Like many aspirations, the dream to establish a place of worship grows slowly into reality, unfurling from unpretentious seeds into a multipetaled blossom of perfection through a gradual process of fruition; honed by nurturing, care, as well as careful guidance and oversight. The establishment of the society, founding of the original Hindu Mandir, and building of the new Mandir in Maple Grove was such an endeavor, living as a seed of hope in the hearts of the community members for many years, slowly growing stronger and more beautiful over time. The society really blossomed over a period of time and celebrated its Silver Jubilee in February 2004.
The early 1970s, Hindu families in Minnesota sought a place of worship where they could connect with one another, where their children could learn about religion and culture, and their identities, as Hindus, could be preserved. Lacking a formal location for conducting such activities, several families began to meet on a weekly basis in each others' homes, where they would study the Gita, conduct puja and celebrate holy festivals. This tradition continued through the years, and a close bond of friendship materialized amongst these Hindu families who came together to honor their faith on regular basis.
By the late 1970s, an innovative idea was envisaged: the establishment of a formal society whose purpose would be to celebrate the richness of the Hindu faith and to preserve the age old Hindu customs and traditions within Minnesota's Hindu community. From this concept, the Hindu Society of Minnesota (HSMN) was born and was established as a non-profit organization within the state of Minnesota in 1978. The first Constitution & Bylaws of the society were drafted by Dr. Krishna Saxena, Dr. Shashikant Sane, Dr. V. Premanand and Dr. Surender Chaudhary. At that time Dr. Saxena was elected as the President, Dr.Sane as the Secretary and Dr. Chaudhary as the Treasurer of the Executive Committee.
A century-old church in northeast section of Minneapolis was identified as the potential location for a formal place of worship for the members of the society. On February 2, 1979, a purchase agreement was signed to legally make 1835 Polk Street NE a property of the Hindu Society of Minnesota. Three couples namely Shanti & P.C. Mangalick, Kumud & Shashikant Sane and Kusum & Krishna Saxena initially contributed $5,000 apiece to meet $15,000 down payment for the purchase of the property. The antiquated church became the Hindu Society of Minnesota's new Hindu Mandir.
On February 17, 1979, first formal Hindu prayers and services were performed in the Hindu Mandir in the presence of ten families. Framed pictures of Sri Ram Parivar, Sri Krishna, Sri Ganesh, Sri Saraswati Sri Laxmi and Sri Mahadev adorned the main dais as the society inaugurated this new temple.
In the fall of 1979, Dr.Krishna Saxena was formally elected as the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Shashikant Sane was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Board and Dr.Padmakar Dixit was elected as the President of the Executive Committee for the year starting 1980. The following ten individuals were the Board of Trustees, by the end of 1979. Mr. Srinivas Kolatkar, Dr. Suresh Chandra Lagalwar, Mr. Amir Chand Mangalick, Dr. V. Premanand, Dr. Kamal Kumar Sahgal, Dr. Mrs. Kumud Sane, Dr. Shashikant Sane, Dr. Krishna Mohan Saxena and Dr. Mrs. Kusum Saxena. The first formal meeting of the Board of Trustees took place on December 12th, 1979. All these original members of the Board of Trustees remained consistent supporters and were duly recognized 25 years later in February 2004.
The purpose of the Hindu Society of Minnesota society was to provide a Hindu Mandir (place of worship) in the Twin Cities area; to bring into closer association the members of the Hindu community in the Twin Cities area and the State of Minnesota; to provide a forum for scholarly discussions of the Hindu philosophy; to conduct and sponsor religious, spiritual, and cultural activities for the benefit of the Hindu community; to establish a library that will depict Hindu philosophy and religion; to preserve and embellish Hindu traditions and cultural heritage; to teach its younger members the history and development of the Hindu philosophy and religion and to inculcate a pride of their heritage.
The very first discourse on Bhagwadgita was conducted by Dr. Shashikant Sane on May 6th 1979 as soon as the temple was adequately renovated and that tradition to conduct scholarly spiritual discourses every Sunday has continued ever since. Several spiritual leaders from around the world such as Late Swami Bhashyananda, Late Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Dayananda, Late Sant Keshavdas, Swami Viditatmananda and Swami Kartikeyananda have given discourses and conducted Seminars on Spirituality in the Mandir.
The first major renovation of the Mandir took place in 1979, under the guidance of Mr.Arun Shirole. The first murti of Sri Ganesh was donated by Drs. Kumud & Shashikant Sane and their family in India and was installed in 1983. Sri Mahavir's murti was donated by Drs Ranjit & Renu Jain in 1984. Subsequently several other murtis followed. The tradition of a week long Hindu Youth Camp was initiated in 1983 and has continued ever since because of the dedicated volunteers. Hindu Philosophy, Hindu Values, Yoga, Meditation, various sports including Tennis, soccer, softball, swimming, leadership skills were taught at the camp.
|Address 1||1835 Polk St. NE, Minneapolis, MN|
Opps. Its empty!!