You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...
Today I picked popsicle stick #2:
You can find out more information about the temple here.
This gorgeous and quiet place is about 15 minutes outside of Austin proper, west of the "Y" (which is a place I've now decided I could totally live) in an area that's starting to blow up with houses on larger tracts of land. All along the road to get there, there are new developments or communities where you can buy the land and build your own home which is a neat idea, but a little sad because that means it won't stay as quiet and peaceful as it is for too long.
I arrived at the end of the Sunday Service, in time to watch the Satsang, which is the lighted devotional for Krishna and Lakshmi and all the other idols, including their Jagadguru, Shree Maharajji, which is the equivalent of a saint in the Hindu tradition. It's kind of silly and hokey in an awesome way the way they've pasted this guru's likeness in all of the scenes with the gods around the temple. They even have a cardboard cutout of him sitting in the throne-type chair that's in the temple. They have him photo-bombing everything and it's kind of rad. I didn't take any photos inside the temple or of the temple directly because it didn't feel right to, but you've got to believe it is sumptuous in only the way a temple in the Hill Country of Texas can be. If you let yourself be not cynical and choose to see the lightness of it all, it really is beautiful.
The temple sits on 200 acres that they have used to try to replicate holy places of the Hindu faith that are in India on. There is lily pond with dragonflies of all shapes and sizes as well as lotus blooms that is a recreation of the Prem Sarovar.
There is a "hill" (which I use very loosely) of flowers and plants surrounded be grazing land which is a replica of the Govardhan Hill and there are little cow statues chillin in the middle of the plants on the "hill".
There are several other little shrine areas around the grounds as well as more modern, western buildings because the temple also serves as a school, vacation area and retreat:
There are a couple of lady and dude peacocks squawking away too. Man, are they beautiful.
All in all, it was a very peaceful, very quiet place to just hang out. There are several picnic tables and benches around the property so you can bring a lunch or snack and sit and enjoy the area. And let me just say:
Damn, Texas. Damn.