Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton in Canada has reportedly received the building permit from the City of Brampton in Ontario, which it calls “a long and difficult process”.
According to Temple President Dr. P. Karunakaran Kutty, the “construction is to begin in early October”. Temple has reportedly raised about $1.8 million and is seeking more donations.
This Temple is proposed to be built in accordance with ancient Hindu Shilpa and Agama Shastras; plans to accommodate Sree Kovils for Guruvayurappan, Ganapathy, Sastha, and Devi; and hopes to be “a pillar of social cohesion, aside from being the spiritual epicenter for the Hindus of North America”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the governments of Canada, Ontario and Brampton to simplify the seemingly stringent building permit process for religious centers and offer assistance through the process so that devotees could practice their respective faiths freely.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, commending efforts of temple-project leaders and Greater Ontario area community towards realizing this Temple, indicated 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 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.
This Temple, whose history goes back to mid 1990s, opens everyday at its current temporary location. It performs various poojas; with wedding costing $501, Sarpa Bali costing $301 and Vahana (Vehicle) Pooja at $51. It has minted a gold-plated medallion carrying the image of Lord Guruvayurappan and is selling it at $1,000 each to raise funds. It is taking reservations for “Udayasthamana Pooja”, each costing $5,000, which will start once the temple is completed, reports suggest.
Gopinathan Menon, R. K. Padiyath, T.A. Viswanathan and Appukuttan Nair are Vice President, Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director and Manager respectively of the Temple. Divakaran Namboothiri is the Chief priest and Thantri. It claims to have developed a program to assist/support newcomers to Canada.
Incorporated as village in 1853, Brampton ( famous as Flower City) in Greater Toronto area, 11th largest city in Canada and one of its fastest growing, besides various denominations of Christianity, is also home to a considerable number of Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, and nonbelievers. Punjabi is the mother tongue of about 28 percent of its residents. Prominent people associated with Brampton include Rick Nash (ice hockey), actors Shawn Ashmore (X2) and Michael Cera (Superbad), country singer Johnny Reid (Kicking Stones), etc. Linda Jeffrey is the Mayor of Brampton, which boasts of a Chess Park.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.