New Hanuman Temple
Maharaj-ji’s Taos ashram was established over forty years ago as a humble and informal gathering place for devotees to remember this great saint, to share stories and food, and to enjoy the company of satsang.
In 1981, a one-hundred-year-old adobe cow-milking barn was converted into a tranquil temple room where Hanuman was installed. To this day, Hanuman-ji still sits on part of the original mango wooden crate in which he made the long journey from India to America.
As Maharaj-ji’s teachings and Hanuman’s example of unconditional love and seva spreads, the temple has become a place of pilgrimage for many hundreds of devotees and visitors who come for darshan and to participate with satsang in service. We have outgrown our small multi-use space and it is no longer functional in meeting the community’s needs. The original building, which still houses both the temple room and Maharaj-ji’s kitchen, is a beehive of activity, filled with love and joy. Because the current temple room can only accommodate up to 70 people at a time, it is crowded beyond maximum capacity during weekly chanting and yearly festivals. Many, including the elderly and those with special needs, are forced to sit or stand in the adjacent sunroom or even outside.
The new temple will allow space for all who wish to chant and worship together. The time is right to begin construction and we are excited to announce that we will break ground on the project this year. We are very grateful that we have reached a place in our fundraising where we can begin to build. Funds are still needed to complete the project.
Through the generosity of many devotees we have approximately one quarter of the total amount of $920,000 necessary for completion of the project. Your enthusiastic participation will help make the dream of a new home for Hanuman a reality.
The ashram has sought a design to echo the Southwest style of architecture and blend in with its local surroundings, while incorporating the essential features of a Hindu temple. It will be a beautiful and reverential temple, oriented to the cardinal directions with Hanuman facing east to the sunrise.
At a modest size of 2,500 square feet, the mandir will maintain an intimate feeling while providing space for festivals
The current temple room will remain a sacred space.
Hanuman’s crossing of the ocean to America has brought an infusion of unconditional love and selfless service into Western culture. Sounds of kirtan chanting, and the great Hanuman Chalisa hymn reverberate through the Taos ashram.
All of Maharaj-ji’s temples and ashrams in India have close associations with Hanuman. A devotee painted an image of a flying Hanuman from a dream, and a murti, or statue, of this flying Hanuman was commissioned from a traditional family of marbl sculptors in Jaipur, India. Sri Siddhi Ma, who Maharaj-ji left to care for his ashrams, oversaw the fine details of Hanuman’s sweet expression before he journeyed to the west. Hanuman was temporarily installed at the present location and ever since, devotees have dreamed of creating a beautiful space for him. As in the Ramayana, Hanuman has brought Ram’s ring to Sita, who represents our soul and the Earth Mother. With it come tidings of her imminent release from captivity. Hanuman’s message brings the promise of love and faith, a faith that moves mountains. His presence, without doubt, will reunite Sita with Ram, our souls with the Supreme. In the Taos temple, Hanuman plays a special role in this historic transmission of devotion and wisdom from India to the West, and his mission to deliver Ram’s ring to Sita is a reality.
Read more on Hanuman’s journey to America: http://nkbashram.org/ashram/how-hanuman-came-to-america/
Contributions to Hanuman’s temple should be earmarked for the Mandir Fund and may be made online or by check
(please note Mandir Fund on the check) to:
Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
Post Office Box 1710
Taos, New Mexico 87571