Devotees and community members from across North America gathered to celebrate the opening of the Satsang Activity Center (SAC) and Murti Sthapan Vidhi in Robbinsville, NJ from October 19-21, 2012. The SAC is a new home for cultural, social, and religious activities for the Hindu American community. This once vacant and hardly noticeable plot of land has come to life within the last few years. According to one of the Township County Officials, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s conceptualization and creation of the Hindu American Religious Center has changed the social and cultural landscape of the entire community.
In the presence of Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami), devotees from the region attended the three-day celebration. The festival culminated with the placement of the divine murtis or sacred images of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Hindu deities and the Guru Parampara in the newly opened Satsang Activity Center. These murtis were consecrated by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Amdavad, India on July 22. Several families also took part in the special janoi and engagement ceremonies.
The enthusiastic atmosphere of the devotees, volunteers, community officials, and consultants who attended this event was palpable. Robbinsville councilperson Sheree McGowan joined the festivities on Friday evening and noted: “I’ve known about the project since it first came to planning, and to watch it grow has been amazing. And the workmanship is incredible. I am also impressed with your sense of volunteerism and community service, and wish you could give lessons to the rest of the world.”
The new assembly hall will provide a location for many spiritual, cultural, educational, and recreational activities for children, families, and community members.
The SAC was uniquely constructed utilizing a suite of eco-friendly and cost-effective technological advancements including natural lighting techniques, radiant floor heating, and LED lights to help reduce its carbon footprint. The building includes youth classrooms, a gymnasium, and an assembly hall to host the membership’s weekly Satsang or spiritual assemblies.
The completion of the SAC marks the end of the first phase of the Hindu American Religious Center. The traditional Hindu mandir is expected to be inaugurated in 2013.