I visited this beautiful temple in the heart of the Silicon Valley which opened in 2009, having met the head priest Shri Yogendraswami and fellow devotees.
No words can describe the dedication of the followers, organisation of inclusive activities for young and old and the efficiency of excellent management who bestow a sense of true servitude to the community. Their message ‘Mandir …where the mind becomes still and peaceful…where spirituality helps uplift individuals, families and society…where universal values are preserved and protected’ is so true.
I am sure most of you will have heard to Late Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth Guru who inspired to establish temples abroad including in London, Nairobi, Chicago, Houston, Toronto, Atlanta and of course the new one being built near New Jersey. Notably the Akshardham temples at New Delhi and Gandhinagar have reached international acclaim and beat the visitor numbers to the Taj Mahal
On Sundays the temple is busy with worshippers from the local neighbourhood and surrounding cities. As is their trademark, the inner sanctum is adorned by the statues of Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan and his disciple, Radha Krishna, Ram Sita and Hanuman mainly. The dresses to the holy statues are replaced everyday.Classes for Gujarati, music and children’s events carry on throughout the day, concluded by ‘Sabha’ weekly assembly participated by some 800+ devotees who are fed delicious meal cooked by volunteers.
I had very similar experience at the BAPS LA temple, the first one in the world which is constructed with latest technology to ensure that it is earthquake proof.
These temples which are built on pure ancient Vedic principles especially in Europe and USA exude the salient features of Sanatan Dharma thus bringing pride and joy to the Hindus. Here one can receive spiritual refuge, meet like-minded people, partake in communal volunteering, elderly feel comfortable and where a fellow human being is welcome.
It is therefore no surprise to see communities thriving around the temple lands and where neighbours of a different religious persuasion feel reassured as they understand that we are not here to impose our ideas or convert anyone, on the contrary we follow the sound old principle of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ meaning the whole world is one family.
Author: DESH PREMI