ISKCON Temple Tokyo History:
Prabhupada stayed briefly overnight in Tokyo, Hanada in early 1969 on his way to India, which was technically his first visit to Japan. There was no temple yet. I believe that Prabhupada was in poor health and would return to India to recover and travel only with a personal servant.
At the end of 1969, Prabhupada sent Sudama, who was then his personal servant to SF, with Balimardana Prabhu, who was the director of ISKCON to Prabhupada’s right, to open a temple in Japan. They first went to Kyoto and stayed there for about two months. Someone suggested that they move to Tokyo to preach and they did it. The first Tokyo Temple was located in Shibuya about ten minutes by bus from Shibuya Station. Balimardan Prabhu soon leaves Japan and establishes a temple in Australia. Prabhupada sent reinforcements to help Sudama Prabhu. He sent a woman to Sudama, Chintamani Mataji, Burijana, Satyabrata and Amoga Prabhus in the early 1970s.
In August 1970, Prabhupada officially went to Tokyo, Japan and the new temple with some of his main disciples: Brahmananda, Devananda, Tamal Krishna, Madhuvisa, Karitkeya and Kirtananda Swami. Prabhupada traveled from America to India with the intention of formally establishing his ISKCON in India. Until then, Prabhupada concentrated his preaching efforts in America and Europe. Therefore, Prabhupada traveled with an entourage of his older followers to help him preach in India. Prabhupada was also in Japan to sign a book publishing contract with Dai nippon Printing, who had agreed to print the Krishna Book.
This group of worshipers went daily to Ginza in Tokyo to interpret sankirtan Harinam. I had been in Japan for about two months and, coincidentally, I came across the kirtan festival in Ginza one day in August 1970, while Prabhupada was still in Japan. It turned out to be Janmastami’s day. I was invited to the temple to attend the Janmastami and Vyasapuja Midnight Feast of Srila Prabhupada the next day. It was on that day that I had the great blessing of finding His divine grace and taking refuge. My name at that time was Bhakta Matthew. Bhakta Bruce also attended the ISKCON Temple in Tokyo at that time and also joined the movement on this auspicious day. Bhakta Bruce, later, receives the name, Bhanu Swami! Here is a photo of my first Hari Nam in Ginza on this great day.
ISKCON Guidelines when cooking Prasadam:
“Cooking means if you have no appetite, it will create appetite. That is cooking, not that simply some ghee and masala and cook it. No. It is a great art.” Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, 02-19-77, Mayapur
Preparing bhoga or food offering for Lord is an opportunity only fortunate souls get. When preparing Prasadam for Lord Krsihna, please follow below guidelines as purity is the most important ingredient of cooking for the Supreme Lord.
1) Please take bath before cooking and wear fresh clothes.
2) Hands, legs & mouth should be washed, before touching the vessel or cooking ingredients. Also after passing water.
3) Should take bath after using toilet or cleaning the child of it.
4) Cooking place and around should be cleaned before cooking.
5) Cooking should not be done side-by-side while eating or feeding others/children.
6) Cooked food should not be tasted before offering it to the Supreme Lord. Even a part of it should also not be used/consumed before the offering is completed in the temple.
7) New set of utensils should be used for Deity cooking.
Onion, garlic, egg, sea-food, mushroom, stale food-stuff, food-stuff having animal product or intoxicants, ingredients already used or partly consumed should not be used in the preparations.
8) Please chant few rounds of Hare Krishna Maha-mantra with concentration before cooking. This shall help increase purity & devotion.
9) Dry prasad items for offering can be prepared beforehand following the above rules and regulations but do NOT use the part of it for house consumption before offering is complete in the temple.
10) Not to store the prepared items in the boxes used for eating or party takeouts. Preferably new ones or the ones which you are using specifically of the Deities.
11) Personally cooked items with above guidelines are invited.
12) Should avoid bringing readymade cooked items purchased from market.
13) If one cannot follow above guidelines or are consuming non-veg, they can kindly bring raw milk, fruits, vegetables, groceries which can be used for Deity cooking later in the temple.
14) Service is for ALL. Though service forms may change, there is no reason for not offering service to the Supreme Lord.
Sri Nityananda trayodashi
Sri Gaur Purnima
ISKCON Temple Tokyo Address:
Hare Krishna Temple (ISKCON New Gaya Japan),
Japan – 134-0091
Phone: 03-38773000, 08054122528, 08054058977, 08037535097, 08035534588, 09029159613
Website: www.iskconjapan.com Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]