Grand opening of the Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakadish Temple at Triolet, Mauritius

By Basu Ghosh Das
The majority of the population of the over four hundred thousand residents of this multiracial island are descendents of Indian labor that was employed by French landowners in the vast sugar case plantations found throughout the Island. Most of these persons were Bhojpuri speakers (a dialect of Hindi) from the Western part of modern Bihar State.

Photos of the event at
the link belowhttp://picasaweb.google.com/basughoshdas1/InaugurationFestivalMauritius#
On Sunday, November 29, 2009, devotees from around Mauritius and around the world gathered for the grand opening and “pran pratishtha mahotsav” of the newly constructed Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakadish Temple, at Triolet, Mauritius.
Mauritius is a small island, located in the Indian ocean, some one and a half hours by air, due East of Madagascar. It’s a five and a half hour by flight from Bombay, six and a half hours due South of Dubai, and four from Durban, South Africa!
The majority of the population of the over four hundred thousand residents of this multiracial island are descendents of Indian labor that was employed by French landowners in the vast sugar case plantations found throughout the Island. Most of these persons were Bhojpuri speakers (a dialect of Hindi) from the Western part of modern Bihar State.
Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, visited Mauritius during
1975.
The “father of modern Mauritius”, and the first Prime Minister of “free Mauritius”, was the late Dr. Shivsagar Ramgulaam (”Ramgulaam” is “servant of Lord Rama”, in English). Presently his son, Dr. Navin Ramgulaam, is the Prime Minister of Mauritius.
Several ISKCON sannyasis, including ISKCON Mauritius GBCs, H. H. Bhakti Chaitanya Swami and H. H. B. B. Govinda Swami, H. H. Navayogendra Swami, H. H. Bhakti Vishrambha Madhava Swami and H. H. Vedavyas Priya Swami graced the occasion.
Several disciples of Srila Prabhupada also participated, including Deena Bandhu Das of ISKCON Vrindavan, the “acharya” for the installation ceremonies, Gaur Keshava Das, long serving ISKCON Mauritius temple president Sriniketan Das, native “Franco-Mauritiun” Arjuna Das, and Basu Ghosh Das, temple president of ISKCON Baroda, India.
Isvara Das of Touchstone Media at Mayapur and Acharya Samskritananda Hari of the Kaushalya Pitham, Baroda, India were also present.
Devotees from the two ISKCON temples at Mauritius were also present as well as hundreds of ISKCON congregational devotees from all over the island. Gaur Keshava Prabhu began the installation rituals on Friday, November 27,
2009, with vaastu puja and jal adhivaas. Acharya Samskritananda Hari performed “rigveda paaraayanam” on that day in the new temple. ” Harinaam nagar sankirtan” was performed in the area near the temple by a group of local devotees.
On Saturday, the auspicious day of “mokshada ekadashi”, the day on which Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita, five thousand years ago on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, there was complete (all seven hundred verses) Gita Parayanam (recitation) in the new temple room by H. H. Bhakti Vishrambha Madhava Maharaj, Acharya Samskritananda Hari, and others. Gaur Keshava Prabhu continued with the installation rituals.
On both Friday and Saturday nights, in a “pandal” (tent) erected next to the temple, after the “bhagavat katha” of Navayogendra Swami, the visiting senior devotees addressed the assembled congregation. H. H. B. B. Govinda Maharaj praised Mukta Purush Prabhu and the devotional minded people of Mauritius in a speech to the assembled devotees. Deena Bandhu Prabhu and H. H. Bhakti Vishrambha Madhava Maharaj also spoke.
On Sunday, the “netra unmilanam” (opening of the eyes) for the Deities being installed in the new temple, including Srila Prabhupada’s Deity, was performed. H. H. B. B. Govinda Maharaj led a huge and ecstatic kirtan that went on for nearly two hours! Guru Puja to Srila Prabhupada was also performed.
Thereafter there was a procession around the temple with “kaalashas” (brass urns) that represented the various Deities being installed. There was also a procession around the temple in which the “kaalashas” (a different type of “kaalash”) that were to be installed in the middle of the temple domes
(signifying a vedic temple).
This was followed by the “mahaabhishek” (bathing ceremony) of all of the Deities. Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakadish, Sri Prahlad Nrsimha, Srinathji (Gopal Krishna), small Deities of Sri Sri Gaur Nitai and Shaligram shila were all installed in the temple with “pran-pratishtha”, shringar (dress and decoration) and the first arati, performed by three of the visiting sannyasis.
Just prior to the “mahaabhishek”, Mauritius Government Minister Sri Anil Kumar Bachoo addressed the assembled devotees in the packed temple room. He and his wife stayed for the inaugural arati and took prasad. Sriman Mukta Purush Prabhu, who oversaw the temple construction, using entirely his own funds to finance this project, welcomed the Minister and all the assembled devotees. In his address to the gathering, H. H. Bhakti Chaitanya Swami praised Mukta Purush Prabhu and his efforts towards the successful completion of the temple construction and said it was an important example for the people of Mauritius.
A few days before the temple opening, H. H. Navayogendra Swami, along with Basu Ghosh Das and Mukta Purush Das, visited the President of the Republic of Mauritius, His Excellency Sir Anirudh Jagannath at the presidential residence. He expressed happiness hearing of the newly constructed temple at Triolet, but was unable to attend the opening ceremonies as he was to leave for India on Saturday. He agreed to visit the temple on an auspicious day in the future.

Posted in In the News.