Most devotees know that 26 Second Avenue was the first Hare Krishna temple outside India, the place from 1966-68 where Srila Prabhupada performed the first initiations, the place where ISKCON’s first generation of leaders were trained, the place where Bhagavad Gita As It is was written. At the end of 1968, so many people were coming to Krishna consciousness that a bigger location was needed. Over the years, the New York temple has relocated to bigger and bigger spaces. But there is only one 26 Second Avenue, and it remains—a half-century later—one of the most sacred pilgrimages places in the Western World.
Thanks to devotees at the Brooklyn temple, in 1991 ISKCON was able to reclaim 26 2nd Avenue and we've been renting the space ever since. The 15-year lease that was signed in 2001 was up for renewal this year. Much has happened over those 15 years. The East Village has transformed from a derelict neighborhood to one of New York’s luxury locations. Real estate in the area has sky rocketed; likewise the terms of ISKCON’s new lease, renewed this time for a modest three years, reflect the financial changes to the neighborhood.
It won't take much to secure this sacred space—provided devotees all come together. Here's how people can help, both devotionally and financially.
Between now and July 1, devotees around the world have a chance to safeguard the Mecca of Krishna Consciousness in the West. They can make a donation now of $108 and be one of the worldwide team who are stepping forward to secure Srila Prabhupada’s first temple—26 Second Avenue—with a three-year lease.
FESTIVAL + FUNDRAISER DETAILS
Dates: Saturday, June 4 + Sunday, June 5
Times: Morning session: 10am - 1:30pm (Sat + Sun); Afternoon session: 2:30pm - 5:30pm (Sat), 2:30pm - 6:00pm (Sun)
Topic: “The Seven Purposes of ISKCON” - ISKCON’s Mission Statement penned by Srila Prabhupada in July 1966 + 26 Second Ave pastimes of our Founder-Acarya. Special guest speakers will elucidate ISKCON’s Seven Purposes in the very place where ISKCON was incorporated!
Prasadam: Lunch and Dinner included!
Each admission ticket includes a delicious prasadam lunch at 1:30pm and dinner at 6:15pm prepared by Radha Govinda Mandir's Satya dasi and Friends. Dinner will be served at Radha-Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn, followed by an evening of entertainment.
Gifts: As a gesture of our gratitude for your participation, special gifts have been arranged for each attendee.
Tickets: Each 3½ hour session is valued at $108. All proceeds go towards meeting the steep spike of rental fees for 26 Second Avenue. Go to one, two, three or all four sessions.
Can't attend, but still want to contribute? - For those who can’t attend the sessions, you can still be a part of this important service by making a modest $108 donation toward keeping 26 Second Avenue the living, breathing ISKCON center it still is.
To buy tickets or make a one-time donation of $108, please click on the PayPal button below and specify if you can or cannot attend, and that your donation is for the 26 Second Avenue Fundraiser: (live button found at http://krishnanyc.com/iskcon-50th-anniversary)
To send donations by mail, checks can be made payable to ISKCON and posted to:
ISKCON, Attn: Yadunath das, 26 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live too far away to have ever seen the inside of 26 Second Avenue, you’ll certainly want to have a look at the beginning of this video, "Hare Krishna: Fifty Years of Service & Joy."
For a peek at what's happening currently at 26 2nd Avenue...26-2nd-avenue ] [ new-york-city ]