Consul General visits Hare Krishna Temple, Phoenix, Arizona
by Dr Prayag Narayan das Misra
Posted January 5, 2003

[Pictured: Consul General H.H.I.Viswanathan (with garland) standing in front of Vaikunthha Express, BhaktiVedanta Cultural Center, International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON) Phoenix. From right: Smt Poonam Jha, Sri Kamalesh Shah, Sri Bharat Lal, Dr Prayag Narayan Misra, Director, Sri Bhakt Raj,Temple President, Chief Priest Jagannath and Kamal Nayan Prabhu]

Dec 11: The Arizona Chapter of the Indus Entrepreneurs ( T I E ) which was sponsored by Indian Consulate, San Francisco, among others was attended by some 70 delegates. However, in spite of busy schedule, Hon'ble Consul General of India H H I Viswanathan was able to visit Sri Sri Radha Madhava Dham, Hare Krishna Temple, ISKCON Phoenix and meet devotees.

It was not his first visit to any ISKCON Temple. Previously as an Ambassador in Ivory Coast, he used to go regularly to ISKCON Center with his wife Smt Lalitha. Hon'ble Viswanathan joined Indian Foreign Service in New Delhi in 1974 and is a career diplomat. Although he hails from Tamilnadu, his command of Hindi language was superb. Speaking fluently, he assured chief priest of the Temple Jagannath Jee not to plan going back to Nepal but to continue staying here in USA and serve Their Lordships.

Hon'ble Viswanathan remarked that ISKCON Phoenix temple is cleanest and peaceful as compared to many he has visited in the past. He repeated his remarks thrice and took a tour of the facility which included Gift Shop, Prasadam Room, Library. A government official is considered as a representative of god Vishnu, and the Temple was blessed by his visit; however, as it is customary, he offered his obeisance, by sipping nectar, donating Laxmi and taking charanamrita. Although the visit was short, he promised to visit again next year, along with his spouse. Temple President Bhakt Raj presented a calander for 2003 and a copy of "BhagvadGita As It" by Shreela Prabhupada - Founder Acharya, ISKCON, in 1966.