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.