Since 1974, the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region of Southern Ontario has been blessed by several spiritual visits of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and Sadguru Swamis. Initially, devotees gathered at each other’s homes and rented halls for Satsang Sabhas and spiritual celebrations. Over time, the growth in Satsang activities created a need for a Mandir in the area. The devotees began looking for a suitable place and after years of growth and patience, and with the inspiration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, this need was fulfilled with the inauguration of a new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Cambridge, Ontario, a city located about 80km west of Toronto.
Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Sunday, August 12, 2018. The traditional inauguration ceremony for this Hindu place of worship was conducted by learned Swamis of the organization in the presence of dignitaries, community leaders, and community members. The rituals also included a Vishwa Shanti Mahayagna, a special prayer for peace and well-being throughout the world along with devotional music and dance by the children and youth of BAPS.
Special guests at the event included His Worship Doug Craig, Mayor of the City of Cambridge and Councillor Donna Reid, City of Cambridge, Ward 1.
During the inauguration assembly, Mayor Doug Craig said, “I have learned that this organization gives back to the community and giving back to the community is one of the most important things that we all do. For me personally to be here is a great honor. I want to thank you and I will be a part of your journey in the future.”
Councilor Donna Reid, representing the riding in which the Mandir is located, commented about the importance of the new Mandir saying, “Thank you for being who you are, for being a part of our city. We welcome you and are just pleased that you are here and a part of what makes this city great.”
The mandir will be a place for people from the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Dundas, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, London and other small towns in the region to gather and facilitate activities and events, for young and old alike, to promote and preserve Hindu traditions and spiritual values. Through BAPS Charities, the complex will also facilitate various humanitarian initiatives that include health fairs, blood drives, and community walkathons for people of all ages, merging the spirit of community service with volunteerism.