Bhakti Mandir: Imagining a Temple



Kripalu Maharaj Bhakti

In recent years the small village of Mangarh has grown into a pilgrimage destination of itself, with such a population of devotees eager to sit at the feet of the Jagadguru that the people of the village were overburdened. As a result of this constant population of acolytes, Kripalu Maharaj saw a need arise to create for them a home. In his wisdom the Shree Maharajji wanted to give the people a place to congregate, to live and devote themselves to the Divine Love, and so plans began to be drawn for a center of worship, a temple of unparalleled beauty. The foundation stone was laid on October 26, 1996, the Shree Maharajji’s 75th birthday and thus a hallowed day in Mangarh. Construction of this monolithic project took nine years, with workers sometimes continuing 24-hours a day, giving their all to the temple.

When finished the structure stood 105 feet tall from its base to the top of the golden flagpole erected above its central dome, and contained numerous ornate carvings throughout. The construction required stone from all corners of India, sandstone from Jaipur, and semi-precious stones collected from throughout the globe. Outwardly, the temple is covered in pink stone, and within the walls are lined with the finest marble. The center contains within it dozens of temples dedicated to Radha Krishn, verandas, and in its center can be found a life-size statue of the Shree Kripaluji Maharaj himself. Surrounding the Maharajji stand eight carvings of mahasakhis, or gopis that were the close associates of Radha Krishn, known for their dedication to Radha Krishna and the love between them. Throughout the spiritual center the sacred words of the “Bhakti Shatak” have been carved onto the wall, so that all devotees may be surrounded continually with the scriptures.

The beauty, grandeur, and awe-inspiring façade of the temple can be compared to some of the great architecture of the world. It is here in this holy space that the acolytes of the Divine Love can focus all their energies on their devotions. Only a temple of this splendor and scale is appropriate to house the devotions of the Kripalu Maharaj to Radha Krishn. Indeed, the very name of the deity is inscribed on every brick of the structure.