Temples Kapindra Swami Prabhupada Sankirtan Society PSS storefront Avenue B New York City

Published on June 27th, 2001 | by kapindra-swami | Full size image

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Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir of Manhattan Now Expanding

With our tiny storefront temple on Avenue B we haven’t been able to take care of the people properly. However, by Lord Caitanya’s grace that can now be dramatically changed. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has just made the next door strorefront available to us doubling our size.

Is the Hare Krishna movement ready to lead human society out ofignorance and confusion? I believe so. On September 6, 1986 I was so happy to resume serving Srila Prabhupada exactly as I did in ISKCON from 1969 to 1977 now in the form of Prabhupada Sankirtan Society. What a relief, Srila Prabhupada was again everyone’s spiritual master. Back to the fundamentals. Simple for the simple, chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

Fourteen years later the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society has gained the respect of the greater Lower Eastside where the Hare Krishna movement began. The devotees of the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society work under the protection of Srila Prabhupada by daily hearing and discussing his lectures. Madhavananda Prabhu leads the devotees out on Harinam and book distribution. Mother Krishna Devi enjoys cooking for over 1000 hungry souls each month at Tompkins Square Park. Three times a week devotees set up the Hare Krishna Food Relief festival at the park where they chant and distribute delicious kitcheri, halavah and lemonade along with Prabhupada’s books, tapes, and cd’s. This simple program at Tompkins Square Park since 1988 has caught the attention and appreciation of Lower Eastside residents.

Harry Greenberg, manager of Tompkins Square Park, says: “They (Hare Krishna Food Relief) have provided for the homeless in this park for the past ten years, cleaning the park, and also in cooperation with the rules and guidelines. We feel that they are an asset to the park.”

Reverand Robert Wallenburg, Executive director Trinity Lutheran Church: “We have known of your work on the Lower Eastside for many years, feeding hungry people and homeless people. You have always done this with care, respect, and nutritious and healthy foods.”

(On this 12th consecutive year Hare Krishna Food Relief has been rewarded by United Way of New York City with a food grant of $14,600. Last years grant was $6,500.)

Being accustomed by the presence of us Hare Krishna devotees for so long we have been accepted as community members. We receive friendly “Hare Krishna” greetings from Lower Eastside residents. It’s almost like Vrndavan.

When Harinam goes out the potency of the chanting is comparable to the “early days”. As the devotees march on, the living entities smile and begin to dance, cameras flash and restaurant goers stop eating being slightly stunned. Lower Eastsiders like Krishna Consciousness being instinctively set in motion by Srila Prabhupada in the early 1960’s.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROBLEM ?!!!

With our tiny storefront temple we haven’t been able to take care of the people properly. However, by Lord Caitanya’s grace that can now be dramatically changed. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has just made the next door strorefront available to us doubling our size.

With the new space we will have a large enough temple room to accommodate 30 people for kirtans, classes and honoring prasadam. The space will include a Krishna store selling Prabhupada books, tapes & cd’s plus Krishna art and Deity paraphernelia, posters and incense. The basement will be renovated for a first class office / computer room. The outside of the temple will feature a beautiful lighted awning and continuos playing of Prabhupada singing.

The Lower Eastside is going through a prosperous boom. Many young people are thronging the area. New shops and restaurants are opening everywhere. New buildings are rising. While this prosperity is increasing the people are definitely searching. So the Hare Krishna position is prime and Prabhupada Sankirtan Society is in the prime location on Avenue B where there is traffic all day and night, and only three blocks from Tompkins Square Park.

The Lord is giving special potency and determination to the devotees here, for they fully take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, although they have never seen him… but they do hear him daily. “faithful hearing from an authoritative person will help one transcend this material existence and go back to Godhead, back to home.” (Bg. 13.26 Purport)

“I shall request you all that I shall go away, but you shall live. Don’t give up pushing on this movement, and you’ll be blessed by Lord Caitanya and His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture 12/9/69)

There is every reason to believe that this mission representing Srila Prabhupada in the Lower Eastside of New York is under the guidance and protection of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore let us work together in assisting Srila Prabhupada spread his movement.

Always at your service,

Kapindra Swami


Dear Prabhu,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeisances.

My name is Madhavananda das. I live as a brahmacari at the Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir, a small temple located in Manhattan on Avenue B. I’ve been endeavoring to follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and serve him for the past seven years. It was seven years ago that I had first received Bhagavad Gita As It Is. I am now 29 years of age and recall searching for the Absolute Truth since I was 15. Today I am happy to dedicate my life to the ultimate cause.

I have experienced that Srila Prabhupada is personally present and always giving guidance. Thus I have taken it as my life’s mission to introduce Srila Prabhupada by broadcasting his name and personality as one who is giving shelter to the world. This is the same purpose of Prabhupada Sankirtan Society which I have been serving with fulltime since January. The society was registered by Kapindra Swami in 1988 as an official nonprofit organization meant for taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada and increasing his family of disciples. Currently there are devotees having preaching centers in California, Washington, Oregon, Germany, England and Guyana (South America). Our main temple is here in Manhattan’s Lower Eastside two blocks from Tompkins Square Park where Srila Prabhupada planted the first seeds of the Hare Krishna movement in the West. The neighborhood people are very familiar with and receptive to Krishna Consciousness. This has developed over the years through regular Sankirtan and prasadam distribution offered by Prabhupada Sankirtan Society’s Hare Krishna Food Relief program which is supported by government grants and the United Way.

Today I am writing to inform you of our current plan for expansion and to humbly submit a request for your assistance. Knowing of your dedication to Srila Prabhupada we feel that you may like to be a supporter of our mission. At this stage in development it is now time for us to make available a facility where devotees can be nicely trained and the public can be freely welcomed in. Until now our single space has served as a temple, ashram, bookstore, prasadam room, office, etc. Now, by Lord Krishna’s grace we will be expanding into the store space next door and doubling our room. Presently there are four of us here serving fulltime and more devotees are ready to join us. We are all prepared to work hard to see that the new temple is first class for Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. The facility will be arranged having a bookstore, display windows, temple room, office, kitchen and bathrooms. Storage and ashram space will be downstairs.

This facility is very much needed here in Manhattan where Srila Prabhupada especially expressed desire for a temple. Although still relatively humble in size, the temple is in a perfect preaching location and will serve nicely as a next step in our expansion. The center will be effective as a regular outlet of books, tapes and prasadam, and will be a place where people can always come and hear from Srila Prabhupada. A daily temple schedule will be maintained with regular arati’s and kirtan.

Our whole program is based on hearing daily from Srila Prabhupada. We have produced and made available a complete library with all of Srila Prabhupada’s audio recordings which we are distributing worlwide via the internet at www.krishna.org. The 1200 hours of audio is compressed onto 24 cdroms containing all of Prabhupada’s lectures, conversations, bhajans, etc. Each day we are hearing the lectures and a readout is displayed on the television. This is a revolutionary program which needs to be presented to the public on a grand scale. To begin, a facility is required to accommodate the people. With this objective we are submitting to you a request for funding assistance. The total cost for items and renovation is $30,000. We have included an itemized budget. Please consider this request and let us know if you are able to help (donations tax deductible) We will move into the new space at the beginning of September and plan to begin construction immediately. You are welcome to come visit us anytime. Our phone number and email is (212) 674-0698, pss108@juno.com.

Thank you very much,

Your servant

Madhavananda das .


Mother Krisna devi dasi

I was 18 when I first came in contact with Krishna Consciousness. A friend gave me some books for my birthday. I started to read one page and I thought — no that’s not for me. At that time, I had done so many nonsense things — intoxication, meat eating, etc. I always thought that that is life work and then die? Especially when I took LSD I really thought I can get out of my body and in something impersonal.

Srila Prabhupada was always there even if I didn’t recognize it. Too much in ignorance. After some time, I met my boyfriend (Franco) and he was into Krishna Consciousness. I, therefore, stopped meat eating and started to read the Krishna Consciousness books and I enjoyed them very much. Also chanting, Franco explained the whole philosophy so nice. But I was not very serious about Krishna Consciousness then. I still took intoxication. My new friends were all Krishna Conscious and knew Kaprindra Swami from when they lived a few years in New York. So, after 2 years into my relationship with Franco, Maharaj came to visit the devotees in Germany. That was the first time I ever had a whole temple program and it was so nice. I never had such experience except on LSD. (And what of course, it is not the same.) So I was naturally intoxicated. I thought, okay, you have to get now really serious otherwise you will be trapped in this material world for millions of years. I decided to live in the temple. Unfortunately, Franco did not want to live in the temple, so I left him to live in the temple.

I left my boyfriend, friends, family and job for Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. Now I am here in this big city without family. But, I really believe and I also know that the action I took was the best thing I ever did. Now I am 24 hours engaged in Srila Prabhupada’s service. I have never felt as if I have lost something. Of course, sometimes it hurts — the attachment for family and friends. The devotees in Prabhupada Sankirtan Society take very good care of me even though I am the only woman there right now. When I see the videos from the early days, I see no difference between our mission and the early days. I think it is really great and amazing how Maharaj through the whole years is always engaged in Krishna’s service and tries to give Srila Prabhupada to the people. It is the same program since 1968 with Sankirtan, prasadam distribution and book distribution. We are now trying to expand our small temple. The book store next door will be leaving and, by Krishna’s mercy, we hope to expand into this space. With this additional space, more people will be able to come and hear the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

So I write to all devotees out there and ask for some help. We need a little support in terms of Laxmi Devi.


Costs for items and construction of new temple.

awning……………………………………………………$3,760
store merchandise…………………………………………1,070
store displays…………………………………………………950
air conditioning system……………………………………1,000
temple construction………………………………………11,000
kitchen equipment……………………………………………600
giant tv………………………………………………………975
copy machine………………………………………………999
basement construction……………………………………3,000
altar…………………………………………………………3,500
office equipment……………………………………………450
lighting……………………………………………………1,000
ventilation…………………………………………………1,200
Srila Prabhupada murti……………………………………2,500
vyasasana……………………………………………………500

TOTAL…………………………………………………..$32,504

Contact Kapindra Swami, Hare Krishna.

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One Response to Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir of Manhattan Now Expanding

  1. dharma says:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare!!

    HARI BOL!!


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