By Madhava Smullen

In a five-day festival from May 22nd to 26th, ISKCON of Sydney, Australia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the installation of their presiding Deities Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha, Who were installed by Srila Prabhupada on May 10th, 1971.

Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha – A Unique History

The first Deities in Australia, the beautiful Sri-Sri Radha Gopinatha have a unique history. In February 1970, two devotees sent by Srila Prabhupada – Bali Mardana Das and Upendra Das – opened the very first ISKCON temple in Australia at Potts Point in Sydney, and began distributing photocopies of essays from Back to Godhead magazine, and performing Harinama Sankirtana on the streets.

In May 1970, the devotees moved from Potts Point to a small center in the famous Bondi Beach, where they held Sunday Feasts and worshipped a photo of Sri Pancha-Tattva. Impressed by their devotion, an Indian gentleman by the name of Mr. Singh promised that upon his return to India, he would send them Radha Krishna deities.

True to his word, he did so – however, unfortunately by that point, the devotees had already moved to a third location without leaving a return address. So the deities arrived with no one to receive Them, and were sent back to a disappointed Mr. Singh in India. Determined to give Radha Krishna to the devotees and taking no chances this time, he brought Their Lordships straight to Srila Prabhupada, who was then at the renowned March 1971 Cross Maidan pandal program in Mumbai.

The deities gave Their darshan to the thousands who attended the pandal, and can be seen in photographs standing next to Srila Prabhupada and being dressed by Yamuna Devi Dasi.  

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-sydney-celebrates-50th-anniversary-of-sri-sri-radha-gopinathas-installation,7854/

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