A former Church in Westbrook (Maine, USA), which was purchased in December last by a Hindu group, will reportedly formally open as Maine Hindu Temple in early April 2013.
But worship and chanting services have already started in this Temple, which calls itself “a place of worship and spiritual enlightenment”, and Jaya Ekadshi Vrat was celebrated here on February 21, reports suggest.
Various improvements are reportedly planned for this former Universalist Church of Westbrook building said to be built in 1840; including replacing the roof, changing the heat source, building a stage and refurbishing the basement for classes and social gatherings. Temple plans to launch Hinduism classes after the official opening.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of temple-project leaders and area community to realize this Hindu temple.
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 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.
Temple activities listed on its website include prayer sessions, worship, classes on Hindu scriptures, meditation, bhajan, yoga, readings, discussions, celebration of cultural events, children summer camps, etc. Temple project leaders include Deven Bhatt and Sandeep R. Gandra.
Presumpscot River flows through female-majority city of Westbrook, which was incorporated in 1814. Colleen Hilton and Lynda Adams are Mayor and City Clerk respectively. Prominent people associated with Westbrook include cartoonist Kevin Eastman, Civil War General James Deering Fessenden, wrestler Scott Garland, entertainer Rudy Vallee, and baseball players George Gore and John Cumberland.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.