Krishna Temple Moscow
God is not bound neither by space, not by time. Even when taking a form of a Deity that seems to be made of material elements, He stays unlimited and omnipotent. But He manifests Himself only as much as we are able to see His grandeur – depending on the cleanliness of our hearts…
HISTORY OF SRI SRI DAYAL-NITAY SACISUTA TEMPLE AND THE DEITIES
The story of Their Lordships Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sacisuta's appearance in Moscow started in 1989 when Bharadvaja prabhu, one of the first Soviet devotees of Krishna, went to Vrindavan – the holy town in India. There, at the famous Loi-bazaar, he purchased Gaura-Nitay Deities for home worshipping.
In that same 1989 in India Kirtiraja prabhu (Srila Prabhupada's disciple responsible for preaching in Soviet Union) was ordering 52 pairs of Deities for the devotees and yatras of the Russian congregation. He approached Radhapada prabhu, a wealthy Indian vaishnava, who had previously sponsored the installation Of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava Deities in Mayapur, with a request to get a donation.
Future Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sacisuta were made by two brothers from the best local murtiwalla family – Doyal prabhu and Bhagavan das. They had previously made the Deities for Krishna-Balarama temple in Vrindavan.
In the end of 1990 Moscow vaishnavas received a building to house the temple in Khoroshovskoe Highway near «Begovaya» metro station, and started the renovation works. The renovation was over in the end of 1991 – the beginning of 1992 (the marble for the altar was brought from Siberia) and the Deities were finally brought there. They were worshipped for about half a year and the official installation ceremony took place in Moscow in June, 1992.
The installation ceremony was managed by Premarasa prabhu, a poojari from Sweden and kirtan was sung by Indradyumna Swami, Gopal Krishna Goswami and Prabhavishnu Swami (Srila Prabhupada's disciples). The ceremony was conducted according to all the rules and principles. The yagya was conducted since, according to tradition, the Deities are firstly invoked into the fire and only after that into murti. Then, during Maha-abhisheka The Deities were washed with different auspicious liquids.
Sri Sri gaura-Nitay, looking at the devotees from the new carved sringasana (wooden altar), granted them energy for spiritual life and preaching in the country that had atheism as it's official religion for 70 years. And, regardless of numerous difficulties, the preaching was getting wider and stronger. Millions of Srila Prabhupada's books would be printed and distributed, hundreds of newcomers would join the Movement.
The first computer – black&white, with 5-inch floppy-disks, which cost a fortune in those days – was placed in the Pooja room in 1995. The first Deity Worship Standard was typed on that computer. In the beginning of 90-s Russia suffered from an immense deficiency of information on Deity Worship. Sometimes Russian devotees visiting Mayapur (India) would even count during arati how many rounds a poojari takes to offer various objects. With the discovery of the «new» details, the standard had to be edited – but the ground base stayed unchanged. Nrisimha-Kavacha prabhu, the Minister of Deity Worship of ISKCON, played a pivotal role in that process. He would come to Moscow several times and thereafter admitted that the Moscow Deity Worship Standard is one of the highest according to the European norms.
Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami came to Moscow in summer 1999. It was he who gave Sri Sri Gaura-Nitay Their new names – Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sacisuta, which means «merciful Nitay and son of mother Sachi (Lord Gauranga)».
The legendary building of the temple «at Begovaya» was demolished on 16th of June, 2004, when the price of Moscow land went up to that of gold. Moscow vaishnavas received a piece of land for temporary use near “Dinamo” metro station. Everything had to be started all over again: brahmacari ashram, sankirtana, Sunday programs, harinamas and even the Deity worship. Equipping the worship at the new place was difficult both mentally and physically since the new temple came to be a complex of construction trailers.
The first year "at Dinamo" was difficult in all regards. There was no hot water there – poojari servants and cooks were forced to wash the dishes with ice-cold water for one entire year. In desperate cases they would warm some water up on the electric stove. Add to that the fact that all the preparations for the Deities were cooked on clarified butter (ghee), which is very difficult to rinse off. From time to time running water would be cut off. But the worship standard was never lowered. There was not a single day when Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sachisuta would not get fresh flower garlands and bouquets.
In 2008, upon Bhakti Vignana Goswami's invitation, Sitalanga Gauranga prabhu, a brahmana from South India, came to Moscow for the first time. He installed the Deity of Ananta-Sesa on the altar, and Sudarshana-Chakra began to glow from the temple rooftop. Upon the local poojaris' request Sitalanga Gauranga prabhu started to conduct Deity Worship and Mantra chanting courses for the devotees.
With the gradual vaishnava community recovery from shock it became obvious that the current venue was critically not sufficient for the programs. In 2004-2005 devotees tried to re-establish the tradition of the 90-s with renting halls for the programs but the idea did not survive – it was too expensive and inconvenient. During the festivals and spiritual teachers’ lectures the small temple room could not house all the guests.
But the "Dinamo" vaishnava residence also came to an end. In 2013 the Deities were forced to look for a new place for the temple once again. This time the building of the All-Russia Community of the Blind at «Polezhaevskaya» metro station became the new place to house Their Lordships.
Krishna gave a little bit more than a month since the signing of the lease contract to prepare the premises. On February 26, the deities of Sri Sri Dayal-Nitai Saçisuta and Srila Prabhupada moved to a new building. Now it seems absolutely unrealistic: in such a short period of time to make a big redevelopment (initially the room was not suitable for the needs of the temple), to install water pipelines and sewerage, change the wiring and much more. A few days before the relocation, renovation work was going on day and night, a day or two before the "hour X" it was completely unclear how in this place the Deities will live and the services will be held. But nevertheless devotees once again performed a miracle!
Of course, much more was not ready. After the relocation and the first program with the participation of the senior Vaishnavas, the Deities moved to the temporary altar so that the work on the main spot would continue. The pujari department hadn't been provided with the running water yet, the room for night rest for pujaris was not ready.
From morning till evening the Deities were "enjoying" the music of power saws, jackhammers, screeching drills and other construction sounds. Pujaris and their assistants were preparing and offering all the offerings, maneuvering between builders and movers, covering the offerings to protect them from the construction dust. During the first ten days devotees couldn't sleep or take shower, therefore, in order to make all the morning offerings, assistants of pujari did not go to sleep! So that not to fall asleep, they were twisting wicks and cleaning paraphernalia. And in the morning after the service ... they went to work to return in the evening and continue serving the Lord. How and when did they get any sleep, where did they get the strength? This, of course, is one of the most amazing episodes of the whole epoppee of the relocation!
Another amazing thing is that the temple did not actually stop the programs and preaching in connection with the relocation. Ordinary organizations in such situations make at least a short break in their activities, but Krsna's devotees did not want to stop. Kirtanas, lectures, Sunday programs and festivals in honor of the appearance of the Lord began almost immediately after the relocation. A large marathon was arranged by the Vaishnavas before Gaurapurnima to meet a large number of guests and give an opportunity to Srila Prabhupada's representative - Srila Gopal Krishna Gosvami - officially open a new temple.
Despite many difficulties which devotees continue to face, the worship of the Deities continues for the third year in a row in the new temple “at Polezhaevskaya” and the preaching and singing of the Holy name continues. Moreover, the new premises allowed to expand many areas. So, for example, the number of regular kirtans, harinamas, as well as preaching and cultural programs, which are attended not only by practicing Vaishnavas, but also by people who have recently become interested in the Krishna Consciousness Movement, has grown. But one thing is invariable: the very presence at the feet of Sri Sri Dayal-Nitai Sacisuta itself gives everyone a strong filling of bhakti.
Actually it is impossible to describe all the service that Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sachisuta received during the past 24 years of Their residence in Moscow. They remember each and every person – may it be someone, who came to take darshan, or someone who took mahaprasadam, or someone, who heard the Holy Name at Harinama. They know the story behind every set of Their clothes, every bell in the pooja room, every distributed Srila Prabhupada's book. That is why They are the only ones, who are able to tell the full story.
The story of Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sachisuta is the story of the Moscow vaishnava community. And not only the Moscow one. They are being worshipped and remembered by many devotees all over the world. Every day tens and sometimes even hundreds and thousands people come to Them for a Darshan – and they reciprocate with everyone, who approaches Them with a prayer. That all because they are Merciful Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya, son of Mother Saci , who came to Moscow from the Spiritual World in order to help the devotees and each and every one of us to establish the relationship with Them and get a chance to go back, back to the spiritual world.
There are about 100 people serving at the poojari department now. It is impossible to count all the people who have served or are serving the Moscow Deities now but Sri Sri Dayal-Nitay Sachisuta will forever reside in the heart of anyone who has associated with Them closely.