Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers (Florida, USA) is holding three-day grand opening ceremonies on June 10 to 12 in 2011. “Pran Pratishta–Maha Kumbhabhishekam” of Ganesha-Krishna-Shiva-Navagraha ceremonies include poojas, homams/havans, lamps lighting, prayers, procession with copper kalashs around temple, discourses, artis, statues eye-opening, worship of children under nine years, cultural events, rathnadivasam, installation of Ganesha-Krishna-Shiva-Navagraha accompanied by rituals, bhajans, applying oil to statues, raas-garba, cow worship, grain-covering of idols, tantric rituals, bathing idols, dances, etc. Swami Viditatmananda will preside. Events are free but participation at Pramukh Yajman level involves a donation of $15,001 and “Vimana Kalasha Kumbabhishekam” (bathing the golden kalash at the top of the mandaps) is a special privilege available only for this sponsor category.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Connecticut (USA) today, applauded efforts of Temple management and Southwest Florida and surrounding area community for this auspicious event at the wonderful 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 these Temple activities 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 regular activities reportedly include poojas, Veda chanting, bhajans, music-math-bharatnatyam-tabla classes, yoga, meditation, children’s education, etc. It plans to organize a summer camp. Its unique painted 1600 square foot ceiling contains pictures of various deities undertaken by San and took eight months to complete. It urges devotees to repeat “Sankatahara Ganesh Mantra” 21 times every day.
There are reportedly about one thousand Hindu families in the area and for many years the services were held at the local Unitarian Universalist Church. Temple, launched in 2008, which currently uses the building for worship as well as cultural-art-religious-community-educational events, plans to develop a community/performing-arts center and housing for senior citizens. Temple group terms itself “interested in keeping the spirit of Hinduism alive for this generation and many more to come!”
Vyoma Nair is Chair of 90-member Trustees Board; while Mallika Nandur, Rakesh Patel, and Anjana Bhatt are President, President-elect, and Secretary respectively.
Fort Myers, established in 1886, has the winter homes of inventor Thomas Edison and industrialist Henry Ford. Other notable people associated with it include golfer Nolan Henke, Olympic diver Sara Hildebrand, Playboy Playmate Terri Kimball, musician Mindy McCready, cigar distributor Rakesh Rocky Patel, rapper Plies, Firestone founder Harvey Firestone, wrestler Jerry Lawler, etc. Randy Henderson Junior is the Mayor.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.