There’s a very old tradition of rituals in our Hare Krishna movement. Rather than being what people sometimes describe as ‘empty rituals,’ they are ceremonial offerings of service to the Divine, pleasing to the eye and ear, and satisfying to the heart. On a daily basis we keep them quite simple, but on special occasions we can create very elaborate and colourful festivals. The groundbreaking ceremony for the building of a new temple is one such occasion. A fire sacrifice is held, and a small statue of Ananta Sesha is buried deep down in the earth, directly beneath where the main altar will be.
This week, one such ceremony took place in Parsippany, New Jersey. It’s an important event because new temples come once in a lifetime for a community, particularly one built in a traditional style. You can see a short video here.