A two story 49,000 square foot temple, B APS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, has opened in Melville (New York) on a five acres plot after three days of festivities. Constructed by utilizing ecofriendly and cost-effective technological advancements, it includes an assembly hall, classrooms, gymnasium, dining area, indoor basketball court, etc. It is open to the public daily, conducts twice daily arti and offers Gujarati classes.
Opening celebrations included kirtan aradhana, yagna, prayers, murti-pratishta, etc. Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami), one of the most senior swamis of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), presided. Although this temple was envisioned in late 1980s, its construction began in 2012.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of temple leaders and volunteers and area community for realizing this magnificent Hindu temple. 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 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. This temple is run by BAPS, “a socio-spiritual Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas” and headquartered in Ahmedabad. With over 3,850 satsang centers, BAPS “encourages a lifestyle rooted in spirituality and purity”. Bhagwan Swaminarayan was the founder and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj (Swami Keshavjivan-dasji) is its sixth and present spiritual guru. Designed by about 83 years old Melville headquartered firm H2M, this traditionally built temple with domes and flags, will reportedly serve about 60,000 Hindu families of the area and beyond. It was raised with the help of large number of volunteers; including Vipul Patel, Samir Bhatt, Girish Patel, etc. Melville, a host of operations for various Fortune 500 companies, is in Suffolk County.