The new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, opened its doors to the public on Saturday, September 11, 2021. The inauguration of the Hindu Mandir came after tireless efforts by dedicated volunteers.
The inauguration ceremony began with the Vedic mahapuja followed by the Murti Sthapan Ceremony which was performed by Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami who had arrived from India at the behest of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. The ceremony signalled the mandir as a home of God open now to one and all. Mahant Swami Maharaj sanctified the murtis for the new mandir in India before the traditional rituals in Vancouver. Devotees attended the event following local COVID protocols. In addition, thousands of devotees, community leaders, friends and well-wishers from across Canada and worldwide participated in the ceremony virtually through the live webcast.
Vancouver has been blessed by the visit of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1988 and by HH Mahant Swami Maharaj in 1986. Swamis from the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto regularly came to Vancouver since 2004 and organized satsang assemblies at devotees' homes. Weekly satsang activities began to take place at a local Hindu mandir from 2018. Over time, with the community's growth, a need was identified for a local BAPS Mandir in Vancouver. The search for a location with adequate facilities began in 2018 after Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami visited Vancouver for the World Sanskrit Conference. With his constant guidance and Mahant Swami Maharaj's blessings, local devotees acquired the current mandir location.
In the inaugural assembly, Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami mentioned that Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj climbed a pipal tree and looked towards the spiritual aspirants in the West, all the way till Vancouver; hence we now have a mandir here. He also recalled that Yogiji Maharaj often reiterated Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami's divine vision and prophesied that Satsang would spread in all corners of the world; Vancouver is one such corner. Finally, Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed his joy on the occasion by blessing swamis and devotees.
The new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Vancouver will facilitate activities and events for young and old alike to preserve Hindu traditions, heritage and spiritual values, including children and youth activities, language classes and traditional music classes. As a place for harmony, the mandir will welcome all individuals to experience spirituality and understand Hinduism's universal values and traditions. Humanitarian activities will also be organized to support the local community.