Devotees and well-wishers from across the world gathered on the Mandir’s campus to celebrate its opening. Children frolicked on the grass holding their parents’ hands; women in their bright saris held their breath as they saw the Mandir for the first time; elderly devotees raised their heads and bent their backs in awe to appreciate this traditional house of worship that would encourage a fresh undertaking of religious ritual and beliefs in the community. Also in attendance during the celebration were Senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker and Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Mike Fitzpatrick, and Frank Pallone, Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, John Jay Hoffman and New York Indian Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay.
Speaking on the occasion, Hoyer said, “This Mandir will surely not only be a place of worship, but a place of service. The saying, ‘in the joy of others, lies our own’ is translated here from words into action. As followers of this movement have done throughout the world for the benefit of millions and millions of people.”
“Today is truly a day of celebration. Today is a day that is not just good for this community or the state of New Jersey but indeed what you are doing is great for all of America,” said Cory Booker. “I am so impressed. I am so impressed. Indeed, I give reverence to an extraordinary structure (the Mandir) which will stand in all of North America as one of the greatest places of faith we have but I am more impressed with the people of this community.”
The inauguration festivities, spanning over two weekends, included a yagna or Vedic ritual for world peace, an evening of cultural programs performed by children, women’s cultural program and the murti pratishta rituals.
Prior to the consecration ceremonies, they were taken on a festive procession around the complex. Young and old lined up on the side of the road, some dancing in excitement, some singing, and others watching the murtis and procession. These events infused a sense of jubilance into the devotionally-charged atmosphere. As the culminating event of these celebrations, the Mandir was officially inaugurated in a Vedic ceremony performed by BAPS Swamis in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It is the sixth traditional BAPS Mandir of its kind in North America. Symbolic of the rich traditions it will carry forward, the Mandir is a modern architectural marvel built in accordance with guidelines from ancient Hindu scriptures. Master craftsmen in India first meticulously carved each portion of Italian marble. As the individual portions were completed, they were brought to Robbinsville to be pieced together like a giant puzzle to cover every inch of the structure. The completed masterpiece showcases intricate designs that depict meaningful stories about heroism, sacrifice, and devotion.