Well known Hindu Temple of St. Louis in Ballwin (Missouri, USA) is reportedly embarking upon a majestic expansion project. Temple is planning to expand its south side with Lord Ayyappa Mahasannidanam and its north side with Sri Vasavi Kanyaka Parameshwari Alayam shrine. Ground-breaking (Bhoomi-Pooja) ceremony for north and south expansion will be conducted on 5 May 2011. Kanyaka Parameshwari idol has already arrived in the temple.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Temple management and St. Louis and surrounding area community for these planned additions to 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 new temple additions 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.
The Hindu temple of St. Louis was formally registered as a not-for-profit organization in Missouri in 1988, its ground-breaking was held 1990, formal inauguration in 1991, while Maha-Kumbhabhishekam celebrations were conducted in 2009. Eleven shilpis (artisans) were brought from India in 1997 to work on the temple project. Vijayakumar Buddhiraju, G.V. Naidu, and Satish Nayak are Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary respectively of Temple Board of Trustees; while Puran Luthra, Malathi Reddy and Prasanna Ayer are President, Vice President, and Secretary respectively of its Executive Committee. Satish Babu Patibandla is the Manager. One of its purposes is: “To promote Hindu Dharma (Religion and Traditions) and culture”. It also houses a library of religious publications and other media.
Besides fulfilling the religious and social needs of the community, this Temple also undertakes various humanitarian activities, including distributing sandwiches to homeless, hosting annual health fair, collecting and donating canned food, holding free monthly legal and health clinics, etc.
Named as “One of America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine, Ballwin in West St. Louis County is close to Castlewood State Park and Meramec River. Tim Pogue is the Mayor.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.