Appearance Of

Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara

Krishna appears

by His own will

Sri Sri Radha-Londonishvara have a special place in ISKCON history as the movement’s first full-size Radha-Krishna deities. They are also unique in that They seemingly appeared by Their own will, manifested by Srila Prabhupada’s strong desire for Radha-Krishna deities in London. They were, unusually, not ordered by devotees but donated by a Mr. Goyal, an Indian gentleman who was himself looking for Radha-Krishna deities for a Hindu center in East London. Srila Prabhupada supervised Their installation ceremony, which was filmed by the BBC. By installing Sri Sri Radha-Londonishvara, Srila Prabhupada fulfilled a long-standing wish of the previous acharyas. An authorized temple of Radha-Krishna was established, and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s dream for London had been fulfilled.

At ISKCON London’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations, Tamal Krishna Goswami said: “Srila Prabhupada really did say that these deities were the most exceptionally beautiful deities. He had such special appreciation for these deities. They are the first large Radha and Krishna deities worshiped in the western world. They are very, very special deities.”

Purchased by

love and devotion

Sri Sri Radha-Londonishvara are a direct manifestation of the ardent desire of Srila Prabhupada. In that sense you might even call Them self-manifesting deities. In reciprocation with Srila Prabhupada, They themselves came to London. They themselves orchestrated the whole pastime and inspired the original owner to offer Them to Srila Prabhupada. – Murli Manohara Dasa, head pujari, ISKCON London. 

In Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Yamuna Devi Dasi shares her recollection: “Prabhupada was looking at the deities with complete devotion. He loved those deities. He had commented about Their exquisite beauty and how They complemented each other. How sometimes Radharani looked more beautiful but how Krishna’s moonlike face and eyes were shining.”

A Lila in London

as told by Tamal Krishna Goswami

Tamal Krishna : I came to England in September of 1969, and Srila Prabhupada said that we would open the London temple in December, but at the time there were no deities. We asked Srila Prabhupada, “Where are the deities?” and he said, “You have to arrange for deities.” 

How could we arrange for deities? He wanted Radha-Krishna Deities but we hardly knew what deities were. We were in tremendous anxiety and were constantly searching for deities. We set up Janaki’s phone number as a hotline so that anybody who had any information about deities could call. The date was getting closer, there were no deities, and Prabhupada was determined to open the temple.

Prabhupada even made the entire menu for the celebration feast and he had me make an invitation card. On the card I wrote that everybody was invited to come and eat prasadam. Prabhupada corrected me. He said, “You don’t eat prasadam, you respect prasadam.” We printed the menu and invitation card, but still there were no deities.


for Krishna

At that time sankirtan was very difficult. The police had stopped us on the streets so we were having programs in many different homes of Hindu families. Every night we would go for three or four hours and get one pound from each of them. It was excruciating to sit for hours in people’s homes and at the end of the night come back with only three or four pounds. 

Finally, in October or November, someone called our deity hotline and said, “You can find deities in a certain Hindu center.” So Mukunda and I went to that place. The man we met there said, “I do have some deities.” We said, “We’d like to see Them.” He said, “They’re over there.” We didn’t see anything. He said, “Under that cloth.


The First


The man went over to the cloth, pulled it up, and there was Radha-Londonisvara. We were amazed to see these deities and we immediately bowed down. The man said, “For various reasons we have no use for these deities.” We said, “We have to ask our spiritual master.” We went 2 outside and from a phone booth we immediately phoned Prabhupada at his furnished apartment on Baker Street next to Regent’s Park.

 Prabhupada was resting at the time, but when he woke up and heard the news he said, “Take me there at once.” Prabhupada took Shyamasundar, Mukunda and me with him. By that time it was evening. Prabhupada sat down in the man’s sitting room. The man said, “So, Swamiji, you are interested in our deities?” Prabhupada said, “Where are you from? Where is your family from? Let me meet your wife. Let me meet your children.” The man paraded his family before Prabhupada. I couldn’t understand what Prabhupada was doing. As far as I could see Prabhupada spent 30 to 45 minutes wasting time talking to the man.

A transcendental


The man was eager to pull the cloth off again to show Prabhupada the deities but Prabhupada had no interest in seeing the deities. Finally the man said, “Look, are you interested or not?” Prabhupada said, “What is that?” The man said, “In the deities.” Prabhupada said, “Let us see the deities.” Then the man lifted the cloth up. Prabhupada’s face was placid ? he didn’t react or respond.

The man became anxious, “Don’t you want these deities? Your disciples said you were looking for deities. Don’t you want these deities?” Prabhupada was just looking at Them. The man started to encourage Prabhupada, “You should take these deities. You must take these deities.” Prabhupada asked me, “See if you can pick up this deity.”

The Kidnapping

of Krishna!

I went over to Srimati Radharani, tilted Her back and picked Her up. I said, “She’s not that heavy.” Then Prabhupada asked Shyamasundar, “See if you can pick up the other deity.” Shyamasundar picked Him up and said, “He’s not that heavy.” Prabhupada said, “Okay, let’s go.” We picked up the deities and walked out of the house and the man said, “Wait, Swamiji, wait, wait.” He wanted to discuss the price of the deities but Prabhupada said, “It’s okay, They’re not that heavy, we’ll be all right.” 

Prabhupada had us put the deities in our van. The man was there with his wife and children and he was trying to beg Prabhupada to wait and discuss and negotiate some money for the deities. But we were all in the van and Prabhupada said, “Drive.” We drove one or two blocks and then Prabhupada said, “Stop the car.” We stopped and Prabhupada said, “Now let me see the deities.” Then he started to chant the Brahma-samhita to Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara and he said, “Krishna has appeared.” He was so happy. He was so, so pleased.

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