Pt. Ram Hardowar
Acharya of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir
92-17th 172nd Street
Jamaica, NY 11433
Pt. Ram Hardowar, the son of Mataji Kowsilla and the late Dharmacharya Pt. Hardowar Panday was born in Crabwood Creek, Guyana, on November 7th1953. An astute student, he excelled in his studies at Skeldon Lime Path Secondary School, and the University of Guyana. After graduating from UG he spent many years working through out Guyana as an Engineer.
Being the son of a Pandit, Guruji was brought up in a home where Hinduism was a part of his daily life. Guruji learned the basics of our great religion Sanatan Dharma very early in life from his parents, and his Guru the late Dharmacharya Pt. Lallman Shukla.
Guruji immigrated to the U.S.A in 1988 with his family. During the 80’s there were not many Mandirs in Queens, New York. Through the blessings of Bhagwan, and the hard and tireless work of the late Pt. Hardowar Panday, Shri Surya Narayan Mandir was founded at 204th Street, Jamaica. Under the tutelage of his father and his Guru, and with a relentless thirst and drive to learn about Hinduism and our rituals Guruji immersed himself in our various Shastras to expand his knowledge of Sanatan Dharma. With an ever-increasing number of devotees attending service the need for a larger Mandir was evident. Guruji worked tirelessly with his father and other devoted members of Surya Mandir to secure property and build a beautiful and bigger Surya Mandir on 172nd Street. Upon the passing of his father, Guruji took over the mantle of Surya Mandir. His tireless work ethic and his love for all especially the children are very evident in all that he does.
Similar to his professional work as a Geo-Technical Engineer where he utilizes his expertise in Geology to build strong foundations for huge skyscrapers in New York City, Guruji is determined to keep Sanatan Dharma alive by teaching all especially the youths of Mandir the beauty of our religion and culture. In order to do this Guruji spearheaded the formation of a Four Year program (Surya Veer Sang) in which the youths learn the basics of Hinduism as well as advance topics such as Vedanta. Under his leadership classes in traditional dance, music (Vocals and harmonium), Tabla, and yoga classes are being thought at Mandir.
Guruji always teaches that as Hindus we should be “givers not takers”. As one that practices what he teaches, Guruji started the Pt. Ram Sanskriti fund using Dakshina given to him while doing puja, yagnas, etc. This money is then used to provide scholarships to deserving students to pursue the studies of our arts (Music, Dance, etc) as well as current technology. Seeing the example set by their Guruji, his chelas are now supplementing the Sanskriti fund through various activities and fundraisers. As if this is not enough for one person Guruji is also a Director of Surya Narayan Seva Outreach Sang (SN SOS), a non-profit organization founded under his leadership to help the less fortunate in Guyana through medical & educational outreach as well as providing scholarships to deserving students.
Guruji continues to strive to improve Surya Mandir and he hopes that with Surya Narayan Blessings that Surya Mandir will one day be able to open the first Hindu School/Cultural Center in New York City. With a full-time professional job, serving as the spiritual acharya of Surya Mandir, Guruji still finds the time to full fill his family duties. Guruji is blessed with three wonderful children that are following his footsteps to keep Sanatan Dharma alive and four beautiful grandchildren. In every step that he takes and everything that he does Guruji is supported by his equally devoted, knowledgeable and hardworking Dharam Patni Radhaji. May Surya Bhagawan continue to bless our Guruji with a long and healthy life so that he can continue his Seva activities and to help preserve Sanatan Dharma through his teachings.