Hindu Family’s Idea for Temple Stemmed From Prayer Sessions in the Privacy of Their Home in the 1980s.
HUBER HEIGHTS — It began with a Hindu family’s prayers in the privacy of their Springfield home in the early 1980s. It culminated this weekend in the dedication of the Dayton area’s second Hindu temple, off Bellefontaine Road. The first temple, in Beavercreek, was dedicated in 1985.
In between was the journey of a lifetime for Chirag Patel, a Hindu believer and Columbus physician.
In 1982 the Patel family began what led to this weekend’s two- day dedication. By 1984, a dozen reform-sect Hindu families around Dayton were opening their homes for weekly prayer services, he said.
Patel was just 5 years old then. From there, the group grew to 125 families willing to transform a former fraternal lodge into a Hindu Mandir, or house of worship.
“That’s really how we can turn a building into a temple,” Patel said. “It takes people.”
Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion — behind Christianity and Islam — with more than 851 million adherents worldwide and about 1.4 million in North America, according to the 2006 World Almanac.
This weekend’s dedication featured a visit to the new temple of 25 Indian Hindu monks, or “saints” as Hindu believers call them. Patel said the temple features a prayer hall, bookstore and food shop, dining hall with stage and a full-service kitchen.
The Hindu holy day is Sunday, but Patel said the temple will be open seven days a week to Hindus and non-Hindus alike.
“The reason why we have two Hindu temples in Dayton is because we’re so open to diversity,” Patel said.