Ontario Government in Canada is reportedly helping cover the costs of the expansion of a Hindu temple (Devi Mandir) in Pickering (Ontario). The reports suggest that the Mandir organization will receive over $422,000 for upgrades, repairs, renovation and installation of the solar panel roof system. Funds are said to be coming from Ontario’s Community Capital Fund.
Devi Mandir, whose tagline is “More than a place of worship”, is run by Satya Sanatan Dharma Cultural Sabha and claims to propagate “the teachings of Sanatan Dharma through Puja, Pravachans (discourses) and Bhajans.” Its aim is “to ensure that the youth of today are well equipped to propel Hinduism into the future”.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, besides thanking Ontario Government, also applauded efforts of Mandir management and Ajax, Pickering, and Greater Toronto communities for the expansion plans of 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 Mandir 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.
Besides worship and religious discourses, Devi Mandir also organizes cultural and community programs; vocal music, harmonium, Hindustani classical music, bhajans-geet-ghazals-film songs, tabla classes; etc. It offers services for various samaskaras like namakarana, niskramana, annaprashana, chudakarma, karnavedha, upanayana, vivaha, and antyeshti; different pujas like graha, Durga, Shiva, Saraswati, Lakshmi, home blessing, business opening, car blessing, etc.; Mataji Chowki, Mataji Jagran, Sundarkand Paath, Ramayan Satsang, bhajan mala, kirtan; etc.
It holds free “Baal Vikaas” classes about Hindu religion and culture, prayers chanting, etc., every Sunday for children. It holds Shiva Puja, Hanuman Puja, havans, etc.; celebrates Holi, Mahashivaratri, etc.; participates in Pickering Heritage Day and World Religion Day; and organizes yearly Golf Tournament. Its youth group called DM Youth even “organized a wonderful Christmas Holiday party for all the kids of the Mandir on December 19, 2010”.
Vishnu Sookar, Amarnath Binda, Reginald Harrilal, Cecil Ramnauth, and Sam Persaud, are Chairman, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively of this Devi Mandir, whose history goes back to 1988. Damodar Sharma is Head Priest of this registered charitable organization, while Ravi Prasad Sharma is the Priest.