Pramukh Swami Maharaj will be present for the rituals.
By The American Bazaar Staff
NEW YORK: The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is set to inaugurate its sixth traditional stone mandir in North America located in Robbinsville, New Jersey, over two days, on August 9-10.
The mandir has been built according to the Hindu Shilpa Shastras or ancient architectural texts following a tradition of temple building through the millennia, said a press release issued by BAPS.
Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the intricately hand-carved mandir is built to last thousands of years. The inauguration of this mandir marks the completion of the second phase of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex that is currently planned for the site.
The mandir is 134 feet long and 87 feet wide, comprising of 108 pillars and three garbha gruhs or inner sanctums. The entire mandir has been covered by a permanent structure to increase the structure’s life and accommodate darshan and worship during the region’s harsh winter.
The mandir is made entirely of Italian marble and was completed in three years at a cost of $18 million. The inauguration ceremonies will begin with a Vedic Yagna or sacrificial ritual for world peace and will be followed by a Shobha Yatra or celebratory procession of the deities.
The mandir complex will be opened to the public on August 16 at a special dedication ceremony. Pramukh Swami Maharaj will be present for the inauguration. He will be joined by a delegation of 40 sadhus and priests from India to officiate the rituals of the installation.
The murtis of the chief deities of the mandir, Bhagwan Swaminarayan along with his ideal devotee, Gunatita Nand Swami, will be installed in the mandir’s central shrine. The murtis of other Hindu deities, including Radha Krishna Dev, Sita-Ram Dev, Shiv-Parvati Dev, Hanumanji and Ganeshji, too will be installed within the mandir’s shrines.
BAPS inaugurated its first traditional stone temple (and the first traditional stone Hindu Mandir in North America) in Stafford, Texas, on July 25, 2004.
This milestone was followed one month later by the opening of the second such temple in Bartlett, Illinois. In the summer of 2007, traditional stone temples were inaugurated in Lilburn, Georgia and in Toronto, Canada followed by Chino Hills, California in December of 2012.
In 2013, the BAPS mandir in Lilburn, Georgia, hosted a spiritual and cultural convention that was attended by nearly 10,000 children and youth from centers in North America. Today, the organization has over 90 mandirs in North America, of which six are traditional stone-carved, and over 1100 mandirs worldwide.