The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, GA kicked off its fifth anniversary celebrations with a tribute to society's children and youth by inaugurating the new Yogi Youth Center on September 2, 2012. Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami) inaugurated the brand new facility, which houses a grand foyer, 18 classrooms for youth assemblies and a gymnasium with an elevated running track with a future plan for a seniors’ lounge.
The new 50,000 square foot extension will encourage learning in various areas. Classes will include language classes, instruction on Indian classical music and instruments, and youth assemblies for all ages. The classrooms are equipped with state of the art technologies, to facilitate a stimulating and interactive learning environment.
Devotees participated in a traditional Hindu mahapuja while a number young balaks recited Vedic shlokas. Following the mahapuja, a special assembly was held in recognition of the fifth patotsav (anniversary) of the Mandir and the inauguration of the Yogi Youth Center. Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami addressed the devotees who had gathered from throughout the southeastern US. Also, in attendance was Mr. Ajit Kumar, the Consul General of India in Atlanta. "I would like to congratulate BAPS for opening the Yogi Youth Center today because it is extremely important to keep our youth engaged with our society, our religion, our culture because they are the future," said Mr. Kumar. As a special treat, at the conclusion of the event, mahaprasad was served to all in a traditional patrada by Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami and other swamis.