Long Island: “I am absolutely ecstatic to be here today. This is a great day for Long Island. This Mandir is absolutely beautiful. It is gorgeous,” said, Steven Bellone, Suffolk County Executive during the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Melville, New York. Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami) – one of the most senior Swami of BAPS, and revered swamis from India and North America inaugurated the temple on October 9, 2016.
After two decades of unflinching dedication and thousands of hours of volunteer work, the Mandir stood glistening as the much-anticipated inauguration ceremony started on the morning of October 9, 2016. Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami) performed the consecration ceremony in accordance with Hindu Vedic rituals to infuse divinity into the sacred images inside the Mandir in the presence of devotees and well-wishers from across the Tri-state area. The Mandir is the vision of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It was inaugurated with the blessing of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
“The inauguration of the Mandir is a dream come true for me,” said, Girish Patel, a lead volunteer for the Mandir. “We were trying to acquire land since a long time and put in a lot of effort for the timely completion of the construction. The inauguration of the Mandir is a great moment of joy and celebration for all of us. Today onwards, the Mandir is open to one and all.” The inauguration was a culmination of a host of events, held over three days. The festivities for the opening began with a melodious “Kirtan Aradhana” (singing of devotional songs) by BAPS Swamis.
On Saturday, October 8th, a yagna was performed with prayers for family unity and world peace. Speaking on occasion, Steven Bellone, Suffolk County Executive said, “Long Island, Suffolk County, this nation, this world is enriched, has been made better by all of the people inside this room today. There are a lot of problems in the world today, lot of strife, war; we have problems here in our own country, and sometimes when I think about the future I think what is that going to look like. Then I come here and look out into this room and I see an army of people who are good and fighting for good and what is best about humanity in our world today. So I feel good, and I feel confident, and I feel proud about our future. ” Other dignitaries present for the event were Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci, Steve Zimmerman from Newsday Corporation and community leaders from New York and New Jersey. “I have been waiting for this day for years. I can’t believe it it’s finally here and it’s so beautiful, said Sheena Shah, a devotee.
“If one word could sum up the construction of this Mandir, it would be: sacrifice. It was, indeed, the dedication, service, effort and sacrifice of hundreds of volunteers from doctors to lawyers to engineers to architects who completed this Mandir”, said, Hardik Patel. “Whether it was raining or sweltering outside, volunteers came every evening and on all weekends to do everything from heavy duty labor to planning and execution of the smallest thing for making this Mandir.” The Mandir was constructed utilizing a suite of eco-friendly and cost-effective technological advancements including natural lighting techniques, and LED lights to help reduce its carbon footprint. The building includes youth classrooms, a gymnasium, and an assembly hall to host the weekly Satsang or spiritual assemblies.
The new Mandir will surely be home for cultural, social, and religious activities for the Hindu American community will also be a hub for community service activities. Very soon we will see various activities in the areas of education, environment, health, social welfare, and culture being organized here. The Mandir will help improve the quality of life of individuals and families, said, Samir Bhatt, a BAPS representative. For more information about the new Mandir and the activities of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, please visit www.baps.org/longisland.