Saskatoon Hindu Temple in Saskatchewan (Canada) is launching a $1-million expansion project. With construction starting in May next, it envisages an increase of about 2,500 square feet area each at main and basement levels, doubling the current seating capacity of the Temple. A Temple Expansion Committee chaired by Veena Avinashi and Kumar Balachandran has been formed for this purpose.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Temple leaders and Saskatoon and surrounding area community to realize this wonderful expansion project.
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 focus 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.
Also known as Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple built in Hindu style of architecture and located in Saskatoon, largest city of Saskatchewan, it was inaugurated in 1985 but its planning went as far as 1969 and community gatherings and festivals were reportedly held in homes, hotels and churches before its existence. Besides being a place of worship, this Temple also holds wedding ceremonies, prayer meetings, memorials, music events, yoga and language classes, spiritual discourses, meditation sessions, workshops and seminars, and talks by visiting scholars. It also participates in various multi-faith and charitable activities and organizes an Annual Vegetarian Banquet; and is continuing its Reflections of Hinduism lecture series besides monthly Sri Rudram chanting; and planning to launch Silent Meditation sessions.
Raj Dhir, Anu Kashyap, Sunil Sohani and Heena Desai are President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively of The Hindu Society of Saskatchewan which runs this Temple. About 10,000 Hindus reportedly live in the area and numbers are growing every year.
Established in 1883, Saskatoon, located in central Saskatchewan on the South Saskatchewan River, is also known as “Paris of the Prairies”. One of the sunniest cities in Canada, it has been rated number one in Canada for air and water quality and houses University of Saskatchewan. Prominent people associated with it include Olympian medalists Ethel Catherwood and Catriona LeMay Doan; actors Kim Coates, Cameron Mitchell, David Sutcliffe and Gordon Tootoosis; wrestling patriarch Stu Hart; actress Shannon Tweed; author Yann Martel; and hockey player Brian Skrudland. Mayor Donald J. Atchison says: “This is not a place of ‘either-or’. Saskatoon is all of us, from all walks of life and with all points of view.” Murray Totland is City Manager.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents.