Gyan Yajna in Port Mourant
A three sessions Gyaan yajna was held in Port Mourant on July 6, 7 and 8. It was hosted by Dave and Kamal Harry of New York. Queens, and formerly of Ankerville. The religious service was held at the Port Mourant Shivala that was established by indentured Indian laborers.
The three sessions Yajna were officiated by Pandit Hari Persaud Dewdat, formerly of Albion, and who now makes his home in Florida. The Yajna was held in honor of Kamal’s 60th birthday. Two of her sisters, her daughter, and a grandchild joined in the worshipping services.
The mandir was beautifully decorated with flowers, leaves, fruits and lights. And it was packed with hundreds for each of the three sessions. People came from far away locations including from Demerara. There were also kirtan groups from far away villages that rendered bhajans.
Asked why she decided to come to Port Mourant Shivala to celebrate her 60th birthday, she said worshipping is the best way to celebrate one’s birthday. She said she was from Ankerville and wanted to perform yajna there. “I have very fond memories of Port Mourant Shivala. I wanted to return to my home mandir where we had memorable experience and great worshipping”.
She noted that her mother (known as Aunty Budhia) worshipped at the mandir. And when Kamal was small, she and her sisters used to worship at the mandir. Her mother had a role in the construction expansion of the mandir many decades ago. She said: “It was my desire to have a service and invite the public to be participants. That drove me to return to Ankervile and host this gyaan yajna with my husband and extended family members”.
Kamal said she was ably supported for the yajna by individuals in Port Mourant as well as in New York and she wanted to thank them publicly. Kamal and her family fully sponsored the costs of the yajna. But several individuals contributed financially for the upkeep of the mandir. She wishes to acknowledge their financial assistance -- Pam, Shanta & her extended family, Jagat Persaud & Betty and family, Kunti & Chano, Mahatma Gandhi Satsang, and Balram & family for their financial contributions to upkeep the mandir. Just over $1700 was donated to the mandir; Kamal and David also donated over $1000.
Kamal also wishes to acknowledge the voluntary contributions of Pandit Dinesh Jaiprashad of Ankerville. Dinesh chaired the proceedings during the three sessions.
Kamal publicly acknowledged the role played by several others in the readiness of the mandir for the yajna. In particular, she is grateful to Dave Thakoordeen from Tain Humanitarian Society and New York, Manoj (Uncle Spready’s son) of Free Yard, Port Mourant, Beshoboy (from Ankerville) and others for their organizational role in readying the outside structure of mandir for the yajna.
Kamal stated that Manoj assistance was invaluable with no price enough to describe the value of his role. And Manoj helped without any financial remuneration. He spent personal money to upkeep mandir and to conduct repairs.
Kamal recognized the significant role that volunteers played to help clean the inside of the temple -- Krishna, Chano, Meena, Baby, Andro, Naddi, and several others. She also expressed gratitude to the Harry family in Port Mourant for their contributions and all who extended a helping hand for the preparation of meals, distribution of prasad, etc. And importantly, she recognized her sisters Claris and Mon and her husband for joining in the yajna and for their dhan (donations) to worshippers.
Kamal has made a public appeal for funds to renovate the temple. She pointed out that the mandir has too many murthis making it difficult to upkeep them. She urges the public to stop donating murthis. Give monetary assistance instead for the upkeep of present murtis and maintenance of the temple. She noted that the mandir needs renovation and a fence to deter thieves preying on materials in the mandir and to support the youths who undertake Hindi and kirtan singing lessons.
There are management issues in the temple. A discussion is needed on the way forward. It is suggested that a management committee be established to oversee the affairs of the mandir. Dave Thakoordeen, Kamal, Vishnu Bisram, Jagat Persaud, and Bhagoo have volunteered so far. More volunteers are urged to come forward. For donations or info, you can contact Kamal (718-552-0786); Mon or Shivo of Canada at 514-969-2231;