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Saturday, June 26

Swamijis lead rituals
at Swaminarayan

Ceremony to Mark Beginnings of Swaminarayan Temple in Lilburn
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More than 1,000 Hindus are expected to gather Sunday in Lilburn to begin laying the
foundation of what they hope will be among the largest Hindu temples in the South. The
exact dimensions of the temple are still up in the air and depend very much on fund-
raising, said Ritesh Desai, a spokesman for the group. But the multimillion-dollar
structure will certainly be one of the largest Hindu temples in the South, he said.

Just last month, the Hindu Temple of Atlanta dedicated a new temple in Riverdale. And
three years ago, the Swaminarayans built a community center on their 30 acres off
Rockbridge Road. The center is the first piece of a cultural complex whose centerpiece
will be the temple.

Leaders say there are now more than 1 million Swaminarayan followers worldwide who
have taken lifetime vows of no alcohol, no addictions, no adultery, no meat and no
impurity of body and mind.

Tradition at the Temple
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The Aarti ceremony ends daily services with small flames circled from top to bottom in
front of the images of God. The ceremony is often accompanied by devotional music,
incense and flowers. In ancient times when temples were housed in caves, the flames
helped devotees to see God in darkness.