BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Bartlett, Chicago, IL, 60103

AUG 31 2008

I visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) many times, this is a beautiful temple near to Chicago land and only 35 miles from Downtown. To let you know this is a Desi temple and majority of the visitors are Hindu. All the major Hindu functions are celebrated here so this is a nice place to visit on special Indian occasions.

If you like to know about Indian culture, heritage, people, practice then please visit this mandir on a special function day so that you can enjoy the day and gain some knowledge.

What I like about BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (temple)

  • Free food on special occasions, how can you hate this?
  • The design of this mandir is stunning, the interiors are in wood and marvel carving which I loved the most.
  • I love temple that practices silence and this is the one so I like it.
  • Love to see lots of Desi crowd at one place and chat with them.

What I didn’t like about the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

  • The management people should speak in Hindi (national language of India) or English (international language), not in Gujurati (local language of Gujurat, India) at least.
  • Still to find one more issue to add here. I found more complains now. (update: 10/16/2008)
  • Girls don’t visit this temple wearing a sleeveless salwar, once the authority of this temple asked my friend to stay out because she was not in proper dress code that can be a jean and top but not a sleeveless salwar. This does surprises me.
  • Married women can’t hold their husband’s hand and walk in the temple building, wow, what’s wrong in this? The guards shout when they see such things, I am shocked.

If you guys visited any great temple in North America then share with us what you liked and disliked about the place/management.

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Name: Janardhan Raj

You are wrong I myself have been there and they ask you to wear a blue colored cloth no one that comes to this mandir is asked to stay out!
Also the volunteers speak in the following languages:English;Gujarati;and Hindi (national Language of India).
It is a Gujarati Temple so it makes sence if the staff comunicates in Gujarat.
It is important to consult other sources rather than to post such misguiding information on the internet.

Name: San Nayak

@Janardhan, I am sorry if you are hurt by my post but you are misunderstood at few of my points.

I am going to this mandir for last 8 years.

No one ever asked me to wear blue, this doesn’t mean they don’t say to people to wear blue because i might be wearing a blue color dress every time i visit there. You are never asked to stay away from the temple that doesn’t mean no one is asked for it. I clearly said “once my friend” and she was asked to stay because of a reason that i sited above.

Volunteers do speak in hindi, english and gujurati but couple of times they spoke to me in gujurati and i could answer them in hindi as i understand the language but can’t speak. They should start a discussion in hindi or english and continue to any language they feel comfortable with, this is just a suggesion, no hard feelings please.

You are purely mistaken here. IT IS NOT A GUJARATI TEMPLE, it is a hindu temple built by Swaminarayan sanstha. People of BAPS are not different, they are hindus..

I had substantial research and i think i am not wrong at my points it is just not well descriptive to make it clear. Anyway, my life will teach me more about BAPS.

Name: Janardhan Raj

Maybe you should look at the website Wikipedia is not a reliable source. You have not been going to the temple for the past 8 years since it was made in 2004 and the year is 2010 making the mandir only 6 years old. The Blue cloths are in a grey bucket right in front of the entrance to the tunnel.

Name: Janardhan Raj

Also I wanted to comment about the "no-holding hands". In our shastras when in a mandir it is important to focus on GOD and not anything else... So Stri-Purush Mariyada (Women-Men) are is nothing new and Bhagwan Swaminarayan also reitereates this in the Shikshapatri.

Name: San

@Janardhan, My apologies for saying that i have been visiting the temple for last 8 years, it is a typo because i came to Chicago in Aug 2003 only so it can't be 8 Yrs. Probably i meant 6 yrs.

I consider wiki is the best place for any information as it is controlled by the public and not by any individual or group so the information that you find there is not biased at all.

Holding your wife's hand doesn't mean you have no concentration on GOD and you are making romance there. I hold my wife's hand or my wife holds mine at places where we find crowd is too much, tomorrow i will have my kids and parents coming with me to same place and again i will hold their hand. This means support and GOD wont deny for that. Anyway, you are right from your point and i do cleared my points.

I never noticed the bucket or no one ever pointed me to go and get that. It is more convincing in Gurdwaras, and i wrap the orange scarp right after taking my shoes out. They have a bucket next to the door and you have less chance to forget it as everyone in front of you will be doing the same.

Name: rahul chaudry

when is the free food available ..

Name: San

@Rahul, I have no clue. I am guessing there will be some free food on weekend for Janmashtami, there was some food in Iskcon temple on wednesday though.

Name: reid crani

I believe in reincarnation, so why do I need Christianity? What makes you think that reincarnation is true? Believing it to be true doesn't mean that it is. Yes, I know, believing Christianity is true doesn't make it true either. But there is a big difference. In Christianity, we have Jesus. Jesus said He was the only Way. "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6). Jesus also performed many miracles. He walked on water, healed sicknesses, raised people from the dead, and claimed to be God in flesh. Because of these things, we need to look at Him seriously and consider what He is saying. Now, if Joe Schmoe on the street said that he was the only way to God, we'd look at him and say, "Yeah, right." But, if Joe calmed a storm with a command, raised someone from the dead, walked on water, etc., that would add a lot of credibility to his claim. After all, he is demonstrating extraordinary abilities consistent with his extraordinary claim. This is the case with Jesus. He made extraordinary claims and performed extraordinary deeds. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that what Jesus said was true--especially since He claimed to be God (John 8:24, 58; 10:30-33; 5:18). Jesus commissioned the apostles to teach and preach the Christian faith. In Heb. 9:27 it says, "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment." This verse alone shows that reincarnation is not true. Also, reincarnation negates the necessity of the Cross because reincarnation teaches, you can have different lives in which to try to "get it right." Not so in Christianity. According to the Bible, God gives us one chance to escape the clutches of sin and damnation. God has given us the Law, which states that we are not to lie, to cheat, or steal. But, we all have. Therefore, we are all under the judgment of God, and He will execute His judgment upon sinners on the Day of Judgment. If reincarnation is true, then there is no Day of Judgment, no need of a sacrifice, and no need to trust in Christ. A person needs Christianity because reincarnation does not remove sin. Also, reincarnation contradicts the Bible which presents Jesus with His miracles, fulfilled prophecies, resurrection, and so much more. Reincarnation denies the Day of Judgment. Also, think about this. Reincarnation works with karma, the idea that your past lives of "goodness" or "badness" affects the quality and position of your next incarnation. The purpose of reincarnation is to help you develop perfect karma by which you might then achieve a union with the divine consciousness after you have learned whatever it is you are supposed to learn. The problem is that each person had a first incarnation. That means that each person then had perfect Karma since he had no previous life and had done nothing wrong. Therefore, if he had perfect Karma and didn't learn or do what he was supposed to in his first life, then what makes him think that after hundreds of incarnations with accumulated bad karma that he will be able to achieve the perfect state of union with the divine consciousness that reincarnation moves him toward? It doesn't make any sense. But what does make sense is that there is one God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, and the only way to have your sins forgiven is to trust in Him and not your own efforts through various lives to try to become perfect. That is why you need Jesus because reincarnation is not only false, it is empty.

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