Coronavirus: Neasden Temple closes and moves to ‘online worship’ only until further notice
PUBLISHED: 15:51 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:17 16 March 2020
Neasden Temple is now closed to all devotees and has switched to ?online worship’ only to keep in touch with its thousands of devotees.
All BAPS Swminarayan mandirs across the UK and in Europe closed on March 13 due to the escalating global coronavirus pandemic.
Gatherings at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Brentfield Road, the largest of its kind in Europe, have been suspended since March 5 and will be closed until further notice to protect the health and safety of all it’s devotees and visitors.
BAPS said in a statement: “This additional measure has been taken to help delay the disease from spreading further, as part of our collective social responsibility.
“As the global community works hard to tackle and ultimately overcome this crisis, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) remains committed to fulfilling the spiritual needs of people, recognising that such challenging times call for innovative ways of meeting those needs.”
Weekly Satsang sabhas (religious assemblies) for children, teens and adults are being webcast live every weekend.
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Darshan of the murtis Neasden Temple is available every morning from the Mandir’s website, while the arti is also available to view each evening through a live web stream.
Online resources have been provided to families encouraging them to conduct their own ‘ghar sabha’ (home assembly) to help foster family unity and spiritual understanding.
BAPS leader, Mahant Swami Maharaj has also issued a call to all volunteers to act upon their dharma (duty) to support and care for others, especially the elderly, very young and vulnerable who are at most risk of catching the infection.
A national initiative is being put into place to ‘shop and drop’ for elderly devotees, to save them from having to venture out from their homes.
The High Commissioner of India to the UK, HE Ruchi Ghanashyam, tweeted on Sunday evening: “It is important to keep faith during times of challenge. A good initiative by @NeasdenTemple.”
Shruti Patel, a worshipper, said: “During this incredibly difficult time for so many people across the world, my family, including our two young children, are extremely grateful for these ways to remain connected with the Mandir and keep our faith alive when we need it the most.”