SRI KRISHNA MANDIR (GOPALAKRISHNA PUBLIC TRUST)
“Though thou has been benighted till now, God comes not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the spring, but as the sun of noon to illustrate all shadows, as he sheaves in harvest to illustrate all penuries, all occasions invite His mercies, and all times are HIS SEASONS” – JOHN DONNE.
We Hindus believe in the existence of the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and all the theory of multiplicity of Gods is just an extension of one’s belief. While Brahma and Maheshwara are immortal, Lord Vishnu has taken many Avtaras to reestablish the principles of Dharma on earth by annihilating evil and protecting the truth. One of the Avatara is of Lord Krishna who is most popular and accepted by all as the savior of Dharma and a complete God-Head. Lord Krishna is worshipped not out of fear but out of abundance of love and respect. We, the South Kanara Brahmins, are the ardent followers of Lord Krishna and that is why the founding fathers of B.S.K.B.Association dreamt of constructing a temple dedicated to LORD GOPALAKRISHNA in Gokul, Sion.
Krishna mandir was constructed at a cost over rupees two and a half lakhs, then, through donations received from Shri K. Sitarama Rao of Madras, their Holinesses Shri Swamiers of Admar, Pejawar, Kaniyoor, Sode, Putige, Siroor, Palimar, Dwarka Peeth, Kashi Mutt, Subrahmanya, Bhimankatte; Seth Brijlal Rungta, Smt. Jhimidevi Shiriram Jhunjunwala and many others. Shrimati Narmada Mahaveer Prasad Rungta presented the beautiful and sacred idol of Shri Gopalakrishna for the Mandir. Sri Krishna Mandir was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri Prakasa, then Governor of Maharashtra on 12th March 1962 and thrown open to all sections of Hindus as not only an important place of worship but also a cultural and spiritual centre which would be a continuous source of inspiration to one and all.
The persons responsible for the dream of Mandir included Late Dr. U.B.Narayan Rao, founder President, and the Managing Committee of 1961-62 comprising Shri KudpiBhujanga Rao, J.P. –President, Dr.(Mrs.) Lalita Rao and Shri A. Venkat Rao –Vice Presidents, Shri B. Subba Rao- Hon. Secretary, Shri K. R. Hebbar-onHon. Tr Hon Treasurer, U. Rama Rao-Hon.Jt.Secretary, Shri K. A. Hebbar-Hon. Jt.Secretary, Smt. Lalita Bhat, Shri Kaup Venkat Rao, Shri A.R.Alevoor, Shri H.T.Madhav Rao, Shri H.V.Navada, all members, Shri P. Subba Rao, B.Com., A.C.A, Hon. Auditor, Shri H.Suresh M.A.B.L., Hon Legal Advisor.
Gokul and Mandir Building Committee consisted of Shri K. Bhujanga Rao, Shri U.VUpadhya, Shri P. Venkat Rao, Shri K.S.N. Hebbar and Dr.U.R.Rao.
The first Pooja Committee of Shri Krishna Mandir consisted of Shri Muchoor Narayan Bhat, Shri N. Sheshagiri Rao, Shri K.V.Ramanan, Shri Kaup Venkat Rao, Dr. (Mrs.) Lalita Rao, Shri A. Venkat Rao and Shri K.S.N. Hebbar. Subsequently, for number of years various Pooja Committees were formed but noted ones were led by Shri Muchoor Subraya Bhat, Shri U.G.Acharya and Shri M.L. Rao who rendered valuable services continuously for a decade and half. After the demise of Shri Muchoor Narayan Bhat, his son, Shri Hari Bhat took over as the Chief Archaka and has continued to render devoted service for almost three decades.
Apart from the daily poojas and various other Sevas, the Mandir also performs Brahma Kalasha once in 12 years.
The Mandir is open for Darshan between 6-45 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the morning and between 5-30 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the evening. Nitya Pooja is conducted daily sharp at 7-30 a.m. and 7-30 p.m. with various vidhis. After Mangalarathi, Pooja rituals conclude with Prarthane, Uttara Pooja, Rajopachara, Arghya, Padya, Shanka Theertha Prokshane, Krishna Arpana and Prasada distribution in the order of Nitya Pooja, Vishesha Pooja, etc. With prior bookings by the devotees, sevas suich as Deeparadhane, Ashtottara Archane, Sahasranama Archane, Alankara Pooja, Maha Pooja, Udayasha Pooja, Ranga Pooja, etc. are performed regularly.
Besides the above, Gokulashtami Celebration, i.e. the birthday of Bhagwan Sri Krishna is celebrated with a native touch and with great religious fervor. The Mandir and deity are decorated with flowers specially flown for the occasion from Bangalore. At midnight Janmashtami Pooja is performed, followed by Arghya and Theertha Prasada. Mosaru Kudike (similar to Govinda or Gopala Kala in Mumbai) celebration is the special attraction on the next day. This is celebrated in the same way as it is done in Udupi with various popular Janapada folk dances. The family of Late Shri U.V. Upadhya has been meeting substantial part of the expenses for this occasion every year since its inception.
Tulsi Pooja conducted with ‘Sankeertane’ continuously for 12 days, immediately after Deepawali, is a special festival which culminates with Tulsi Vivaha Pooja on the last day. i.e. on Uthana Dwadashi.
All these activities are now performed under the auspices of GOPALAKRISHNA PUBLIC TRUST established in 2007. The Trust is run by a team comprising a Chairman and the Trustees elected democratically. Presently, Dr. Suresh S. Rao is the Chairman and Shri A.S. Rao is the Secretary. Under the Trust, many Sarvajanik spiritual functions are also conducted as under:
- Mandir Prathishta Day * Shri Rama Navami * Maha Shivarathri * Shri Shankara Jayanthi * Shri Narasimha Jayanthi * Shri Raghavendra Punya Thithi * Shri Madhwa Navami * Navarathri * Deeparadhane, * Samoohika Upanayana * Samoohika Shri Satyanarayana Maha Pooja, etc.
Various Sevas conducted at the Mandir as under.
- Ashtothara Archana
- Panchamrita Abhisheka
- Sahasranama Archana
- Alankara Pooja
- Ksheera Payasa
- Maha Pooja
- Udayastha Pooja
- Ranga Pooja
- Shashwata Nitya Pooja(one year)
- Special Darshana
- Gana Homa (Tuesdays only)
- Sri Satyanarayana Pooja (on Poornima(full moon) day
We feel happy and proud to mention here that this is a very popular Mandir in the vicinity and draws devotees from all over Mumbai and outside as well. Thousands of devotees have been greatly benefitted physically, financially and spiritually by the blessings of Lord Sri Gopalakrishna.