Clarification re: Spanish Fork
Posted April 6, 2005
I would like to enlighten devotees who may be worried about the "Hindufication" of ISKCON particularly the Spanish Fork Temple. Our family resided near the Spanish Fork temple for 8 years. I admit when we were there, I too had concern when Gaura Purnima neared and was being advertised mainly as Holi festival. During the festival, seeing 100's of all kinds of people chanting and dancing so enthusiastically I realized THIS is pleasing to the Lord. Temple president HG Caru prabhu and his wife Mother Vaibhavi are introducing many thousands of people to Krsna Consciousness. For the Gaura Purnima/Holi festival they make many 100's of flyers and post them all over w/in 60+ miles radius of temple including college campuses inviting all.
How pleasing it must be to Lord Caitanya that they reach out not only inviting Indians/Hindus but working hard to invite everyone to the festival! Caru prabhu is very clever in the way they preach and bring so many people to the temple, which is in an area of predominantly Mormon population. The festival is favorably promoted with articles in Utah County's largest newspaper the Daily Herald, which has an average weekday circulation of 29,200 as well as the larger Salt Lake City Tribune. Thousands are reading about the Krishna temple and become purified by coming in contact with the Holy Name. I recall major news stations also covering the main part of the festival, which is everyone chanting and dancing in an ecstatic kirtan! I personally witnessed the many happy bright faces of hundreds of Mormon college kids chanting and dancing in bliss! It was indeed very moving as THIS is what Lord Caitanya's message is, chanting & dancing distributing the Holy Name! Not only Mormons, all kinds of people are attracted to the Spanish Fork temple festivals. Had the festival only been arati and abhiseka in the temple room, we would likely see many shy people only observing and not fully participating like they do by adding powdered colors. The temple devotees actually have 2 festivals, fasting on the actual day preparing for the festival and the main festival because many more people can attend on a Saturday. How many temples in the US can boast an attendance of 1000 for Gaura Purnima festival?
Each week the temple is having so many groups of diverse visitors and tour groups from boy scouts to senior citizens. There is so much nice preaching going on there surely HDG Srila Prabhupada is pleased with all the hard work and sacrifice they are performing to bring people to KC. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura has said that a Vaisnava is recognized by his preaching work.They have cultivated such nice relationships throughout the state. Church groups come regularly because they want to do service. It's not unusual to see on a Saturday morning 50 or so youth happily doing service there such as landscaping, cleaning temple windows, scrubbing floors and honoring prasadam! Mention of Tota-Gopinatha prabhu distributing books is good to hear of, he himself was introduced to Krsna Consciousness in the Spanish Fork temple.
For every major festival, Caru prabhu and Mother Vaibhavi work very hard to promote the festivals drawing 1000's of all kinds people. They also have a Krsna Conscious radio station broadcasting the glories of the Lord with kirtans, lectures and dramas.
We shall judge the thing by its result, not by its means. Spreading Krsna Consciousness is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission; therefore His sincere devotees must carry out His desire. Thanks for the opportunity to glorifiy such sincere devotees as HG Caru prabhu and Mother Vaibhavi!