Deities

The archa-vigraha is an incarnation of the Lord in a form appreciable by a devotee. Devotees engage in devotional service of the Lord in His archa-vigraha form, which according to the shastras can be made of material objects such as stone, metal, wood, jewels or paint. These are called sthula, or physical representations. Devotees follow the regulative principles of worship, as enjoined by the scriptures, accepting the physical form of the archa-vigraha as non-different from His original spiritual form. Thus services rendered to the archa-vigraha enable the devotees to achieve the ultimate goal of life which is to be always absorbed in thoughts of the Lord.

Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra

iskcon temple radha krishna deitiesKrishna is glorified as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the Vedic literatures, saints of bygone ages and great devotees. Srimati Radharani is the quintessence of all the devotees of the Lord. Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are the presiding Deities at ISKCON, Bangalore. This form of the Deities represents Their Lordships as always relishing the sweet and charming environment of Vrindavana with Krishna playing the flute.

 


Sri Sri Krishna Balarama

iskcon temple krishna balarama deityIt is enjoined in the scriptures that whenever Krishna incarnates on this Earth to annihilate the miscreants, He is accompanied by His intimate associates. Balarama incarnated with Krishna as His elder brother in Vrindavana when They appeared on this planet in the previous age of Dvapara yuga. Krishna and Balarama played in the forests of Vrindavana and took care of Their cows along with Their friends. It is this age group of Krishna and Balaram that the Deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama represent.

 

Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga

iskocn temple nitai gauranga deityShri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the initiator of the bhakti movement in Bengal in the fifteenth century. The Srimad Bhagavatam has described His position as a hidden avatara or incarnation of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. His appearance in the Kali yuga was to propagate the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, specifically the maha mantra - Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is the recommended process for self-realization in this age of Kali. Sri Chaitanya was also known as Gauranga, after His golden hue. The Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Deities represent Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu, His intimate associate who is the incarnation of Balarama. The Deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama and Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga are made of pancha-loha, an alloy of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass and iron.

The Deities were made by Devasena Sthapathi and his son Radha Krishna Sthapathi at Swami Malai near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, the hub of traditional South Indian bronze sculpture. The sculptors are descendents of a family that worked for King Rajaraja Chola, one of the most famous Chola rulers.


Sri Srinivasa Govinda

iskcon temple lord balaji deityThis Deity of Lord Vishnu, an expansion of Lord Krishna, is also known as Venkateshwara or Balaji, the Lord of seven hills at Tirupati. He holds a chakra (disc) and shankha (conch) in two hands and blesses devotees with the other two.

 

 

 


 Sri Prahlada Narasimha

iskcon temple prahlada narasimha deityNarasimha is the half-lion and half-man incarnation of the Supreme Lord who killed the demon Hiranyakashipu and saved His five year old devotee Prahlada. The Sri Prahlada Narasimha Deity at ISKCON, Bangalore has a unique shanta or peaceful form exhibiting six hands with Prahlada Maharaja standing by His side offering Him prayers.

The vigrahas of Sri Srinivasa Govinda and Sri Prahlada Narasimha are monolithic black granite. They are made in the traditional shilpi style of Tamil Nadu by Sri Perumal who is one of the most renowned sculptors in Mamallapuram, the centre of traditional shilpi shastra near Chennai.

 

The Deities of Sri Garudadev and Sri Hanuman were installed in the year 2007 during the Brahmotsava Festival. 

Sri Hanuman

iskcon temple sri hanuman deity

Sri Hanuman is the son of Vayu, the demigod incharge of wind. He is valiant and invincible servant of Lord Rama, who is eternally serving Lord Rama in dasya rasa. He achieved success by simply carrying out the orders of Lord Ramachandra. He is worshipped by devotees for protection.

 

 

 

Sri Garuda

iskcon temple sri garuda deity

Sri Garuda is a great devotee, the son of Aditi and Kashyapa Muni who takes the form of an eagle and is the eternal bird carrier of Lord Vishnu. In the Vedic literature it is stated that the two wings of the transcendental bird Garuda, who carries the Lord everywhere, are two divisions of the Sama Veda known as brihat and rathantara. On one occasion Lord Hari rode on Garuda to save the devotee Elephant Gajendra.

 

 

Srila Prabhupada

iskcon temple srila prabhupada deityHis Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada went to America in 1965 at the age of 69 years to fulfill the order of his spiritual master. Within a short period of 12 years, he presented the Vedic literature through more than 50 books in English. Highly respected by the academic community for their authority, depth and clarity, his books are used as standard text books in numerous college courses. Alongside writing he also traveled around the globe preaching Krishna consciousness. In 1966, he established the ‘International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ in New York. He guided the society and saw it grow to a world wide confederation of more than hundred ashrams, schools, temples, institutes and farm communities. In 1977, he returned to the Holy Dham Vrindavana and left this world. His disciples are engaged in expanding this movement established by him.

At ISKCON, Bangalore, the mula-vigraha of Srila Prabhupada made in brass is installed. The Deity sits on the rosewood gold plated altar in the main temple hall. This life-sized Deity was carved by his disciple - His Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhu and is one among the very few brass deities of Prabhupada in ISKCON today.

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