Built by the Grande Prairie Hindu Association (GPHA), a registered non-profit charity, its purpose is to promote Hindu religion and culture. Before this, Hindus of the area were reportedly gathering at homes or travelling to Edmonton, about 450 kilometers away, for religious observances.
Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given inaugurated this about 1,380 square foot Hindu temple and cultural center; grand-opening ceremonies of which included prana-pratishtha rituals and various prayers.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Association leaders and area community to realize this Hindu temple complex.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple complex would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
According to reports, this new temple complex plans to meet the worship, social and cultural needs of the community. Besides Hinduism, it aims to promote India and its dances, culture, philosophy, foods, languages, etc., and hopes to bring instructors from India to teach classical music, yoga, etc. In addition to worship services, it will also be utilized for celebration of festivals, be a gathering place for community elders and provide spiritual guidance.
Doctors Nikhilesh Roy, S. Karnik and Ram Mudalier are President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer respectively of GPHA.
First County in Alberta, Grande Prairie County No. 1, with an area of about 5,863 square kilometers has only 20,347 population. This area was settled in the early 1900’s. Currently, Leanne Beaupre and Bill Rogan are Reeve and Administrator respectively of the County, whose Vision Statement includes: “focuses on people, their quality of life and diversity of opportunity”.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.