BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Topics: Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism, Religion, Vaishnavism Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: May 8, 2014
On our trip to the beautiful Hindu temple BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett me and our group had a great experience to see what the Hindu culture is all about. I have never been to any other church other than Greek Orthodox and Christian churches. I quite enjoyed the Hindu Temple experience because of the beautiful architecture both inside, outside and the great atmosphere surronding. From the time you enter through the gate that leads to the temple, you realize that this is a very special place. According to Wikipedia, on May 18, 2005, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chicago was awarded the "Best Building Suburb" award by the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) for displaying 'distinctive design, outstanding construction, and a positive impact on the surrounding community. What struck me when i first walked in is that no one was wearing shoes inside the temple. When we asked our guide why is it that people are not wearing shoes inside the temple despite negative Fahrenheit temperature outside he explained that in the hindu religion the temple is treated much like you own home. So in most religions people don’t wear shoes inside their house and the Hindu religion believes that temples should be treated much like your home. We were invited to go visit the place of worship which was the next building over. In Hinduism, ‘Mandir’ is a place of worship, or prayer. ‘Mandir’ is a Sanskrit word whose meaning signifies ‘where the mind becomes still and the soul floats freely to seek the source of life, peace, joy, and comfort.’ For centuries, the Mandir has remained a center of life – a place in the community where people forget their differences and voluntarily unite to serve society. Although the Mandir is a separate building, our guide has directed us to leave our shoes behind. Our group was lost for a few minutes and then our guide smiled, and explained jokingly that they have built an underground tunnel to access the Mandir building so that people wouldn’t...
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