The day was set aside for the installation of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, the initiation of a dozen or so devotees into the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one marriage, and the sannyasa initiation of Hanuman dasa. Srila Prabhupada came down to the temple around mid-morning and sat down on a gold satin cushion on the floor before the newly-completed altar -- a very basic, box-like, wooden construction decorated with stencilled white swans and set atop three marble steps.
Directly in front of Srila Prabhupada stood the beautiful 35cm high Deities of Radha and Krsna. With great care and attention, Prabhupada lovingly bathed Them with a mixture of milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and sugar syrup. The devotees, who eagerly looked on, noted how attractive Krsna was, with large hips, a thin waist and an enchanting, three-fold bending form.
After the bathing ceremony, Prabhupada spoke intently to the boys and girls seated before him:
"So, you are getting initiation on this auspicious day when Lord Krsna and Radharani, His eternal consort, is now being established, installed, on this auspicious moment, and you will be initiated to chant the Hare Krsna mantra in the beginning: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. As it is indicated in this verse, one who remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead always, he remains always purified, sucih. Sucih means brahmana, a purified man. A brahmana .. means the intellectual class of man who knows hygienic rules, keeps himself always purified and engages in studying Vedic literatures for understanding this world, God, himself and their relation. In this initiation ceremony there will be some persons who will be initiated for chanting the holy name, and some of them will be initiated for the second time. They were initiated before for chanting the holy name. Now they will be initiated with the sacred thread. The sacred thread means recognition of complete brahminical culture. So the qualification of brahmana is, satya-sama-dama-titiksa-arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam."
Srila Prabhupada described these brahminical symptoms and gave examples. "Titiksa means toleration. There may be so many tribulations, but a brahmana is supposed to be very, very tolerant. The first-class example of toleration in the Western country is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified; still he did not take any steps. If he wanted, he could take steps, but he was tolerating. So this is a sign of brahminical symptom."
Prabhupada then called the devotees forward to receive their beads and spiritual names. Doug was a young, slightly-built artist. "Your name is Dhaumya dasa, one of the commanders in the battlefield of Kuruksetra." John became Jayadharma, named after one of the acaryas in the Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. John's girlfriend, Della, become Devadarsana, "one who can see all the demigods," and Mignonne became Mekhala, "the belt of the universe". Sharon became Satyavati, and Steve, the young Greek boy, became Sanaka. Srila Prabhupada asked each of these devotees to pledge that they would chant 16 rounds every day and would indulge in no meat eating, intoxication, gambling, or illicit sex life.
Since his arrival in America in 1965, Prabhupada had noted how young Western boys and girls mixed unrestrictedly. Many of these boys and girls had joined the Krsna consciousness movement as boyfriend and girlfriend. There had been no question of his asking the newcomers to give up their partners, yet he uncompromisingly preached "no illicit sex". The dilemma, however, had an obvious solution: marry the couples in Krsna consciousness. Traditionally, a sannyasi would never arrange or perform marriages, but Prabhupada gave priority to spreading Krsna consciousness.
Jayadharma and Devadarsana were full-time devotees who lived near the Melbourne temple as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now, Prabhupada was getting them married. Krsna conscious married life, the grhastha asrama, would be the best arrangement for many of his new aspiring disciples. In Krsna consciousness, husband and wife could live together and help one another in spiritual progress.
After the various ceremonies of exchanging garlands, placing vermilion in the part of the wife's hair, covering her head and circumambulation of the groom by the bride, Prabhupada stressed to the young couple the seriousness of married life. "So you have agreed that there is no question of divorce in your life? In any circumstances you cannot separate. Is that alright? You also agree? You cannot separate. There is no question of divorce. Even if you fight, you can remain in one temple, he can remain in another, but there is no question of divorce. So take in mind. That's all."
Next, Syamasundara assisted Srila Prabhupada in preparing the fire sacrifice. The fire blazed as it was fed with more and more fuel. As the flames leapt higher, the transcendental sound vibration of the chanting of the Vedic mantras sanctified the already auspicious day. Finally, Hanuman dasa, standing in the smoky temple before the sacrificial fire, was handed his sannyasa staff by Syamasundara and given his name by Srila Prabhupada -- Hanuman Prasada Goswami.
The conchshell blew and the white, folding doors of the Deity room drew back. Prabhupada and the devotees bowed down before the Deities of Radha and Krsna, now dressed in Their new white satin and lavender brocade outfit. Hanuman Prasada Goswami concluded the happy event with an exuberant kirtana.
Franco: I was standing in the smoky temple room at the doorway just before the arati was going to start. I was a photographer at the time, and I was trying to get a good clear photograph of Srila Prabhupada. Many other photographers were there that day, and I found myself near the door of the temple room. As I was looking through the viewfinder, Srila Prabhupada suddenly turned and looked at me. I immediately took a photograph. I was also developing my own photographs, and a couple of days later I brought the photograph back and showed it to Upendra. Prabhupada eyes were very moist and he appeared sombre, perhaps even a little sad. Upendra showed this photograph to Srila Prabhupada after it had been developed. "Srila Prabhupada, you seem very sad in this picture," he said. "No," answered Srila Prabhupada, "I was feeling great ecstasy."
Five hundred years ago, each of the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana had had his own Deity, for Whom he had built a beautiful temple. But Prabhupada was empowered to install and maintain many Deities -- Rukmini-Dvarakadhisa in Los Angeles, Radha-Govinda in New York, Radha-Londonisvara in London, Radha-Madhava in Mayapur and, in Sydney, Radha-Gopinatha. All were Prabhupada's worshipable Deities, arca-vigraha incarnations of Radha and Krsna appearing at the request of Their pure devotee for the benefit of neophyte devotees in various places around the world. Now Radha and Krsna had come to Melbourne, and They were standing, giving eternal benediction to Their worshipers.
- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu