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Grand Opening Celebration of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Chesapeake VA
CHESAPEAKE, VA- From Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21, 2019, Shree Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple) – Chesapeake, Virginia, at 4210 Dock Landing Road, celebrated its grand opening with prayers, scripture recitals, cultural and devotional dance performances, and a peace procession through the streets of the City. Visitors from the entire county and indeed many from abroad gathered to witness the inauguration ceremony being performed by His Divine Holiness Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, who is the spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, a worldwide organization dedicated to the progression of spiritual, social and cultural values.With the opening of Chesapeake Temple, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has established yet another chapter in the USA towards his mission to spread the message of peace, unity and tolerance towards all.
Dignitaries attending to the opening ceremony included Dr. Richard W. West, Mayor of Chesapeake City Council. Expressing his delight on meeting Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, Mayor West said, “I can sense the aura of
peace when coming to this place and meeting Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. I realize that he is a very special individual and I welcome him and you all to Chesapeake. I have attended many ribbon cutting ceremonies, but nothing is as humbling as the event that I have the honor of seeing today.” A cheque towards the Mayor’s special charity appeal, and another to the Chesapeake Fire and Police Departments was presented by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. The three day event also included a Peace Procession, through the streets of Chesapeake, featuring the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, North America’s first and only Indian American bagpipe band.
During the finale of the 3 day ceremony, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj ceremonially weighed the divine forms of the Lord presiding in the Mandir against pure silver ingots, which represented the donations and pure, innocent
prayers of the adherents of this Faith for the poor and unfortunate of the region. In accordance with the ancient Hindu rituals, they were then installed in the main shrine. The entire function was relayed live to thousands globally.
During one of his speeches of the festival, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj recalled, “This weekend, the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 spaceflight and man’s first landing on the moon (July 20, 1969 – July 20, 2019). That day was an impressive accomplishment for the progression of our understanding of the world beyond this Earth. Similarly, this date will also go down in history for Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, because the opening of this Center will provide a base for the spiritual progression and understanding for countless people living in Virginia. Virginia was the very first colony to be established in the United States, when European settlers first arrived here in the year 1607 CE. This weekend, we celebrate the arrival of the Supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to this great state! Acharya Swamishree Maharaj blessed, “May the sublime message of morality,
peace, and truth be spread throughout the world. Compassion, love for all, and universal understanding are the essentials of humanity. These arethe virtues that please the Lord. These are the values that need to be instilled throughout society.”