LONG ISLAND, NY (TIP): Two-storey BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex, currently under construction on a 5-acre plot with cost estimates of $9 million, besides a spacious sanctuary, will also include classrooms. In addition to worship services, it will also offer educational programs, cultural classes and activities, religious lessons, free health clinics, children and youth activities, humanitarian projects, etc., and shall make efforts in social outreach. All its statues were sculpted in India, reports suggest. Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) applauded efforts of BAPS, temple management and volunteers, and area community for realizing this Hindu temple complex.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this new temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism. Originally envisioned in 1988, its Bhumi Pujan ceremony was held on November 11, 2012 and its foundation stone was laid on October 27, 2013. Community leaders associated with raising of this temple include Harshad Bhatt, Girish Patel, etc.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), headquartered in Ahmedabad (India), is a socio-spiritual Hindu organization revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the late 18th century. Its followers take five lifetime vows: No Alcohol, No Addictions, No Adultery, No Meat, No Impurity of body and mind. It envisions “a society whose joy lies in the joy of others”. With Pramukh Swami Maharaj as the current Spiritual Guru, it has over 3,850 centers and over 880 sadhus worldwide.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Melville, an affluent hamlet in Huntington (New York) known to Native Americans as Sunsquams, houses US headquarters of several national/international corporations and hosts operations for various Fortune 500 companies.