Governor General of Australia Visits ISKCON New Delhi

By Vrajendranandan Das - 13.3 2018

Please accept my humble obeisance All Glorie to srila Prabhupada

“And who are those exuberant people singing and dancing”? His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter John Cosgrove, Principal Knight and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, Military Cross, enquired about the more than 100 temple residents and guests who received him and other dignitaries with enthralling Kirtan amidst tight security while hundreds of visitors waited outside the ISKCON Temple at East of Kailash, New Delhi.

His Excellency who visited ISKCON’s Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Temple at New Delhi on the 12th of March, 2018 is the first ever Governor General of Australia to visit any of the 650 ISKCON Temples which are present across the world. Accompanying him were his good wife Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, Her Excellency Ms. Harinder kaur Sidhu, the Honorable High Commissioner of Australia to India and a team of nearly 15 Australian High Commission officials and security staff.

A team of Senior devotees of ISKCON- HH Bhakti Siddhanta Swami, Shri Vrajendranandan Das, the National Communication Director-ISKCON India and Shri Raghava Pandit Das Vice-President ISKCON Delhi, received His Excellency and his entourage with exquisite Garlands. They were ushered into the temple hall where the entire Australian delegation was received by HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, the Governing Body Commissioner of ISKCON.

His Excellency garlanded the deity of Srila Prabhupada the Founder Acharya of ISKCON and had exclusive darshan of the four special altars including the main Radha Parthasarathi altar while special prayers and the Hare Krishna mantra were being chanted. He performed puja of the deities. HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja HH Bhakti Siddhanta Swami and Shri Mohanrupa Das, the Temple President of ISKCON Delhi later on met the Governor General in a private meeting.

Gopal Krishna Maharaja gifted him a Bhagavad Gita As It is describing it as “an ancient book of wisdom”. The Governor General agreed with Maharaja when he confirmed that underlying principles of all religions are the same. He also stressed on the need for world peace and no wars. He was also gifted a high end compilation of deity photographs from across the world as well as a compilation of ISKCON’s history in Australia and Maharaja requested the Governor General to keep the deity “Darshan” book at home as it will bring him “luck”.

The Governor General in turn handed over “The Governor General’s Medallion” (please see photo) to HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja and remarked,

“Well I think if they ask the story of that medallion, you could say, it came from a very grateful man who represents people we hope are a very tolerant and embracing society”.

His Excellency invited HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja to visit Australia and expressed his profound gratitude for the whole experience. The entire visit lasted a little over 35 minutes and could signal a significant step in cultural ties between Australia and India. The visit was coordinated by the Australian High Commission officials led by Ms. Jenny Grant- Curnow the Political Counselor and Ramanroop Das and Sadhu Hrdaya Das of ISKCON Delhi.