- POSTED BY editor
- June 17, 2010
Grand Opening of SVBF Canada’s $11 million Temple complex in Toronto
The highly anticipated grand opening of the Sringeri Sharadamba Temple and the Adi Shankara Museum was the theme of a press conference organized on Monday by Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, Canada (SVBF Canada).
The highlight of the 10 day event, opening the $11 million complex, would be the Grand Consecration (Mahakumbhabhishekam) of the Shri Sharadamba Temple, set to take place on June 20, 2010, said Mr. Ravi Subramanian, Chair, Board of Trustees, SVBF Canada. The consecration, to be conducted by specially trained priests flown from India just for the occasion, would be a once-in-a-lifetime event for most devotees, as it would follow the rigorous guidelines laid down for such an event in Hindu scriptures, he said. The temple, whose main deity is Shri Sharada, the Goddess of Learning and Wisdom, is affiliated to the Shri Sharada Peetham in Sringeri, India, established more than 1300 years ago by Adi Shankara, recognized as the person responsible for the resurgence of Hinduism, known as Sanatana Dharma, in India.
The Shri Sharadamba Temple would be one of the three main elements of the SVBF Complex, with the other two being the Adi Shankara Museum and the Sringeri Community Centre. The Adi Shankara Museum, the first such museum of its kind, to be inaugurated on June 27, would be graced by 16 specially commissioned marble panels telling the story of Adi Shankara, said Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, President of SVBF Canada. The Museum would eventually grow to be a storehouse of Indian spiritual and cultural traditions, enabling future scholars to conduct their research and for all devotees to draw inspiration from, he said.
The Adi Shankara Museum and the Shri Sharadamba Temple would join the Sringeri Community Centre, which opened in 2008 and is already the hub of numerous social, religious, cultural and corporate events. During the 10-day event, the Community Centre would host music, dance and spiritual narrative programs by both international and local artists, said Mr. Thiagarajan, who heads the Cultural Committee for the event. All the programs, in the time-honoured tradition of similar events in India, would be offered at no cost to the attendees, he said.
More than 150 volunteers have been working hard for several months to plan and execute the elaborate arrangements for the event. These arrangements include making parking arrangements for the anticipated 10,000 attendees, transportation, food preparation and guiding the visitors through the event for a hassle-free and memorable experience. Prominent dignitaries expected to attend include Federal Cabinet Minister, Mr. Tony Clement and Provincial Cabinet Minister, Mr. Harinder Takhar.
The Grand Consecration event will culminate on June 27 with ritualistic pouring of waters over the deities from 1008 silver and copper vessels (Kalasas), energizing the temple complex for the future generations. The completed complex will become one of the most popular points of interest in Greater Toronto, not only for Hindu devotees, but also for the general population interested in the great heritage of India and Hinduism, said Mr. Subramanian.
Update on the progress of the event***
The much anticipated consecration (“Mahakumbhabhishekam”) of SVBF Canada’s Sringeri Sharadamba Temple took place on a grand scale on June 20, 2010, witnessed live by thousands of devotees, dignitaries and other well-wishers. The event was recorded for live and delayed broadcast by many prominent TV channels, including ATN, Tamil One, OMNI, Vision TV, TV Asia, Star News, Jaya TV and others, as well a numerous radio and print media, giving the event global coverage. The event was the culmination of the 5 year vision of SVBF Canada’s trustees, particularly the Chair, Mr. Ravi Subramanian, whose dream of having a grand temple dedicated to the Goddess of Learning was fulfilled, as well as Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan for whom this event was the finest moment of his decades of community involvement. But the actual planning, organization and execution of the event could not have happened without the 100+ volunteers, both men and women, who worked hard and with devotion to ensure that not only did the religious and cultural components of the event took place without a hitch, but that all guests had an unforgettable experience.
Special messages of congratulations were received from Prime MInister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and read out to all in the presence of a host of dignitaries, including MP’s Rob Oliphant, Patrick Brown, MPP Bob Delaney as well as Mayoral Candidates George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi and Rob Ford among others. The Federal Minister of Industry, Mr. Tony Clement, also visited the temple complex the next day. The June 20 consecration event is part of a 10-day long celebration with 25 cultural programs, by international and local artists and speakers. The program, which started on June 18, will end on June 27 with the inauguration of the Adi Shankara Museum, the first museum dedicated to the life of Adi Shankara, whose life is described in 27 large marble panels specially commissioned for SVBF Canafa and sculpted in Rajasthan, India. The Museum will also become a centre of research and study of India’s great traditions. It will join the Shri Sharadamba Temple and the existing Sringeri Community Centre for a one-of-a-kind facility for spiritual, intellectual, cultural and social fulfillment. The day-long-parade of visitors to the temple, long after the climactic kumbhabhishekam moment was ample proof.
About SVBF Canada:
Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation (SVBF) Canada was established as a non-profit, charitable organization to propagate Sanathana Dharma in communities across Canada . SVBF Canada is an overseas affiliate of Shri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri, India and will promote teachings of Adi Shankara. SVBF Canada will also organize cultural programs for the community and encourage scholars to undertake research studies in the areas of interest to the community.