Hindu Temple of Greater Springfield (HTGS) in Chatham village (Illinois, USA) is reportedly embarking upon a majestic expansion project. Temple leaders reportedly recently described expansion plans in the Committee meeting of Chatham Village Board, which will ultimately pave the way for a larger temple to be built according to Vasstu Shastra at a later stage. Construction is planned to start in the next few months at the current temple, opened in 2008 in a former Baptist Church remodeled to suit temple needs.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Temple management and Greater Springfield and surrounding area community for this planned expansion of the Hindu temple complex.
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 new temple expansion 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.
Temple’s strategic master plan includes on this 9.41 acres site: deities and prayer hall on first floor, kitchen and dining hall accommodating 500 devotees in the basement, pond with lighted fountain for deity immersion, recreational area, tapovan, Gopuram, auditorium, Dhwaja Stambham, zone of silence around the temple with sound barriers, pradakshnapath around the temple, place for performing shraadha ceremony, Ganeshavigraha, Radhostavam pavement, an area for homa, etc. Estimated cost of structure is around $1.6 million.
According to this plan, Garbhalaya will have main deities of Sri Radhakrishna, Sri Venkateswaraswamy, Sri Mahalakshmi, Sri Rama Parivar, and Sri Shiva Lingam; and as funding becomes available, following deities might be added: Sri Mahavir, Sri Shirdi Saibaba and Dattatreya, Navagrahams, Vinayaka, Subramanya, Parvathi Devi, Durga Devi, Swamy Ayyappa, Raghavendra Swamy, and Jala Ram.
HTGS, whose mission is “ to preserve and promote the Hindu Religion, culture and philosophy”, besides daily worship services, also plans to conduct religious education classes, study circles, discourses, religious festivals, cultural events; to engage in various community service activities; to enhance pride in Hindu religion; and to promote understanding and respect for Hindu philosophy. Jagdish Raut, Sanjai Nagendra and Krishna Mohan Brahmamdam are Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary respectively of Board of Trustees; while Krishna Rao, Ankur Nagrecha and Suresh Kathiresan are President, Vice-President and Secretary respectively of the Executive Committee. It reportedly serves prasadam to devotees every Saturday.
Chatham village, whose motto is “Where families grow”, in Sangamon County is known for historic Caldwell Farmstead, Chatham Sweet Corn Festival and Illinois Championship Cow Chip Throw. Tom Gray is Village President, while Del McCord is Village Manager.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.