Sep 06, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Regarding temples in Inda: Under the guidance of the Direction of Management, it is impossible to calculate how many Temples would be “Too many Temples”, as each temple would be independent, and a Temple could well be a room in an apartment with a cardboard box with a cloth over it, and a picture of Radha-Krishna and another picture of Srila Prabhupada, with someone reading Bhagavad Gita to his neighbor, and distributing to his neighbors some small Prasadam such as a small handful of dried nuts and dried fruit.
Following this Direction of Management profile, any city could have 10,000 or 20,000 temples without any difficulty, without any massive donations or centralized fundraising required. But to address your point directly of the number of Temples, the type of Temples Srila Prabhupada created during His Sojourn here, He referred to as Centers, which means they were not residences for devotees, or places for endless offices could be established with some power-wielding “lazy bones” sitting behind a desk, denying others basic necessities, and thinking that that is somehow Krishna Conscious.
Historically, these Centers operated (in the early days of ISKCON) as launching points for vast numbers of Sankirtan Parties that went out to flood and saturate the land with the all-pervasive sound vibration of the Hare Krishna Mantra.
We need go no further than a cursory reading of the Chaitanya Caritamrita to understand the essence of what these Temples are meant to do. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Greatest Scholar, did not sit idle in a temple, growing fat on unearned Mahaprasad.
He led the population of every community He entered, in the endless chanting of Krishna’s Holy Name, and at the height of transcendental ecstasy, He would cry out, “Dance! Chant! And when you are tired, take Prasadam.”
So temples are meant to disgorge all of their members into the streets 10 hours a day, and when the Sankirtan party goes out to chant Krishna’s Holy Name, the Temples should practically be vacant, as every Sannyasi, every Brahmacari, every Brahmacarini, as everyone would have no reason to stay back, as the clear purpose of their very lives is to rush out into the street, and bring back dozens and even thousands of people, to the point of madness by such chanting of the Holy Names.
I hope this adds a touch of clarification to which, when seen in a limited way, might look as a series of failures. We must understand that Krishna never fails, and for that reason, His Pure Devotee never fails, and for that reason, we will also not fail, once the rats are out of the palace, and every man, woman and child in every temple is out on Sankirtan, with mridanga, Kartals, banners and signs, attracting the population to the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna.
Your eternal servants,
Naara Narayan dasa Vishwakarma and Roupa Manjari devi dasi