Sri Bhaktha Anjaneya Temple (SBAT) in Ijamsville (Maryland) reportedly has plans for second phase $20 million expansion including another about 51,000 square-foot temple with 36 foot Lord Hanuman statue.
According to reports, designs have been finalized for the second phase, which has already been approved, and funds are being raised for it. The existing about 5,000 square-foot Temple, launched in 2015, cost about $8 million.
Besides worship services and Vedic rituals, SBAT, which opens 365-days a year at 06-30 am; organizes Sanskrit workshops, cultural events, children’s activities, poojas, festivals, summer cultural camps; holds bhajans every second Saturday and concerts every first Saturday of the month; and offers classes in Bharatnatyam, slokas, Ramayanam, Srimad Bhagavatham, Bhagavad-Gita, yoga, etc. It plans to launch some Indian music-dance-languages classes. It also serves as gathering place for the community; besides participating in various community welfare activities, like cooking food for the homeless, donating to area food banks, providing support in disaster relief, etc.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of temple leaders and area community towards realizing this Hindu temple and planning a grand expansion.
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.
Mission of SBAT, which is open to all, includes to “Promote Hindu traditions, values, culture and heritage including music, dance, slokas and Sanskrit”. Free-food is available at the temple during its opening hours. It reportedly has ten priests and two shilpis and Bragadeesh Balasubramanian is temple manager.
Suggested donation at SBAT for “Life time pooja for all Deities” is $6,001, “Paaravana Shraadham” pooja is $575 and for “Vehicle Pooja” is $51. Its policies include using dairy products made from the milk of its own cows only, and it strictly discourages “short, revealing, knee-high attire”.
Lord Hanuman is known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.