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ISKCON Centre Readies for Extravaganza

by The Telegraph

Posted November 23, 2007

Imphal, Nov. 12: The Iskcon temple in the Manipur capital is getting ready to showcase Hindu culture and religion, as practised around the world, during a six-day-long cultural extravaganza later this month. The Iskcon community, putting behind the trauma caused by last year's bomb blast at the Imphal temple, is organising a grand show.

The cultural event is being planned as part of the inauguration ceremony of Shri Shri Radhakrishnachandra Manimandir, constructed in Imphal's Iskcon temple complex, on November 21.

The cultural extravaganza will attract around 300 devotees from different parts of the country and abroad, including France, the UK, the US, Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore and Italy.

"We have chalked out plans for the programmes in accordance with the wishes of the late Swami Damodara. He fixed November 21 as the date for inaugurating the Manimandir," Atmanivedan Swami, chairman of the organising committee, told a news conference today.

He announced that a two-day international conference on the theme Science and Spirituality for World Peace would also be held on November 23 and 24. Scholars and devotees from abroad would take part in the conference.

"Last year's terror attack on the temple did not have much of an impact on Iskcon devotees. Instead, the event has strengthened us spiritually. We are here to promote peace and spirituality. We will continue to do that in future as well," he said.

President of the temple, Ajit Das, said a 50-member troupe from Bali in Indonesia would launch the cultural programme on November 20. They would present dance performances related to Hindu culture.

Manipuri cultural troupes from Myanmar will present a performance of a Raas Lila the next day. Other foreign troupes would also present dance items related to Hindu culture.

Cultural teams from the Kabui Naga community of Manipur would present the community's cultural items, including dance performances, on November 22.

But the main attraction would be a Raas Lila performance by 216 young boys and girls on November 24.

"We have selected 108 boys and an equal number of girls below 12 years of age for a Maha Raas Lila on Raas Purnima (full moon day) on November 24. Twenty-four of them are from children's homes. There is even a Kuki boy among them. The boys would play the role of Krishna while the girls would act as gopis," Das said.

Construction of the Manimandir began in March 1992. Devotees and construction workers are working overtime to make the temple ready for the grand inauguration.

The temple has been constructed with donations from people in different parts of the world.

Telegraphindia.com Story