In 1982 his Holiness Bir Krsna Das Goswami came to North Carolina. He had a desire to please his spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by bringing Krishna Consciousness to this area. This center would give people the opportunity to understand the Vedic teachings based on Bhagavad-Gita and other Vedic literatures. At first he stayed in Creedmore on a friends property.
Karuna Purana Shakti and Hayasa Das were with him. They contacted a devotee couple that were living in the area named Maya Priya and her husband Amita Cara. They also were very enthusiastic that a center should start and together they all went to look at the property in Hillsborough. Maharaja wanted that the center be located centrally between the different counties.
The land was covered by trees but very beautiful and at that time quite remote. They were happy that there was river access. In 1982 Bir Krsna Maharaja, Hayasa and Karuna moved on the property. The beginning days were very austere. They lived in a small trailer with no running water. Amita Cara Prabhu came daily to help clear the land. Karuna Purna Shakti also worked on the property. Mother Tulasi came and began to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books in the area to raise funds for the temple. Maharaja's father donated tractors and other equipment. One day Krishna saved Maharaja from being run over by the tractor when it lost control.
The first Sunday feasts were very simple around a campfire. Many of our old friends remember how sweet those days were. Bir Krsna Maharaja had a vision and he was willing to tolerate the obstacles that came. He wanted people to have the opportunity to chant the Holy Names and to come and worship Radha and Krishna. A larger trailer was moved on the property and that was the beginning of New Goloka worship. Mother Renuka came and she was very enthusiastic for Deity worship.
Bir Krsna Maharaja designed a dome temple and then Dhirabhai Padgam from Greensboro came foward and organized the other motel owners to help finance the construction. Dr. Shaw and his wife from Winston Salem sponsored to have the Deities carved. Bir Krsna Maharja went to Jaipur India to give the details. It was decided that they would be installed on Janmastami 1985. Jaya dasa and Amita Cara worked hard day and night to build the temple. Lilaraja came to help. It was an offering of love and Krishna sent many devotees to help as the opening day came closer.
The first Deity outfits were sewn by Renuka and Dukahantri. They were given two rooms in the the Economy Inn to use as a sewing room. It became a community project as everyone was enthusiastically awaiting the arrival of the Lord. On the night of the installation of Sri Sri Radha Golokananda Lalita Madhava deva dasi had the blessing of dressing their Lordships for their first appearance for all the devotees who were anxiously waiting to have their beautiful darshan. Lalita Madhava had come from Miami where she had been an experienced dresser of Sri Sri Radha Bhrajabihari. She personally went through many austerities in the early days to see to the regular service of the Deities. Things were austere in those days but devotees were so happy to be able serve Sri Sri Radha Golokananda.
The day before the opening Bir Krsna Maharaja was still building the stairs. He was involved in all the different aspects of the building and worked along with all of the other devotees. H.H. Veda Vyasa Priya was invited to organize the installation and H.H. Hridayananda Das Goswami came to perform the abhiseksa.
On Janmastami 1985 Sri Sri Radha Golokananda made Their Divine Appearance at New Goloka Dhama capturing the hearts of all those present. There was massive prasadam distribution. I still remember after the festival was over changing the Deities clothes and thinking they have come now we must never stop the worship. The Deities are dressed twice a day and there are five offerings of bhoga and five Arotiks daily.
Even during the hurricanes and ice storms the worship has gone on without fail. Over the years many devotees have come forward to faithfully worship the Lord. We would like to mention all of their names but the list is quite large. Our heartfelt thanks to all of the devotees who have served Radha Golokananda. Many devotees underwent personal sacrifice for their pleasure. Whatever service we do for the Lord is for our eternal benefit and brings us real happiness.
The community has grown. Many wonderful festivals have been celebrated and there has been massive prasadam distribution. Many students have come from the University to learn about Krishna Consciousness and many books have been distributed. People have learned how to purify their lives and dedicate their activities to Lord Krishna.