Swaminarayan Temple opens in Virginia

Swaminarayan Temple opens in Virginia


CHICAGO: A NEW Hindu temple, Shree Swaminarayan Temple Virginia, had its grand opening recently through sacred Hindu rituals, after the renovation of a building which once housed the Grace Bible Church in Chesapeake, Virginia.

It is the eighth temple of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan (headquartered in Ahmedabad, India) in North America. Others are in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Ontario.

The three days of elaborate opening ceremonies included yagna, aartis, devotional dances, singing, prayers, installation of idols, ceremonial weighing of idols with silver, samuhraas, kirtan, cultural performances, and scripture recital.

A peace procession organized on the occasion passed through Chesapeake streets with various road closings. Hundreds of devotees from across North America and abroad, including Chesapeake Mayor Dr Richard W. “Rick” West, participated in the procession.

Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj, a spiritual leader of the Sansthan, presided over the opening ceremonies and consecrated the new temple. He is the current and fifth heir in the lineage of ascetic Acharyas, “which descends directly from Lord Shree Swaminarayan”.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, 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 expressed the hope that this temple would help in this direction.

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