for Indo Asia News Service on Dec. 4, 2007
Proposed entrance for new ISKCON Moscow temple.
MOSCOW: The Russian capital will soon have a second Krishna temple.
Sergei Zuyev, vice-president of the Centre of the Krishna Consciousness Societies in Russia, told a gathering of Russian Indologists on Thursday that the construction of the temple will start next year.
They were participating in a conference: "The Spiritual Problems of India: Antiquity and Modernity."
Once completed, the temple complex will have a spiritual centre, an Indian history museum, an Indo-Russian centre, art centre, a library and a vegetarian restaurant.
"We want to give as many Russians as possible access to the treasures of Indian culture, spirituality and philosophy," Zuyev said.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) represents the Gaudiya Vaishnav trend in Russia, which took roots more than 20 years ago. It currently has 15,000 members, including Indian nationals living in the city.
The Vaishnav community has distributed 12 million books and 5 million free meals since its inception. It takes care of 7,500 Moscow pensioners and disabled people. The community intends to establish model farms in southern Russia that employ non-violent practices.
"We are already tilling land in five regions to show how to survive in the harsh Russian climate on a diet without meat and other products," Zuyev explained.