In a few weeks the town of Robbinsville, based in the state of New Jersey in the United States of America will witness the inauguration of Akshardham spread over 260 acres. The Celebrations are already underway. Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj, who even at the ripe age of 92 years has reached there specially to grace and bless this auspicious event. The construction of Akshardham has been going on there for a few years. Although the work is still going on, many visitors are coming there and carry back with them wonderful impressions of Akshardham's beauty, art, thought, message, divinity etc.
They do not belong to any particular class, society, religion, or ideology. The visitors belong to a wide spectrum of society, amongst them are architects, accountants, housewives, local police etc. Today we shall look at the opinions of some such visitors, so that we gain an insight into the influence, that a temple has, right from the common man to the dignitaries and how it transforms them by leaving a beautiful impression of our great country, India.
Rehan Ozgur. I am the Council General of the Republic of Turkey and have been serving the Republic of Turkey for over the last 19 years. I am deeply moved by what I have seen here today in this magnificent temple. I discovered that this is all done mainly by volunteers which is so significant. It displays the power of sacrifice. The doors of this temple are open for everyone. Everyone greets you the moment you arrive on this campus. No one questions you about your origin or your past. Such structures are an iconic inspiration for other communities in every corner of the world. With every step you take on this campus you realize that this place is for you.
Dr. Mukteshwar Gande: This is unimaginable. I mean we have been coming here regularly for the last 5 to 6 years ever since the early days of the initial temple within Akshardham. Now, however, we are not able to spend much time out here, but just like my friends and family members who come to visit from India and other parts of the world and like our neighbors and everyone else out here, we always come to attend all events and especially during Diwali for annakoot. That's why It's for the first time that I am finding a structure to be so inspiring. I have seen every corner of this building. I have also seen the people. It is always an exciting feeling coming here, to the temple, and sitting in front of the idols and Lord Swaminarayan. I feel that this is the only thing that provides relief (from all the troubles of the world). Everything that is missing in your life and everything that has disappeared is here. I feel here a unique wholeness connects you to your soul. Everyone over thinks of only one thing and that is Lord Swaminarayan.
Pat Sessions: The temple here is literally the life of those who choose not only to live with God, but to be a part of the principles of life and the opportunities that come alongside them in everyday life.
Dr. Aseem Shukla: The power of volunteerism impresses you as soon as you walk through the door here and meet so many people who don't volunteer in the evenings after their day job, but who have quit their day jobs to serve as a volunteer for three months, six months, one year or even more. Such service creates a sense of family that only comes from being with your wife and your children. When you are with volunteers who have given up so much, you feel like you're with a family. I feel that special energy when I walk through the doors here.
Rameshchandra Sinha : When I entered the precincts of the temple, I naturally felt that I had entered into a realm of divinity.
Paula Solami : I am very impressed with the facilities and the accomplishments that you have achieved. I have been here many years back, before this reception center was here right at the front alongwith the fountains. This is an amazing achievement and the work that has been done and the dedication shown by the people who have made it is unparalleled. I think it's a real testament to your faith and community that people have been able to give their time in this way. Sometimes volunteers have to sacrifice personal comforts and things of that nature to stay here. I am very impressed and I think you know it. This is indicative of many beliefs. I think this is really selfless and wonderful. I just can't get over the amazing craftsmanship here. People carve all the different pieces by hand and then put them together without a hammer. It is an outstanding work of art and I am very proud of it. This place has now become a great attraction for people of all religions to come and see and visit. This is now an integral part of our culture.
Thus, many pilgrims, who come here to visit, witness the spirit of dedication of the volunteers, the very beautiful artwork, the unmatched Divinity, Unity, Brotherhood, the incomparable asceticism of Mahant Swami Maharaj, the contribution of baps Swaminarayan Sansthan to the country of America etc. Everyone further gets a feeling that this is the real Akshardham where God and the transcendental saint reside permanently.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.