An over 500 acres of serene and vibrant Hindu spiritual retreat has reportedly been planned near Bowling Green in Virginia (USA), which is expected to open in the summer of 2019. Known as Devasya and run by global charitable group International Swaminarayan Satsang Organization (ISSO), it reportedly plans to spend over $7 million just on improvements of the existing heavily wooded property which has an open-water lake.
Described as “a modern retreat descended from the divine”, it will include a traditional Hindu temple holding over 150 years old murtis of Shree Radhikaji & Hari Krsna Maharaj, besides smaller shrines to various Hindu deities. Open year round, it will have a restaurant serving saatvik Indian and Western vegetarian cuisine; and few dozen cottages, reports suggest.
Aimed at helping discover inner peace; Devasya will celebrate all the major Hindu festivals and host many cultural programs, musical concerts, camps, conferences, seminars, etc. It will provide cultural education; including courses in sangeet, yoga, natyam, Indian languages, pranayama, meditation, vegetarian cooking, etc.
According to reports, it will be a venue for weddings and social gatherings and provide traditional naturopathy, ayurvedic and herbal treatments; besides water sports. It plans to host a Gaushala with opportunities of Gau-Pooja, Gau-Daan and cow-adoption.
Participants will be able to pray, meditate, practice yoga, etc., at Devasya, whose tagline is “What you seek. Is seeking you”. It will also conduct mahapoojas and there will be no alcohol or smoking on the campus.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of ISSO towards realizing this Hindu spiritual retreat. 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 retreat 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).
Devasya is located in unincorporated Milford area in the counties of Caroline and King & Queen; between Virginia’s capital Richmond and Washington DC. Prime objective of ISSO is “to advance the Sanatan Dharma, in accordance with the principles and teachings of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, founded and ordained by Lord Shree Sahajanand Swami”. ISSO is a part of Shree Swaminaryan Sampraday under Shree Nar Narayan Dev Gadi (Kalupur, Ahmedabad) which has 18 Hindu temples in USA. Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj is the current Acharya.