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Shri Surya Narayan Mandir was blessed on Sunday October 31st 2009 to host Swami Aksharananda Ji Principal of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan School in West Coast Demerara, Guyana. In 1998, Swamiji was responsible for commissioning this Hindu faith based school which has grown from 35 students to its current enrolment of over 200 students. Over the past 6 years, under the guidance of Swamiji, the school has surpassed all expectations with the graduates performing well above the national average.
Swamiji was welcomed and greeted by the Spiritual Leader of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir, Pt Ram Hardowar. Panditji remarked about Swamijis success and most importantly, the need for a similar institution in New York. Pt. Ram spoke about the plans of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir to establish a Hindu based school similarly to the Saraswatie Vidya Niketan. Panditji continued to stress the need for educating our Hindu children about their religion and culture. He offered the singhasan to Swamiji who gave an inspiring message to all, especially the children of our Mandir. Swamiji was garlanded by Khaminiji, the president of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir Youth Organization.
He emphasized to the children the need to work hard and focus on education. “Pursue your dharma as if death himself is chasing you”. He added, education should not make you arrogant though. “The first thing that knowledge should do to us is make us humble…and better human beings”. He added, Our entire life should be a Yagna. A proper education should make us understand our role in society, where one has to learn to give rather than to receive. Conversely, he addressed the parents as well about not making their children act like adults too early.
Pandit Ram and Swamji continued their discussions after Mandir services concluded. Many other devotees and executive members also greeted Swamiji . Radhaji remembered Swamiji as a very strict teacher in the schools of West Coast while she was attending in the 60’s. Panditji also updated Swamiji on his planned Medical Outreach trip to Guyana in November. He assured Swamiji that if time permits he will reciprocate the visit to his school in West Coast Demerara.