26 2nd Avenue- "The Place Where It All Began"- is planning to renovate the space so that it looks like it did in the 1960's when Prabhupada himself was there. Extensive research has been done in order to authentically replicate what the room looked like at that time and it will ultimately become a living museum honoring Srila Prabhupada. We are accepting donations to cover the costs of the renovations, which total approximately $20,000. Please help this vision become a reality and make a donation today.
This Monday Jun 17th at 6:30pm, Lakshmi Narasimha Prabhu will be speaking at Matchless Gifts 26 2nd Ave on "The imagined world". (between 1st and 2nd St.) NYC.
At the end of the program, Master chef and 40 year Bhakti Yoga practitioner Pattarajni, will be serving out a delicious, sumptuous feast. Suggested donation of $10 will help us keep the entire program going.
The history of 26 Second Avenue in the late 1960s is practically synonymous with the history of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and his beloved institution, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Srila Prabhupada arrived in New York in September of 1965, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a freighter - The Jaladuta. After spending a month in Butler, Pennsylvania, at the home of his sponsor, he came back to New York City to begin his preaching movement. He struggled for almost 6 months -- during which he was subjected to a bitter New York winter, theft of his meager belongings, as well as abuse from a drug-crazed roommate. Yet he was determined to bring about a spiritual revolution.
In May of 1966, Srila Prabhupada, with the help of just two followers, rented a storefront in New York's Lower East Side - here at 26 Second Avenue. The storefront was previously a curio shop with the name, "Matchless Gifts." Early visitors to Srila Prabhupada's new center were struck by the prophetic name.
In July of 1966, Srila Prabhupada incorporated his institution, ISKCON, with headquarters at this storefront. Later, he often fondly remembered those early days, as he saw the Hare Krishna Movement quickly grow into the world-wide movement we see today.
From 1966 to 1968 ISKCON was headquartered here at 26 Second Avenue. As the numbers of followers grew, the storefront became too small. Then, the temple moved to larger locations, leaving the humble storefront behind -- but never forgotten.
About twenty-five years and hundreds of worldwide temples later, the directors of the Brooklyn-based Hare Krishna temple, led by Ramabhadra Prabhu, re-leased the original ISKCON temple at 26 Second Avenue. Then to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the founding of ISKCON, members of the Krishna temple in Brooklyn renovated the site, rededicated it, and reopened it to the public in July of 1991.
Since that time, the Hare Krishna temple here at 26 Second Avenue has become a beacon of Krishna consciousness in New York City. Moreover, to followers of the Hare Krishna movement from around the world, it is a sacred place of pilgrimage, a tirtha, being the place from which Srila Prabhupada began the dynamic expansion of Krishna consciousness in New York, and throughout the world.
To learn more about Srila Prabhupada, visit The Prabhupada Connection, an incredible repository of Srila Prabhupada nectar.