Hare Krishna Melbourne Temple History:
During the 1970s, Srila Prabhupada regularly visited ISKCON Melbourne to give lectures and inspire his many followers who would eagerly await his arrival. On very special occasions he came to install the Deity forms of Lord Krishna so that his devoted students could learn to worship the Lord in His archa-vigraha (Deity form).
In 1973, when the temple was still located in Burnett Street, St Kilda (our first location), Srila Prabhupada installed Melbourne’s presiding Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ballabha. Much to everyone’s delight, in May 1975 Srila Prabhupada attended the opening of our current temple at 197 Danks Street, Albert Park, simultaneously installing Deities of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, Sri-Sri Gaura Nitai.
ISKCON Melbourne is still presided over by the same beautiful Deities of Sri Sri Radha Ballabha and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, along with Lord
Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Lady Subhadra, Sri Sri Radha Ballabha, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Lord Baladeva, Lady Subhadra and Lord Jagannath,
Sydney Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir Timings:
Morning: 4:30 AM to 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Afternoon: 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Evening: 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Weekend Feast Schedule:
4:30 PM Aarti and Kirtan
5:00 PM Bhagvad Gita Discourse
6:00 PM Vegetarian Feast
7:00 PM Aarti and Keertan
Sydney Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir Daily Schedule:
4:30 AM Mangala Arati
5:00 AM Tulasi Puja
5:10 AM Japa Meditation
7:00 AM Greeting the deities
7:10 AM Guru Puja
7:30 AM Srimad Bhagavatam class
8:45 AM Breakfast
12:30 PM Raj Bhoga Arati
1:00 PM Lunch
4:00 PM Dhupa Arati
5:30 PM Dinner
6:45 PM Tulasi Puja
7:00 PM Sandhya Arati
9:00 PM Sayana Arati
Sydney Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir Feasts:
ISKCON Melbourne serves a fantastic range of delicious Hare Krishna cuisine, free of charge. Everyone is welcome to sample these sanctified traditional dishes!
We serve delicious meals every day, but the end of the week concludes with our internationally famous Sunday Feast. Bring all the family along and immerse yourself in the friendly atmosphere while you taste the irresistible preparations. You won’t be disappointed – that’s our special guarantee!
When do we serve our meals?
ISKCON Melbourne serves out meals seven days a week, 365 days a year at the
8:30-9:30 AM Breakfast
1:00-2:00 PM Lunch
6:00-7:00 PM Dinner
Where do we serve our meals?
Prasadam Hall (upstairs from the Main Temple Room).
How much do you pay?
All meals are free of charge. You can support our cause by making a donation at our Member Services Office or through our website.
What is Prasadam?
Bhagavad-gita As It Is offers an in depth explanation of why it is important to eat spiritually enriched food. In Chapter 9, verse 26, Krishna says:
patram puspam phalam toyam
yome bhaktya prayacchati
Translation : If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
As part of our spiritual practice we offer food to the Deity of Krsna for His pleasure. Once offered, this food becomes ‘prasadam’ or spiritually sanctified food. At ISKCON Melbourne, our members lovingly prepare no less than seven delicious offerings for Krishna each day. There are traditional milk sweets such as sandesh, ladu and sweet rice; a wide variety of subjees (vegetable curries); dahl (lentil soup); and of course rice and chapattis (very similar to roti bread). On principle, we use only natural 100% vegetarian ingredients, and adhering to principles of ahimsa or non-violence, we refrain from using any meat, fish, eggs, onions or garlic in our cooking.
Everyone benefits from honouring (or eating) prasadam as the spiritual quality inherent within it purifies the consciousness and makes spiritual life easy, not to mention that it is delectable! Anyone who tries prasadam always comments that it has a special quality. This is because it is spiritual food.
If you would like to know more, we have an extensive range of Hare Krishna cookbooks in our temple shop. At our Sunday Feast, there are many seasoned prasadam-aficionados ready to answer your questions as well. Just look for the book table outside the Main Temple Room
Sydney Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir Festivals Celebrated:
The lifting of Govardhana Hill
Date : October-November
Agenda : lecture, ceremony, kirtan and dancing, feast
An important event in the Hare Krishna calendar is “Govardhan Puja,” a festival day celebrating the glories of the holy hill of Govardhana.
At the temple on this day there will be a lecture on Krishna’s pastime of lifting Govardhan Hill in Vraja Dhama (south of New Delhi, in present day Uttar Pradesh).
We make replica of the hill from sweets and cakes and celebrate Krishna’s pastime by chanting and dancing around it! Then we distribute the sweets to all those present !
Don’t miss this party ! There will also be a grand feast at the end of the temple ceremonies.
Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots)
Celebrated on : 1st Sunday in February (the Festival Sunday of the St. Kilda Festival)
Where : Catani Gardens, St. Kilda
Agenda : Pulling the chariot to Luna Park and back (with chanting, dancing and distribution of treats), Vedic Village in Catani Gardens, including a stage programs (dance, music, drama, children’s plays), vegetarian eat-in or take-away.
The Ratha-yatra, the Festival of the Chariots, is perhaps the oldest continuously celebrated spiritual festival in the world.
As far back as human records and memory extend – to the delight of millions of joyous pilgrims – the splendidly decorated chariots of Lord Jagannatha have rolled each summer in the town of Puri (on the Bay of Bengal in India).
Their towering red-and-blue silken canopies rise into the sky as drums and cymbals resound in joyous celebrations. People both young and old, their eyes bright with excitement, sing and dance in the street as if swimming in an ocean of overwhelming happiness.
Beginning with San Francisco (USA) over forty years ago, Hare Krishna devotees have brought this tradition to the streets of cities around the world.
The first time Melbourne hosted the Festival of the Chariots was in the 1970s. Now, nearly 40 years later, we are excited to announce that this ancient celebration has returned to Melbourne as part of the famous St Kilda Festival. And you can be a part of this grand and the oldest festival too !
The Bathing of Lord Jagganatha
Date : Boxing Day, December the 26th.
Where : Hare Krishna Melbourne
Agenda : Kirtan, Ceremonies, Feast
Ratha-yatra is the festival when Lord Jagannatha, accompanied by Lord Balarama and His sister Subhadra, are taken in procession on a chariot ride. One or two weeks prior to Ratha Yatra Their Lordships enjoy a bathing festival called Snana-yatra.
Snana-yatra is a very unique festival as this is the only occasion when everyone are allowed to personally bathe the Deities. On all other occasions bathing is done by the pujaris (priests) only.
After the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannatha apparently becomes sick. He is therefore removed to His private apartment, where no one can see Him. Actually, during this period renovations are made on the body of the Jagannatha Deity. This is called navayauvana. Thus for seven or fifteen days after the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannatha is not visible to any visitors: this two-week period is called Anavasara. Traditionally the Ratha-yatra ceremony marks the time when Lord Jagannatha once again comes before the public.
The Appearance Day of Lord Rama
yasma adad udadhir udha-bhayanga-vepo
margam sapady ari-puram haravad didhaksoh
Meaning The Personality of Godhead Ramacandra, being aggrieved for His distant intimate friend [Sita], glanced over the city of the enemy Ravana with red-hot eyes like those of Hara [who wanted to burn the kingdom of heaven]. The great ocean, trembling in fear, gave Him His way because its family members, the aquatics like the sharks, snakes, and crocodiles, were being burnt by the heat of the angry red-hot eyes of the Lord. Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the Absolute Truth in detail. It lists twenty-six incarnations of Godhead and at the end of the list states, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: All of these incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. (SB 1.3.28) As such, Krsna includes all of the other incarnations, including the incarnation of Lord Ramacandra. Thus we need not worship Lord Ramacandra separately. By worshiping Krsna, we automatically worship Lord Rama simultaneously.
Krsna, being the origin of everything and everyone, is also the origin of us, the living entities. So whatever qualities we have must also exist in Krsna – originally. We have individuality, so Krsna must too. We have form, and so must Krsna. We have thinking and feeling and willing, so Krsna must too. And we have activities, so Krsna must too. Krsna, the Absolute Truth, has everything that we have plus more – and in greater quantity.
In the specific incarnation of Rama, the Lord acts as the ideal human being – the ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal king. The Ramayana, the history of Lord Rama, is filled with the exemplary behavior of the Lord and His associates, and they all show ideal examples. Sita shows the ideal of a chaste wife, Laksmana and Bharata of faithful brothers. The Ramayana is full of ideal examples that we are meant to follow – ideal father, ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal wife, ideal servant, ideal ruler, and
The Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda
Schedule: Abhisheka (bathing) and Kirtana, Class, Feast
About Lord Nityananda:
Lord Nityananda is the eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He appeared in 15th century West Bengal to help the Lord in spreading the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Krishna. His beauty was so enchanting and He was so full of ecstatic love for Krishna that, wherever He moved, crowds of people would follow and become lovers of God.
Lord Caitanya asked Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura to serve as His door-todoor preachers, spreading the message of love of God to every home in Navadvipa. Out of compassion Lord Nityananda approached the two wayward brothers Jagai and Madhai, who were in a drunken stupor on the street, and begged them to chant the holy name of Krishna and to taste the sweet nectar of Krishna consciousness. But the two villains chased Nityananda down the road, calling Him foul names. Madhai even threw a broken clay pot that came crashing down on Nityananda’s divine head, causing Him to bleed.
When Lord Caitanya heard what had happened, He became so infuriated that He rushed to the area, ready to kill the two repellent brothers on the spot for daring to harm such a gentle soul as Nityananda Prabhu. But Nityananda pacified the Lord by reminding Him that the majority of people in this age are as fallen as Jagai and Madhai, and it is His mission to liberate them with love, not violence. Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy knows no bounds, and He quickly forgave Jagai and Madhai for all that they had done.
When Jagai and Madhai saw the loving exchange between the Lords Caitanya and Nityananda, and observed Lord Nityananda’s forgiving nature toward them, their hearts were changed. They resolved to become devotees and enthusiastic supporters of Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana mission. Seeing their sincerity, Mahaprabhu took all of their sins on His own head. After this incident Jagai and Madhai set the highest standard of devotional service by constantly chanting the Holy Names of Krishna and instructing others in devotion to Him.
Therefore Nityananda Prabhu, who is identical with Lord Balarama, the first expansion of Krishna, is considered to be the original guru for all of mankind. One cannot attain love of God without first attaining the mercy of Lord Nityananda. He holds the key to Lord Caitanya’s heart. His presence is always felt in the presence of one’s own guru, for the guru is considered to be a living manifestation of Nityananda Prabhu’s love, and His power is what gives a disciple the ability to perform devotional service and experience the bliss of devotional life.
Devotees of Lord Nityananda celebrate His appearance day by fasting until noon, feasting, and chanting His glories.
The Appearance Day of Lord Balarama
In the ever enchanting pastimes of Lord Krishna in this world, Lord Balaram played the role of his elder brother. Krishna and Balaram together performed various wonderful pastimes when they were present in this world.
Lord Balarama is the first expansion of Lord Krishna. He appeared in the womb of Devaki as her seventh child. Kamsa, the evil brother of Devaki, had imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and had also mercilessly slaughtered her six newly born children. After the appearance of Balarama in the womb of Devaki, Lord Krishna instructed Yogamaya, his internal potency, to transfer Balaram from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva’s another wife. As he got transferred from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini he also came to be known as Sankarshan. Since he is the source of all spiritual power, or bala, and spiritual bliss called ramana, he is
known as Balarama.
Upanisads explain that to obtain self-realization one should be favoured by Balarama. Srila Prabhupada explains that “Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarama or Sankarsana.” Lord Balaram incarnated as Lord Nityananada in the age of Kaliyuga, to assist Lord Caitanya in delivering the fallen conditioned souls of this world.
“Lord Balaram is also original Spiritual Master. So duty of Spiritual Master is also to purify the heart of the disciple…We can think of Spiritual Master as Balaram’s representative, Lord Nityananda’s representative or Radharani’s representative.”
“In Rama Lila and Krsna Lila, these two transcendental brothers, they displayed nectarean pastimes, which they performed in the Spiritual World.
Come and join us again for a wonderful evening of lectures, music, ceremonies and feast!
The Swing Festival
Starting on the Ekadasi (the 11th. day) of the waxing moon of Sridhara month, many temples in Vrndavana celebrate Krsna’s swing festival, some for one day, others for more days.
Traditionally over this period Deities of the Lord wear green-coloured clothing, until Balarama Purnima.
Once again this festival represents is a practical service that the devotees can offer Lord Krishna. At this time of year (the monsoon) India is humid and the temperature is hot despite the cooling rains. With so much water coming from the sky, lying on the ground and just about everywhere, the last thing that anyone wants is more water to cool off. The best thing to do at this time is to find a breeze.
So devotees arrange for the pleasure and satisfaction of Krishna and Srimati Radharani by placing them on a swing (jhulan) and creating their own breeze from the motion.
It is a most pleasing and satisfying festival, with the swings often highly decorated with forest creepers, jasmine (malati) that has newly blossomed in the season, and streamers of garlands. Sometimes they use a fine spray of rose water and direct it toward the
Divine couple of Radha and Krishna on Their swing.
Today – by the mercy of his Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – in ISKCON temples all over the world devotees and congregational members get the opportunity to remember these loving interactions of Sri Krishna with His devotees. They assist in the direct personal service of the Lord by pushing the swing.
The Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva (the Lords’ Half Lion – Half Human form)
Date : May
Who can come : everyone !
Program agenda : Ceremonies, Kirtan (Spiritual Music), Massive vegetarian feast.
The History behind this Festival
By performing the rigorous austerity of standing on the tips of his toes for one hundred and twenty five years Hiranyakasipu became so powerful that the demigods prayed to Lord Brahma to keep him from destroying the universe.
Due to his austerity Lord Brahma offered Hiranyakasipu his hearts desire. Hiranyakasipu requested that he should never die. Lord Brahma explained to him that even he must die although he had a long duration of life (four million three hundred thousand times 1000 times 30 times 12 times 100 times 2 years). So Hiranyakasipu demanded that he should never be killed in the day or in the night and Lord Brahma
agreed to this. Hiranyakasipu then requested that he should not die on land or in the air or in the water, to which Lord Brahma agreed.
Hiranyakasipu, having received this promise, became very bold and asked that he should not be killed by any man or beast. Lord Brahma again agreed. Hiranyakasipu still not satisfied with the benedictions he had received from Lord Brahma, then asked for the benediction that he could not be killed by any weapon. To which Lord Brahma also agreed to give Hiranyakasipu this benediction and then left.
After receiving these benedictions Hiranyakasipu became more demonic and began conquering the material universe. With each new victory and increase in his power the Demigods became more and more worried.
In time Hiranyakasipu had a son calle Prahlada. Prahlada was a great devotee of Lord Krishna even from birth. As a small boy of five he would preach about Krishna to his school friends any time the teachers left the room. Prahlada’s preaching infuriated his father, Hiranyakasipu. When his father demanded to know what this foolishness was, what was this Krishna. Prahlada explained that because his father was too attached to his own sense gratification, he was determined to deny Krishna’s existence. Due to this he could not understand even if he took lessons. To understand Krishna one must first give everything to Krishna then Krishna would reveal himself.
Hiranyakasipu became so angry that he ordered Prahlada to be thrown in to a circle of cannibals. When he was thrown to the cannibals Prahlada began to chant Hare Krishna and the cannibals had no power to harm him. His father then ordered that Prahlada be thrown into boiling hot oil but because he was chanting Hare Krishna Prahlada was unharmed. Seeing that Prahlada was not harmed by the boiling oil his father ordered that he be taken to a small island to endure a huge hurricane. But Prahlada kept chanting Hare Krishna and he was protected by Krishna’s holy name. Hiranyakasipu, seeing that none of these things could kill Prahlada, threw him off a the top of a cliff, but due to his chanting Hare Krishna Krishna caught him and Prahlada was not harmed.
Infuriated Hiranyakasipu demanded that Prahlada be trampled under the feet of an elephant. When this also did not work Hiranyakasipu called for his guards to throw Prahlada into a snake pit. The pit was filled with venomous snakes but because Prahlada was study in his faith and continued to chant Hare Krishna the snakes could not harm him.
Since through all this Prahlada was not harmed, Hiranyakasipu thought he must have some mystic power. He pretended to be sorry for trying to harm Prahlada and invited him to lunch. In desperation, Hiranyakasipu poisoned Prahlada’s food, with enough poison to kill hundreds of full-grown men. Rather then eating his food Prahlada first offered it Krishna and it became prasadam and as pure as God and free from all poisonous effects.
When the poisoned food had no effect on Prahlada Hiranyakasipu became so enraged he lifted Prahlada above his head and smashed him to the floor. When Prahlada still was not harmed Hiranyakasipu demanded to know where he got his super human powers from.
Prahlada replied that he got his strength from the same place as Hiranyakasipu did– from God. Hiranyakasipu demanded to know what was this God where was this God. Prahlada explained that God is everywhere that everything comes from God. Hiranyakasipu, despite all that had happened, could not believe in God and beganpointing to things demanding if they were God. Hiranyakasipu demanded if God was in a
big pillar nearby in the palace. When Prahlada said, “Yes, my Lord is in that pillar,” Hiranyakasipu stated that he would kill Prahlada’s God by using his mace to smash the pillar. As he smashed the pillar Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half man, half lion incarnation of
Krishna appeared from the broken pillar and pounced on the shocked demon.
Nrsimhadeva stretched Hiranyakasipu across his lap and with his long nails, he ripped apart the demon. Hiranyakasipu died instantly on Nrsimhadeva’s blood drenched lap. He was killed neither on the land, sea nor in the air but on the lap of the Supreme Lord. He was killed neither during the day or the night but in the twilight. He was killed by neither beast nor man, but by the lord’s lotus hands and was kill with no weapons but with the nails of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Thus Hiranyakasipu’s benediction from Lord Brahma remained intact and he was killed by the personification of fear, Krishna Himself in His half-man, half-lion form, Lord Nrsimhadeva.
The Appearance day of Srimati Radharani
Srimati Radharani is the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. Five thousand years ago, when Lord Krishna came to this planet to perform His pastimes, Srimati Radharani also appeared.
Date : September
Agenda : Kirtan, Feast and lecture
History behind the Festival
“On a half-moon night in the month of Bhadra, King Vrishabhanu came to the Jamuna to bathe and found himself engulfed in a golden aura, the golden aura of pure love. It was emanating from a lotus, which had a baby girl standing on its whorl. When the king returned to the palace with the baby, Queen Kirtida was delighted. She was also shocked that the girl was blind.
“Lord Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, heard that her best friend Kirtida had a baby, so she came to visit along with her husband and her son. Krishna crawled up to the cradle and pulled Himself up and looked in. At that moment, Srimati Radharani’s eyes fluttered and opened wide and blossomed like lotuses. It seems that she did not want to see anything of this world, only the form of Sri Krishna. Everyone was delighted.” Srimati Radharani is the mother of the universe, the spiritual mother of all souls. And the concept of mother is the most sacred symbol—that of purity, selflessness, caring, sharing, nurturing, and love. That is why our sacred mantra is the holy names. It is the holy names in the vocative. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“‘Hare’ means ‘Radhe.’ It is a plaintive, desperate cry for the mother. ‘Radhe! Please wake us up from this nightmare of mortal life! Remind us of the father we have forgotten and take us home!’”
In the Krishna consciousness movement, devotees carefully worship Srimati Radharani as the bestower of devotional service to Krishna, by attentively chanting her name in the maha-mantra, by worshiping her deity form, and by following the instructions of the most merciful Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the combined form of Radha and Krishna.
“(Therefore) Radha is parama-devata, the supreme goddess, and She is worshipable for everyone. She is the protectress of all, and She is the mother of the entire universe.” — Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 4.89
The Appearance day of Lord Krishna
For actual festival details, please check the EVENTS postings for Janmastami
Time : all day, with special extended darshans (audiences of the Lord) and midnight feast
Agenda: Spiritual Music (Kirtan), Grand Vegetarian Feast
Who can come : Everyone !
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, although the most powerful being in all of existence, does take the time to descend to Earth for the purpose of re-installing righteous behaviour, uphold religion and protect His dear most devotees. Although, through His powers He can fix the problem without taking too much endeavor, in order to maintain the established Universal maintenance structure and to please His devotees, He personally comes down in many of His avatars. He appeared in the Holy city of Mathura (North India), 5000 years ago and is one of the most important events in the religious calendar.
Year after year, we have seen close to 10,000 people visit our Melbourne temple. So, please join us !
We recommend that you park your car at the Melbourne Acquatic Centre. From there you can take our complimentary buses to the temple and back (6-11pm).
The Appearance day of Lord Chaitanya
Date : February-March
Agenda : Spiritual Music (Kirtan), Grand Vegetarian Feast
Who can come : Everyone !
Lord Chaitanya is an incarnation of Lord Krishna who appeared in the holy city of Mayapur (West Bengal), about 500 years ago. During His lifetime, along with His intimate disciples He inaugurated the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
More on Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: This festival celebrates the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is observed annually (in late February, early March) by Krishna’s devotees all over the world— especially in the area of Mayapur, India, the place where He appeared in the year 1486.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself appearing as His own devotee to teach us that we can regain pure love of God simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama,
Hare Hare Those who witnessed the Lord’s pastimes saw Him dance and chant with ecstatic love for God, the likes of which had never been seen before. Lord Chaitanya encouraged everyone to follow this same process. He taught that anyone—regardless of background or spiritual qualification—can develop their innate love of God and experience great spiritual pleasure by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.
The present-day International Society for Krishna Consciousness continues the work begun by Lord Chaitanya, who predicted that the chanting of the holy names of Krishna would spread all over the world.
Gaura Purnima means “golden full moon,” signifying that:
1) Lord Chaitanya appeared on a full moon day, and
2) The Lord blesses everyone with the soothing, moonlike rays of His sublime teachings.
Devotees of the Lord celebrate Gaura Purnima by reading pastimes of Lord Caitanya, specifically Caitanya Caritamrta. The singing of the songs by Vaisnava acharyas about Lord Caitanya is also a common practice. In addition, a total fast is performed until moonrise, when a light meal is taken.
Sydney Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir Address:
197 Danks Street
Albert Park VIC 3206
Phone:+613 (03) 9699-5122
Hare Krishna Valley
1265 Winchelsea-Deans Marsh Road (at the end of Seaches Outlet)
Bambra VIC 3241
+613 (03) 5288 7383
+614 (04) 0557 7453
Crossways Vegetarian Restaurant
123 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+613 (03) 9650 2939