The Bahá'í House of Worship: The Lotus Temple in Delhi

Dr Mrs Janak Palta McGilligan Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2016 (13:28 IST)
The Bahá’í House of Worship in New Delhi,
popularly known as Lotus Temple, is considered as India’s symbol of by the Government of India, was dedicated to the people of this country and all humanity in december 1986. It  represents purity of the human soul and its ability to rise above conflict and prejudice. It is a place for prayer and meditation open to all people. No images are displayed inside the Temple and there are no offerings, sermons or rituals performed here It has been built by voluntary contributions from Bahá’is worldwide.

It exemplifies the essential principles of the Bahá’í Faith. It is a dedicated to the unity of God, unity of all religions and unity of humankind. It stands as another testimony to the efforts of the Bahá’ís of India towards the promotion of communal harmony, and unity in diversity. It attracts to its portals more than 4 million visitors of diverse religious backgrounds and nationalities every year. Under its dome, people from all walks of life come and pray from various Holy Scriptures in supplication to the one Creator of all humanity.

The Bahá'í House of Worship   also provides opportunities for children, youth and adults to participate in  classes for their all round growth and development. It also  houses institutions of higher learning for of the youth in order to prepare them for meaningful participation in social discourses . These activities exemplify the role of the Bahá'í House of Worship in integration of worship with service which is a cardinal principle of the Bahá'í Faith.

Community Building Activities of the Bahá’ís in India

Inspired by the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and the guidance of the Bahá’í institutions, like all different parts of the World,  Bahá’ís of India follow a systematic pattern of human resource development to develop capacities of individuals from different age groups and all walks of life to enable them to lead a life of service to society.

Bahá’ís believe that all human beings are born noble. The activities that Bahá’is are engaged in, help in building vibrant communities that take ownership of their own development at the grassroots level. One of these activites is  devotional gatherings / in diverse settings, uniting with people of other Faiths in prayer. When people from diverse backgrounds pray together, it creates bonds of love and unity. Prayer is a central element in all religious traditions and these meetings stress its universal nature.

Prayer offers people an opportunity to commune with their Creator, and to contemplate more deeply on what they do and how they can help the betterment of their society. Others include of Children,  junior   youths ,study circles open to all, that enable people of varied backgrounds to advance on equal footing and explore the application of spiritual teachings to their individual and collective lives.

Social Action

Participation in social action is a prominent feature of a life dedicated to the service of the entire human race.  Bahá’í development initiatives are designed to engage and benefit all the members of a community and not just Bahá’ís.

At the heart of all Bahá’í development undertakings is the recognition of a deep and inseparable connection between the practical and spiritual aspects of daily life. Tapping the spiritual roots of human motivation provides the essential impulse that ensures genuine social advancement.
Material advancement is not viewed as an end in itself, but rather as a vehicle for moral, spiritual, and social progress.

Meaningful social change does not simply result from the acquisition of technical skills, but more importantly from the development of qualities and attitudes that foster cooperative and creative patterns of human interaction.

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