Why are ISKCON Temples generally very lavishly built, like in tirupathi, Chennai, etc? Does Krishna require Marbles and Granite Places?

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  • Hare Krishna Arvind Prabhu,

    My humble Obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

    Before I put forth my points, I would like to mention the aims on basis of which ISKCON was started.


    When Srila Prabhupada first registered ISKCON as a legal entity (in New York, USA, 1966), he gave the following seven purposes as its aims:

      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 , as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

      3. To bring members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna ,the Prime Entity, thus to develop the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the qualities of Godhead (Krishna).

      4. To teach and encourage the sankirtan movement (congregational chanting of the holy name of God) as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

      5. To erect for the members, and 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.


    My intention of mentioning these seven goals is to ensure that we don’t deviate from the main goals of ISKCON. Now, we must understand that ISKCON is a "spiritual" organization and not a "material welfare" organization. Its main goal is to promote the spiritual culture and Krishna Consciousness.


    Krishna Consciousness means doing everything and anything which is pleasing to Krishna.

    We should not be doing things to please our own ideas and thoughts like reducing poverty and other welfare schemes which are quite appealing to us. If the root of a tree is watered properly, the nourishment goes to every leaf of the tree. If the Supreme is satisfied, everyone else is satisfied (this includes material necessities as well). We have examples in our shastras which describe how nicely several kingdoms flourished (materially) when people were Krishna Conscious. We should have this trust on Krishna. There is nothing beyond Him.

    In BG (2.47), Krishna says: “You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.”

    Many of us are working in different companies/businesses and thus performing our duty. The most obvious and tangible fruit that we get from it is money as Salary/or profits from Business. Money can be used for our sustenance, to keep our body and soul together to perform proper devotional duties. But the fruit (money) must be offered to Krishna and should not be simply enjoyed by us to satisfy our ideas. There is an extremely thin line between satisfying Krishna and self sense gratification. So building big temples to "honor" the Supreme Personality of Godhead can no way be compared to other welfare activities. Our funds should be going to please Krishna. After all He is the source of everything and it is proper that it reaches Him only, with lots of love and devotion.

    So if we have money and we can manage a big temple then we should build big temples. We should preach nicely and spread this movement. Rest all welfare stuffs will be automatically taken care of by Krishna. Who knows better than Him. :)


    Senior devotees please guide me if my understanding is incorrect.



    Your Servant,


  • Volunteer

    Sugarcane juice is sweet naturally. But the same sugarcane juice appears to be bitter like poison when a person has jaundice drinks it. This is our present situation. We are diseased by the material modes of nature and are seeing just the dualities - good/bad, rich/poor, etc. When we transcend this platform, you will be able to appreciate the efforts of devotees. No, I am not angry one you or any one prabhu. To be frank with you, I initially did get angry reading ur analogy that you are beating around the same bush after almost 3 long pages full of responses by all devotees. If you are getting great pleasure in writing counter arguments for the explanations given by devotees then you win. There is no point in further dragging this topic any more is what I feel as a lot of devotees precious time is not utilized properly.

    Please forgive me once again.

    Hare Krishna

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna pr ji

    Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

     gr8 reply bt all devotees..

    thank u 

    your servent


  • Volunteer

    we use Temples for preaching not for inviting people and giving them some charinaamrita and taking their donation say them "good bye!". No.

    ISKCON Temples are meant for preaching to people about Krishna Consciousness. And when people become Krishna Conscious they won't eat meat, smoke, this way there won't be animal killing places. 

    Government try to rectify people by putting them into jail and something like that. But we are trying to solve the problem from the root - peoples' heart. When they become Devotees, when they chant the Holy Names then they will be compassionate.

    For this reason we need big nice Temples.

    I can says that in our country Temple was not good enough to invite students and other intelligent people. It was something like dishonor to them. So we still need nice Temple.

    we ourselves may not need it, but for our guests we need to have nice Temples.



    Your servant, 

  • I thank all the Devotees who have spent their precious time to read my query and respond. And if I have offended anybody I am sorry. I am also thankful for the Devotees who have understood my query in the right perspective.

    One thing is now clear as can be seen from Zola Preetam Mataji's response. ISCKON Temples are built for the satisfaction of the Devotees and not necessarily for the satisfaction of Lord Krishna. And that is also my point. Are Temples meant for the Devotees or are they meant for the God. Maybe the best answer is: It is meant for both. That being the case, in a Country like India, is it proper to build a lavish Temple? One thing is also true for us Indians. We Indians tend to defile a Temple if it built just with stone and mortar whereas we tend to be more clean in costlier and lavish surroundings. And a clean/hygienic ambience is certainly necessary in a Temple. Viewed from this angle, I cannot find fault. But at the same time as one other Devotee pointed out, in India there are more pressing problems to deal with like cleaning Temple Tanks, renovation of old/existing Temples, providing Cow protection, abolition of animal slaughter etc, which a grand organisation like ISKCON is competent to take up. Should building new Temples in India be given priority by ISKCON? Both Brickbats and Bouquets from Devotees are welcome in response to my query.  

    • This reply was deleted.
      • Volunteer

        Hare Krsna mataji
        Humble obeisances
        it is true that Krsna is satisfied when devotees are satisfied but devotees don't build temples for their own satisfaction, they do it for Krsna's satisfaction and to preach and please devotees, is it not? finally as you have also said, pleasing devotees is also for pleasing Krsna.

        Plz forgive me if my words hurt or offended in any way.
        your servant

        • Hare Krishna Prabhuji's and mataji's

          A good/big temple is definitely needed  for conducting lectures, organizing festivals etc..

          However on the same line , the question is how much is good enough.

          For example ISKCON Bangalore has started a huge project worth 350 crores called "Krishna Lila Park"

          I was wondering with that same amount of money ISKCON could have made several small temples in small/remote villages all over INDIA or other small places where people are totally ignorant about Lord Krishna.

          We all are educated so we get easy access to ISKCON lectures/books/website etc but what about those illiterate people in small/remote villages?

          Anyways I hope that "Krishna Lila Park" is a good investment for ISKCON and generate more revenue's for spreading Krishna Consciousness to even remote areas in the world.

          Hare Krishna.

          • Volunteer

            Mataji nice concern you have. But for your information, we try to build big temples in big cities like Bangalore and try to attract more devotees there. And regarding rural preaching, sankirtana vans go for book distribution on a regular basis to small villages and towns and do preaching there. The revenue for such preaching is obtained from the donations accepted in big temples.

            • Hare Krishna Sudheendra ji

              Thanks for enlightening me prabhuji. Got your point .


    • Volunteer

      Hare Krsna P

      Humble obeisances

      "Are Temples meant for the Devotees or are they meant for the God. Maybe the best answer is: It is meant for both. That being the case, in a Country like India, is it proper to build a lavish Temple? "

      Temple is meant for pleasing Krsna and preaching people to please Krsna. Devotees can stay anywhere, if they have to stay under trees, they will sleep under trees for preaching and if they have to stay in palace for pleasing Krsna, they will stay in palace. The purpose of everything what we do is please Krsna and preach people to please Krsna.

      "But at the same time as one other Devotee pointed out, in India there are more pressing problems to deal with like cleaning Temple Tanks, renovation of old/existing Temples, providing Cow protection, abolition of animal slaughter etc, which a grand organisation like ISKCON is competent to take up. "

      As devotees have already said, ISKCON is doing preaching which is the first duty of a spiritual organisation and all the other things that you have pointed out will follow once people become Krsna conscious. We are doing everything to the best of our ability. Now we have energy to do things at a small level, if we have resources to do at  a big level, we will do that. Cleaning Temple tanks will be done as soon as the temple is put under ISKCON management else , we will clean the temple tank and people will not follow proper principles there. Renovation of old/existing temples will also be done but first we should be allowed to have the management under ourselves else we will do the renovation and corrupt people will use the temple for something else other than preaching. Cow protection and animal slaughter are part of ISKCON philosophy and we are preaching that wherever we go. If we made a government we will do that also

      plz forgive me if i offended in any way.


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