Ceremonial Groundbreaking Held For Planned Hindu Temple

Temple Groundbreaking04

People from throughout the U.S. and the world gathered on South Middlebush Road July 4 for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a proposed Hindu temple.

Several hundred people from throughout the United States and overseas gathered July 4 at a South Middlebush Road site for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a proposed temple.

The Dada Bhagwan Vignan Institute, based in India but with chapters throughout the United States, wants to build a “trimandir” temple on roughly 16 acres abutting Snyder’s Farm on South Middlebush. A trimandir temple places on equal footing the gods revered by those who follow the three major religions in India: Jainism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism.

The event was part of a number of events held by the organization over the July 4 weekend. Most of the gatherings were in Edison.

The township temple would be the first such temple the organization will build in the United States.

“It’s a very auspicious occasion today,” said California resident Shirish Patel, a member of the organization’s governing board.

The groundbreaking was symbolic, no formal township approvals have been granted for the temple.

Kamal Shah, also a member of the organization, said the group probably would not be ready to start construction for another two or three years.

“We will finish the entire project in the next four to five years,” he said.

Patel said that by the time the temple is built, the organization projects that about 300 people will attend events there several times a week. He said the group will also hold morning and evening prayers, as well as “big events.”

The temple will be “a very hustling and bustling center,” he said.

On hand to welcome the organization’s members were Mayor Chris Kelly and Township Councilman Rajiv Prasad (D-At Large).

Kelly told the group that the township is “humbled” that they chose Franklin for their temple.

“We are very excited and we want to welcome you to this community,” he said.

Prasad spoke to the group in Hindi.

Patel said the group’s “main goal” is to “let people know how to be permanently happy in this world at this time, regardless of the exterior circumstances. For that, the goal is to know who am I, really. I’m not this body/mind/intellect complex, but I am something beyond that.”

“There is not only that information available theoretically, but you can experience that permanent self by living in this body,” he said. “And the effect of this knowledge that is given out freely is that you have more peace and happiness in this life, your relationships in this world improve.”

“We want to spread the message that these religions are good, but the real essence of all the Hindu religions is to understand who am I and relive your life permanently happy, in this life, not the next life,” he said.

While final plans have not yet been settled, the general idea for the property is for a temple and an adjacent building that will contain a gathering hall, Patel said.

“It’s still in the planning stage,” he said.

Some attendees offered gifts to the various gods to whom the temple will be dedicated. A small square area was dug out and supported by wooden planks, into which was placed fruit and money.

“It’s symbolic,” Patel said. “We have invited the higher forces to be here and bless this land and this people so we can build this temple in due course.”

Patel said the occasion drew people from throughout the United States, India and England, as well as other countries.

The organization has 30 chapters in the United States Patel said, with the New Jersey chapter being the largest.

According to the trimandir.org Web site, the organization’s founder, known as Dada Bhagwan, envisioned 24 such temples built in the world. There are currently 11 temples, with the bulk of them in India.

2015 Trimandir Temple Groundbreaking





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