Wednesday, April 30, 2014

THE BAHAI LOTUS TEMPLE IN INDIA .


                                                                          






                                                    
BAHAI LOTUS TEMPLE
( KALKA JI NEW DELHI )

Photographs by Autar Mota ( April 2014 )

“ Good Morning .Please be in queue and wait. You shall now be going inside the LOTUS TEMPLE or the BAHAI”S HOUSE OF WORSHIP. Please switch off your mobile phones . Please keep silence . Be seated inside and you are at liberty to pray in your own way. No eatables inside . Please do not drop any waste . ” So said the Bahai Volunteer outside the Lotus Temple .

As usual with me , I try to seek some exclusive time from him for clarification of my doubts about the Bahai faith . The volunteer suggests me to visit the Information centre located opposite to the Temple . He also directs me to a lady who is kind and courteous. She assures to reply all my queries and starts as under …


“This Temple is one amongst seven Bahai Worship centres across the world . We do not give any sermons or lectures inside the Temple. This Temple was designed by renowned Iranian American Architect FARIBURZ SAHBA who is a Bahai . Mr Sahba has also designed the new Town of Mahshahr in Iran . He lives in USA presently.The temple was started in 1980 and was completed in 1986. This temple complex is spread on a 27 acre plot that was purchased by us in 1953. Kalka ji was a jungle at that point of time. The Lotus temple is about 34 metres in height and the hall inside has a seating capacity for 1300 persons . The concrete lotus has 27 massive petals with 9 water pools around its base . No rituals are permitted inside the hall . Bahai worship houses are nine sided. Nine symbolizes oneness and unity . After nine you have ten that is duality . we believe in the highest unity that is represented by number nine.”

Feeling comfortable and encouraged , I start my questions

“ What is Bahai Faith all about ? ”

“ Bahai is an Independent Religion that originated from Shiraz in Persia ( Iran ) around 1844 . BAB was our first spiritual leader . He was persecuted and finally martyred in 1850.. For us all Religious Prophets and messengers were sent by one god only. We respect and love all prophets of all the faiths . We believe in oneness of the Human race .Bahai faith is all embracing in scope . It is humanitarian in its principles. We believe in unity of mankind .There are three central spiritual figures of our faith (1 ) BAB ( 1819-1850 ) (2) BAHA ULLAH ( 1817-1892 ) and ( 3) ABDU’L BAHA ( 1844- 1921 ). Our holy shrines are located in HAIFA and AKKA in ISRAEL where our spiritual messengers are buried .Bahai Temples have now come up in Uganda , Samoa , Australia , USA and Germany . ”

“What is the core message of the faith ?”

“ Good ! we believe in oneness and unity of Mankind and Religions . We believe in unity of God and unity in diversity .We believe that truth needs independent investigation . We believe in harmony between science and religion. We believe in equality of men and women and elimination of all types of prejudices. We believe in universal compulsory Education and adoption of a universal auxiliary language . We believe in abolition of poverty and extreme wealth . We believe in Glorification of justice as the ruling principle in Human society .We also believe that service to Needy Humanity is nothing less than worship of almighty . We do not want wars . We believe in the Institution of WORLD TRIBUNAL for adjudication of disputes between nations .And Bahais have no political aims .We believe in strict obedience to the Government of one’s country . I need to add that Fanaticism is forbidden in our faith. Gambling , Rituals ,backbiting , gossip , Alcohal , Mendicant /Ascetic lifestyles , pre martial and Extra martial sex is strictly forbidden . Since we believe in unity of mankind , we encourage inter racial marriages . ”

“Do you remember any quote from your Religious Text or Texts ? ”

“ Quote ? Okay Okay ! I remember a quote of Baha Ullah.. It goes as under …..
… “It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country but rather to him who loveth the whole world . The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”

“ What is the numerical strength of Bahais world over and India in particular ? ”

“ With in a period of 170 years , about 8 million Bahais have established themselves in more than 300 countries world over. The Bahai population in India has crossed 2 million figure at the moment . They live in all states and in all the zones of the country . Our efforts are focused towards keeping them free from caste and class prejudice, gender inequality, illiteracy, violence, poverty, and moral degradation. In patriotism and love for the land of their birth , they are second to none. The Bahais in India are free to wear any dress. You can see Bahai women wearing traditional sarees or shilwar kameez and men wearing kurta Pyjaama  .”

I thank her for the information . As I get up to move , she gives me a small booklet which has some quotes from Bahai spiritual master Abdu’l Baha . Hurrying towards the exit , I read some . I add a few to this post …

“Love is light in whatsoever house it may shine and enmity is darkness in whatsoever abode it dwell.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

God has created His servants in order that they may love and associate with each other. He has revealed the glorious splendor of His sun of love in the world of humanity.The cause of the creation of the phenomenal world is love.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the hearts of the sorrowful.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
What a power is love! It is the most wonderful, the greatest of all living powers.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

You are telling me to lie and bear false witness. Do with me as you please; I will not turn my back on what is right.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)


( Autar Mota 30.04.2014 )
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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

3 comments:

  1. A symbol of this global commonwealth is the fact that all the Bahá’í houses of worship are open to people of all faiths.

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  2. Nice post on Lotus temple. This place of worship of the Bahai sect is literally constructed in the shape of a large, white lotus flower. An architectural feat in itself, this beautiful temple is flocked by people from all religions, a living example of the openness and equality promoted by Bahai laws. One is allowed to read or chant from holy scriptures belonging to any religion, but nobody is allowed to play musical instruments, give sermons or hold religious ceremonies inside the hall. Check out Lotus Temple timings, entry fee, visit duration etc.

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