A $5 million Shri Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple and community complex in Henderson, about 13 kilometers from Auckland (New Zealand) city center, will formally do Grand Opening on June 13, concluding eight days of ceremonies starting June six.
A project of Shri Ram Mandir Charitable Trust, a registered charity established in 2011, whose objectives include enhancing “cross-cultural understanding”; this three-level complex with a reported capacity of about 1,000 persons aims to address the spiritual, social, and cultural needs of the community.
Besides a sanctuary on the top floor, it will also include a community center and place for youth activities. In addition to being involved in community/social service and advancing Hinduism, it also aims to promote harmony among diverse communities.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of temple trustees and area community for realizing this 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 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.
Opening ceremonies include prayashchit, cultural programs, shradh, poojans, yag, homs, nagar & jal yatras, 108 kalash and other poojans, artis, vasses, devta jaagran, praan pratisthapnam, pushpanjali, various prayers and a hawan fire ritual.
In addition to offering worship services; Shri Ram Mandir also reportedly plans to organize cultural activities, festivals, events, community gatherings, educational projects, services for seniors, social welfare and community service programs, camps and spiritual-philosophical-recreational-cultural activities for youth, classes/seminars/discourses/lectures on Hinduism, and establish library.
Its Bhoomi Pooja was held on July 21, 2012, although the idea of the temple was initially launched much earlier. Marble and Hindu artifacts have reportedly been imported from India for this temple, which is claimed to be the biggest temple in New Zealand when completed.
Pravin Kumar, a businessman and community activist, is President of the Trust; Salendra Kumar is the Treasurer; while other trustees include Giyannendra Prasad and Shiu Charan.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.
Henderson is a major suburb of Auckland, the most populous and largest urban area in New Zealand.