Temple of Cosmic Religion
- In 1966, while attending the KUMBHA MELA, a much-celebrated festival of ritual bathing at the confluence of the YAMUNA and GANGES rivers in ALLAHABAD, Lord Panduranga Vittala, an incarna-tion of KRISHNA, approached Satguru Sant KES-HAVADAS (1934–97), an independent teacher of various paths of Indian philosophy, and told him, “Go to the West: spread the cosmic religion.” Later, after returning home to Delhi, Keshavadas experienced a vision in which he understood the spiritual reason for such a journey. The key VEDANTA principle that there is only one truth, he realized, should be used to include, not exclude, others. Religion could be a force to gather together the sacred bonds that unite humanity.The next year, 1967, Keshavadas toured Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. In 1968 he founded a small center in Washington, D.C., that would become the American head-quarters of the Dasashram International Center, as it was known in India. In the mid-1970s he relocated the center to Southfield, Michigan, near Detroit, and changed its name to the Temple of Cosmic Religion.Keshavadas had a primary goal of introducing the wisdom of Hinduism to the West. He wanted to usher in a cosmic religion founded on the princi-ples that truth is one and that all paths lead to God. Keshavadas taught YOGA and MEDITATION as a way to know God and encouraged his followers to dance, sing, and chant. Central to Keshavadas’s beliefs are the precepts of KARMA and REINCARNATION.The world headquarters of the Temple of Cos-mic Religion is now located in Bangalore, India; there are five other centers in India. The U.S. headquarters is currently in Oakland, California. Since the death of Keshavadas in 1997, the temple has been led by his widow, Guru Mata Kesha-vadas. The temple also has centers in Trinidad and England.Further reading: Sant Keshavadasji, The Doctrine of Reincarnation and Liberation (Bangalore: Dasashrama Research, 1970); ———, The Purpose of Life (New York: Vantage Press, 1978); ———, Satguru Speaks (Washington, D.C.: Temple of Cosmic Religion, 1975); Mukundadas (Michael Allen Makosky), Minstrel of Love (Nevada City, Calif.: Hansa, 1980).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.
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