The Founder of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir
His holiness, Pt. Hardowar Panday Ji, established the first Surya Mandir in North America. Panditji started his career as a Priest at the tender age of ten. As a little boy, he had to represent his father at religious and community affairs. His Guru, Pt. Lallman Sukul Vidyalankar was very prominent and knowledgeable along with his Vidya Guru Pt. Basdeo Sharma. He motivated the residents of Crabwood Creek, Guyana to construct a Mandir, which today stands with its beautiful Murties as a symbol of his love and dedication. It was in recognition of his outstanding service to Sanatan Dharma that the Guyana Pandits Council, in 1972, awarded him the prestigious title of “Dharma Ratna.”
He migrated to the United States in August 1988; where he continued serving his community with the same zeal and enthusiasm. During retirement he compiled and published a very thorough and authoritative book on Hindu rituals, entitled “Karma Kandha Padhati,” along with a number of prayer and bhajan books. Even at the age of 80 years, Panditji was still full of vigor and energy, for he continues to serve his fellow Hindus in the NYC area, by establishing the first Surya Mandir in New York. At Shri Surya Narayan Mandir, Panditji had a tremendous impact on the lives of all devotees. In recognition of his years of service, he was awarded the most prestigious title of Dharmacharya. His plans are now under way for another Shri Surya Narayan Mandir in Florida.