact temple Spiritual Counsellor System  team
Food for Life
Hare Krishna Food for All is an independent charity providing free vegetarian food and other help to the homeless and needy along the same lines as Food for Life.
Hare Krishna devotees around the world bring much-needed food relief to people suffering from wars, natural disasters, homelessness and poverty. Our founder-acharya Srila Prabhupada instructed the devotees that no one should go hungry within a ten mile radius of our temples.  
The food consists of pure vegetarian ingredients (grains, dairy produce, vegetables and fruit, but no meat, fish or eggs) cooked with love and offered to Krishna. This is known as Krishna-prasadam, or the mercy of Krishna. In this way, not only are peoples’ bodies nourished; prasadam also gives spiritual benefit, ultimately resulting in love of Krishna and relief from the four material miseries (birth, disease, old age and death) 
Nama-hatta literally means “market place of the holy name” or a place where one buys the Hare Krishna maha-mantra! The purchasing currency is simply one’s faith and, according to how much faith one has, that much spiritual benefit one will get from the chanting.
The term nama-hatta is used in ISKCON to describe a group of devotees and interested persons who regularly gather to chant and discuss Srila Prabhupada’s books together
Book Distribution 
You just cant keep it to yourself´you have to share it with others.
This transcendental literature is distributed worldwide in over 50 languages and the distribution team, here at the Manchester temple, we give these books to the people come to the temple and also distribute at the streets.
Manchester ISKCON team is very aggressive during the Prabhupada book Distribution Marathon period, the glorious time of year when there is an intense focus on the distribution of our jewels of wisdom, Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Srila Prabhupada's Quotes about Book Distribution
1.    Book Distribution is the greatest welfare activity to this world.    
2.    What is the use of your 2 minutes preaching. The person will hear and go away. If you distribute one book to him means, he will be eternally benefitted.    
3.    Book distribution is brhat mrdunga (biggest mrdunga).    
4.    Chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra is Kirtana. Book Distribution is also kirtana.    
5.    If we do kirtan means it will hear within this room. But if we do book distribution means it will hear home to home, country to country, community to community.    
6.    My books are time bombs. We have to drop these millions of millions of these bombs (books) on the lap of conditioned souls.    
For more information please contact temple Book Distribution  team
Celebrating The Festivals
Festivals are to celebrate a significant event in the life of a deity (e.g. Janmashtami is Krishna's birthday) or to celebrate a significant event in the life of a holy person (e.g. appearance day of Srila Prabhupad) or to celebrate a seasonal customs.

Festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp @ ISKCON Manchester centre .  The main purpose of festivals are to create a special atmosphere, diverting the mind from worldly concerns and joyfully focusing on spiritual matters, also to forge a healthy sense of belonging by peacefully bringing together individuals, families and communities. Festivals invoke the soul's natural qualities by creating an environment replete with auspiciousness and the abundant gifts of nature. Festivals gives people spiritual momentum and inspiration, which helps them perform their daily duties.

Some of the main practises while celebrating these festivals are cleaning and decorating the temple, deity worship, glorification of God (by kirtan, story recitals, dance and drama), taking deities on procession, preparing and distributing prasadam , fasting and feasting and Giving in charity (to temples, saints, the poor, etc)
For more information please contact temple Festivals  team


ISKCON Manchester’s Drama team is one of the best in UK working hard towards fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s wish to to perform dramas during every Sunday programs at each ISKCON centres in the world.
“ The common people would be very entertained by the performances of dramas, and yatra parties played wonderfully on the superhuman activities of the Lord, and thus even the illiterate agriculturist would be a participant in the knowledge of Vedic literature, despite a considerable lack of academic qualifications. Therefore, expert players in drama, dancers, singers, speakers, etc., are required for the spiritual enlightenment of the common man.”–Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.11.20, purport.

Lord Chaitanya Himself took part in dramas during His grihasthadays: “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to perform dramas with Adwaita Prabhu, Srivasa Thakura, and other devotees in the house of Chandrashekhara.” –Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.13, purport.
In this purport, Srila Prabhupada set high standards for actors:
“Dramatic performances were also enacted during the presence of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but the players who took part in such dramas were all pure devotees; no outsiders were allowed. The members of ISKCON should follow this example. Whenever they stage dramatic performances about the lives of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Lord Krishna, the players must be pure devotees. Professional players and dramatic actors have no sense of devotional service, and therefore although they can perform very artistically, there is no life in such performances. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura used to refer to such an actor as yatra-dale narada, which means “farcical Narada.” Sometimes an actor in a drama plays the part of Narada Muni, although in his private life he is not at all like Narada Muni because he is not a devotee. Such actors are not needed in dramatic performances about the lives of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Krishna.”

Ratha Yatra

Rathayatra is a huge festival for Lord Krishna and His devotees. An extraordinary chariot festival that originates in Jagannatha Puri on the east coast of India and dates back over 2,000 years.
Everyone chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and dances in ecstacy as Krishna in His most merciful form of Jagannatha is pulled along on a huge wooden cart.

Rathayatra is now celebrated by devotees of Lord Krishna all over the world after being introduced to the west in 1967 in San Franscisco by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his first American disciples. Rathayatra is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness‘biggest street festival – it features huge wooden chariots pulled by hand.

All throughout the festival there is constant singing, chanting, drums, cymbals and dancing. The procession ends with a stage show, festival and delicious vegetarian prasadam feast

Chant and be Happy

Everyone wants to be happy. Some of us seek happiness through our families, in natural and healthy living, in successful careers, active social lives, fine gourmet foods, gambling or through sports and exercise. Others experience happiness in politics, the arts, academia, or in hobbies ranging from mechanics and computer science to drama, philanthropy, welfare work, and literally thousands of other activities that comprise man's unending quest for pleasure. Millions of people try to find pleasure in alcohol and other drugs.
Each day doctors and scientists discover more about how the human mind and body work. Yet with this abundance of scientific knowledge and space-age technology, which vastly outstrips that of previous generations, is modern man really any happier than his predecessors?
The basic problem in our search for happiness is that our sources of pleasure are all limited.

If we are intelligent & smart we want to
          (a) expand our pleasure beyond our present limitations
          (b) Know pleasure principle that operates beyond the bounds of time and space and emanates from the very innermost part of our being.

The answer is this is possible through the power of transcendental sound vibrations of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra
Our Spiritual master His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness said following words about 'Chanting & Hare Krishna Maha Mantra'
"As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence for winning over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived and the process is recommended by authorities for this age. By practical experience also, we can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the great chanting for deliverance, one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum.
When one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind and intelligence, one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower status of consciousness, namely sensual, mental, and intellectual.
There is no need of understanding the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of mental speculation, nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration without any previous qualification and dance in ecstasy. We have seen it practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting, or even a dog can take part in it.
This chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord so that immediate effect can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of a non-devotee should be avoided, as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect.
The word Hara is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord. Both Krishna and Rama are forms of addressing directly the Lord and they mean, "the highest pleasure eternal." Hara is the supreme pleasure potency of the Lord. This potency, when addressed as Hare, helps us in reaching the Supreme Lord.
The material energy, called maya, is also one of the multi-potencies of the Lord, as much as we are also marginal potency of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior energy than matter. When the superior energy is in contact with the inferior energy, it becomes an incompatible situation. But when the supreme marginal potency is in contact with the spiritual potency, Hara, it becomes the happy, normal condition of the living entity.
The three words, namely Hara, Krishna, and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy Hara for giving protect the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the grace of the Supreme Father, Hari or Krishna, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.
Therefore no other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees   and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection)

(The Blog  is reverently for all the seekers of truth, lovers of wisdom and   to share the Hindu Dharma with others on the spiritual path and also this is purely  a non-commercial blog)


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