BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham/News/Robbinsville Township Community Members Recognized at BAPS for their Generous Support of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

Robbinsville Township Community Members Recognized at BAPS for their Generous Support of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

Wednesday September 20, 2023

On September 20, 2023, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham hosted the 15 departments of Robbinsville Township Council for a special Robbinsville Township Appreciation Day. The evening’s festivities honored councilmembers along with the greater Robbinsville community for their generous support for the creation of Akshardham.

Volunteers at BAPS gathered to share their appreciation for the township’s contributions and the effect of their gracious support. The program included video messages from BAPS volunteers who have led the making of Akshardham over the last 12 years. The messages highlighted the purpose of Akshardham which is to serve as a space for all members of the community and the world at large to experience peace within and with others.

The volunteers remarked how Robbinsville has truly become a center of life for them. BAPS devotees and well-wishers visiting the Akshardham campus from afar now feel that Robbinsville has become their home. The volunteers emphasized that similarly, the Akshardham campus is now a new home to all Robbinsville residents. “Whether you just want to take a walk with a friend, or grab a bite to eat, this Akshardham is your home too.”

Councilwomen Chris Ciaccio, a friend of the neighborhood and BAPS, shared, “I’m so honored to be able to come here. Something I learned during my time here was ‘In the joy of others, lies our own.’ I try to live like that now. I am trying to make my life about just being nice and taking care of others. I was proud to be a part of the stone-laying ceremony in 2014, and have my name written on the stone. It is such an honor.”

Akshardham’s presence in Robbinsville has given BAPS an opportunity to give back to the local community. This summer, BAPS partnered with RWJ Barnabas Health to host one of the longest-running blood drives in New Jersey, which aims to save nearly 18,000 lives. In conjunction, BAPS has also been conducting a donation drive, collecting canned food, school supplies and hygiene products, which has enabled the distribution of nearly 10,000 items throughout Mercer County. A BAPS swami involved in the local community services stated, “This place provides BAPS devotees spiritual nourishment and allows them to be the best they can be by giving back to the community. During the COVID pandemic, BAPS delivered 4,000 hot meals in and around Robbinsville. Additionally, local devotees got together and flew to Poland to aid in mitigating the Ukrainian crisis because they were inspired by Akshardham and its messages to do so.”

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of BAPS, wrote a letter thanking the Robbinsville community for welcoming BAPS and Akshardham into their community. “Thank you for being an integral part in the making of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham. I express my heartfelt gratitude for your support these past 15 years. I pray that we continue to grow together,” the letter states.

The event featured a special panel discussion with a few of the BAPS volunteers who are Robbinsville residents. Everyone expressed the kindness and warmth they felt in the community and how happy they are to call Robbinsville their home. Dr. Nisha Patel shared that when her local business encountered hurdles during the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Robbinsville community stood by her, supporting her small business as well as many others throughout the community. It is acts of grace such as this that make Robbinsville a great place to call home.

The night concluded with recognizing members of the Robbinsville Township Council for their efforts in helping to fulfill the vision for Akshardham. This event served as a reminder of the extraordinary unity, community spirit, and progress that define Robbinsville. Akshardham, after all, is a testament to the American democracy, religious freedom, and ability to achieve great things with teamwork and dedication.

BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, which will open this October, serves as a beacon of peace, unity, and selfless service. Regardless of one’s belief and background, Akshardham aims to inspire everyone to connect with themselves and one another. BAPS encourages all members of Robbinsville and the Mercer County area to visit the 185-acre campus.