Are Temples Essential for Bhakti?


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 71, Vol 4, 2021, Interactive

"Is it necessary for one to live in a temple or visit a temple to practice Bhakti? Thank you."
- Joseph Rubalcava, California, USA

Editor replies:

Dear Joseph,

Regarding needing a temple to practise Krsna consciousness, please note:

Reporter: "But suppose I were to become an initiate. Wouldn't I have to come and live in the temple?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Not necessarily."
Reporter: "I can stay at home?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Oh, yes."
Reporter: "What about work? Would I have to give up my job?"
Srila Prabhupada: "No, you'd simply have to give up your bad habits and chant the Hare Krsna mantra on these beads – that's all."
(The Science of Self-Realization, 2b)

"Grhe thako vane thako, ‘ha gauranga' bo'le dako. Not that everyone has to live in the temple. [...] he can live separately. But he must follow the rules and regulation."
(Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, 3/2/75)

"I am so pleased to hear that you are living nicely with your parents and carrying on with your Krishna Consciousness activities. That is a good proposal. Nevermind there maybe some inconvenience. Krishna always appreciates when his devotee makes some sacrifice on His behalf, so there is no real difficulty under any conditions so long as we remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 4/9/72)

"Actually there is no difference between devotees living inside the temple and devotees living outside the temple. You are right that the important thing is to remember Krsna, whatever is your activity."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 29/9/72)

A picture of Krsna is also as good as seeing the Deity:

"But in Krsna's form, if you have a Krsna's photograph, it is as good as Krsna. [...] You can get the same benefit from the photograph picture of Krsna as you get benefit by directly meeting Him."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 22/5/72)

For further information regarding the position of ISKCON temples, please go to this link.

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Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!