BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Christchurch
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The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Christhurch is the third mandir in New Zealand of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). It is the only Hindu temple on the South Island of New Zealand. It officially opened on 26 June 2012.
Prior to February 2012 the mandir was opened for worship using photographs of statues of the Hindu deities. On 26 June 2012 statues that were blessed by Pramukh Swami were installed in the temple during a religious ceremony in Christchurch. All participated in the religious ritual called "mahapuja". The people who attended were given an idol frame plus a religiously blessed piece of cloth to drape over themselves at the Mahapuja.
BAPS entered Christchurch in 1993 with two followers in Christchurch. The temple had steady followers.
The North Island has two temples; in Auckland and Wellington. Another is planned for Rotorua. They regularly meet on a Sunday. This congregation is called "Ravi Sabha" . The "Ravi Sabha" is followed by a dinner called "MahaPrasad" which means "God's offering". In Hindu religion it is believed that after worshipping God food should be offered to Him.
The Christchurch mandir is managed by the Asia Pacific region's management. The program is delivered from offices based in Atlanta, USA. A strict schedule is followed.
From 1993 to 2012, BAPS followers met regularly and celebrated all the festivals at social and community halls.
The following Gods have statues:
- Lord Shiva
- Lordess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva)
- Lord Ganesha (son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati)
- Lord Rama
- Lordess Sita (wife of Lord Rama)
- Lord Hanumana (worshipper of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita)
- Lord Krishna
- Lordess Radha
- Gunatitanand Swami( follower of Swaminarayan)
- Purna Purushottam Shri Swaminarayan
Guru followings (Guru Parampara) include Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and the current Guru Pramukh Swami.
The mandir has a full-time priest. Religious procedures and practices are adhered to by him. He offers water, toothpaste and toothbrush to all the Gods. Then he offers breakfast, which is freshly made daily. He does Aarti at 7 am, offers lunch at 11 AM. After that the Gods rest. The priest rests from 1 PM until 2:45. Then he offers fruit and water and at 4 PM opens the temple to the public, where he meets and greets congregants. He offers religious services by performing religious celebrations at people's homes or at temples.
- The Christchurch Star, 27 June 2012
- Northwest News, 27 June 2012
- Swaminarayan Prakash July 2012