The Hare Krishna temple, located on Danks Street, Albert Park is a charming cultural and educational centre for spiritual seekers in Melbourne. On entering, you will find yourself transported to an otherworldly place filled with the gentle music of bells and drums, sweet smelling incense and Sanskrit chants. The vibrations are peaceful, beautiful, and captivating.
Here are few spots to look out for on your next visit!
The Temple Room
The first place to visit in the temple is the main temple room. You will notice that shoes need to be left outside. When you enter, the first thing you see is a large metal bell above you. We ring this bell amd call out to Krishna seeking his permission before entry. Much like you ring the doorbell of a friend’s house before entering.
To your left you will observe a statue of a serious looking gentleman sitting very serenely. This is the deity of A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami, the Founder of the Hare Krishna movement. He is affectionately called Srila Prabhupada by his followers. It is a good practice to offer your respects to him first. A simple namaste will suffice!
To your right, are the presiding deities of the temple situated in the inner sanctum, an area restricted to the priests. The Hare Krishna movement recognises Lord Krishna as the supremely powerful Lord of the Universe. He is worshipped there. The temple hall is the sacred space for the devotees to congregate, primarily to meditate, chant and discuss devotional topics. The visiting times when the temple room is open are listed by the entrance and provided on the temple website.
After visiting the temple hall, you can head upstairs to the food hall for a delicious Hare Krishna Feast. If you time your trip correctly, you can enjoy a nutritious, flavourful and vegetarian and vegan meal, completely free of cost.
This is a place where delicious sacred food called prasad is distributed to the visitors. Nutritious, vegetarian food prepared with love and devotion is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the food hall. Food containers are placed on a table and there are dedicated servers who serve visitors their meals. For first or subsequent food portions we can approach these dedicated volunteers and request for more.
The Temple Shop
Outside the food hall, you will find the Temple Shop. You can purchase educational and cultural items here, to collect as memorabilia or learn more about the Hare Krishna movement. The temple shop stocks colourful accessories such as skirts, scarves, bags, traditional Indian jewellery and many interesting books by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and his students.
The Temple Garden is a beautiful spot for sitting and meditating on the divine. You will find yourself surrounded by exotic flowers, cooing pigeons and the rhythmic gurgling of a splashing fountain. Next to the garden is the green house that contains the sacred Holy Basil, which is worshipped by Hindus the world over and known as Tulsi. Hindus circumabulate this holy plant every day to free themselves of karmic reactions from previous lives. You can do this too! Near the green house is a gazebo where weddings and other functions are conducted.
The Bhaktivedanta Swami Museum
Turning left from the courtyard, are a set of steep red carpeted stairs that will take you to the Bhaktivedanta Swami Museum. This room contains all the original articles such books, cutlery as well as furniture that the Swami used on his Melbourne visits between 1965-1977.
Other Important Areas of the Hare Krishna Melbourne Temple
- The Temple Kitchen – This is a place where the food is prepared. The kitchen volunteers cook and dish out nearly 25000 meals a week as part of Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Food for Life outreach program.
- The Paraphernalia Room – The Paraphernalia Room is essentially a storeroom used to store deity clothes, accessories, and decoration items.
- Temple Reception – The Temple Reception is used to welcome visitors and answer any queries that one may have about the temple or the Hare Krishna movement.