ISKCON Naperville opens new temple and cultural center

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“We were very compact, and now we have this new building,” said Pratibahu Das, Head of Marketing and Communications at ISKCON. “(It’s a) very nice building to worship and give education to the community.”

In late April, ISKCON Naperville opened the doors on its new temple and cultural center, located at 1505 McDowell Road. The 25,000-square-foot space includes a community hall, a kitchen, classrooms, a handcrafted altar in the temple room, and a “Bhakti Yoga Lounge.”

What is ISKCON?

The new temple will service the followers of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON. The movement has over 700 temples worldwide. Its devotees are known as Hare Krishnas. They practice Bhakti Yoga, study the ancient Bhagavad-gita, and practice daily meditation by chanting the Maha Mantra.

Since its inception more than 20 years ago, Naperville’s ISKCON community has grown from 15 families to over 100. With that growth came the need for a larger gathering space. Construction on the new temple began in 2021, and roughly two years, it’s now up and running.

Grand opening ceremony

To celebrate the new temple and cultural center, over 8,000 ISKCON devotees attended a three-day grand opening ceremony from April 20-22. Festivities included colorful worship ceremonies, a vegetarian feast, and special recitations of sacred hymns and devotional songs. Many of these traditions only take place during the formal opening ceremony of a temple.

New devotee Neringa Valkiunas was honored to take part in what she called, “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“When it comes to a temple, when it comes to a church, or when it comes to a religious building, those don’t pop up so often,” said Valkiunas. “And so to be able to be here and knowing that it’s going to grow into whatever it’s going to become, I think that’s what’s exciting.”

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