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Hindu Temple of Florida: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 962-6890.

Vishnu Mandir: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday only, discourse by Pandit Vishnu Sharma; 5303 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 654-2551

Sanatan Mandir: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday; 311 East Palm Avenue, Tampa, FL 33602; (813) 221-4482

Shri Saraswati Devi Mandir: 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday only; officiating priest is Pandit Purnanan Sharma; 16220 Livingston Avenue, Lutz, FL 33559; (813) 264-1539

Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; Darshan is closed between noon and 4 p.m. but reopens at 4 p.m.; 9226 E. Fowler Ave. (between Interstate 75 and U.S. 301); (813) 986-5473.

MANAV DHARMA ASHRAM: sumiran is from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. first Thursday of every month; satsang is 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, followed by dinner; yoga classes begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday; bhajans are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every third Sunday; 7520 Caron Road, Tampa, FL 33615; call the ashram at (813) 889-7155, Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661 or Ashok Modh at (813) 935-3439.

SHREE YAMUNA PREETI SEVA SAMAJ: Pushtimargiya Satsang Mandal invites Vaishnavs of Tampa Bay area to weekend Satsang sabhas and kirtans; 1340 Robin Road S., St. Petersburg, FL 33707; call Smitabein Patel at (813) 961-3816 or Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661.

Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area Mosque: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; 7326 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33601; Tel: (813) 628-0007

Gurudwara: 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. daily; 15302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa, FL 33592; (813) 986-6205.


HINDU SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707; (407) 699-5277.

Shri Shivdham Hindu Temple and Brahmrishi Yogashram: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily; 460 O’Berry Hoover Road, Orlando, FL 32825; (407) 380-2661 or e-mail

GURDWARA, SIKH SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 11:30 A.M. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 2527 W. Aloma Ave. (west State Road 426), Oviedo; (407) 805-0404.

MASJID AL-RAHIM, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, WEST ORLANDO: five times daily prayers and pray on Friday; 4962 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, FL 32811; (407) 523-7882.

SHRI SHIVDHAM HINDU TEMPLE AND BRAHMRISHI YOGASHRAM: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily; 460 O’Berry Hoover Road, Orlando, FL 32825; (407) 380-2661 or e-mail

SANTOSHI MA TEMPLE: bhajan and aarti first Friday of every month; 10900 Park Ridge Gotha Road, Windermere, FL 34786; (407) 996-2830.

SHRI LAXMINARAYAN MANDIR: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday; 269 N. Klondike Ave., Pine Hills, FL 32811; (407) 877-7916.

SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR (BAPS): 1325 W. Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809; (407) 857-0091.


ISKCON OF ALACHUA (International Society for Krishna Consciousness): founder is A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, P.O. Box 819, Alachua, FL 32616; (386) 462-2017.


Shirdi Sai Center: 4707 Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, FL 34452; for timings of the center and any other information, call (352) 860-2181 or e-mail

Send information on upcoming events to Nitish S. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647
or e-mail
Deadline for submissions is the 18th of each month to be included in the next issue.


Swami Suryadevananda

Rishi Visvamitra was greeted by King Dasaratha with great reverence and an offer to request for anything he wished; stating that fulfilling his request would be his duty and joy. Visvamitra asked for the King’s son, Rama, to help him vanquish some demons bent on disrupting an important Yajna that he was conducting.

The King was shaken to the core as his attachment to Rama was beyond his own breath and exclaimed his disbelief at the request. Before the situation where ‘word given’ could worsen, Rishi Vasistha, the family Guru intervened and comforted the King with the wisdom of permitting Rama to accompany Visvamitra to fulfill the promise already given.

The chamberlain who was asked by the King to send for Rama sadly told the King that Rama’s condition was worsening by the day. Though a Prince, he lived in the Palace in austerity, rejecting all comforts and princely pleasures. Rama would spend most of his day in quiet contemplation; uttering sentences on the futility of pleasures and the traps of comforts. He shunned all lavish conveniences and would spend his days in this state. Seeing him in this pitiable condition, his dear brothers also followed suit as their love for Rama was beyond all.

The Sage Visvamitra intervened as the perplexity of the King grew and assured the King that there must surely be a cause for the effect. He felt a state of dispassion was overtaking Rama and this needed to be examined and resolved. Rishi Vasistha agreed and Rama was being sent for, he appeared in the court to pay his respects to his father and the sages present.

Though all were delighted to see Prince Rama, he carried a different demeanor in his mannerisms and looked like a person lost in deep thought. When questioned by Rishi Visvamitra regarding his present condition, Rama replied that a train of thought had overtaken him since returning from his year long journey beyond the walls of the palace and he was unable to reconcile what he had seen with the discipline of teachings he was given.

The two sages present in the court knew immediately that Rama’s condition of dispassion was an indication of the dawning of wisdom and there was a need to offer clarification and confirmation to the doubts of Rama, there and then. Life is not a smooth blend of events offered to us for our personal enjoyment and sense gratification; it is a stream of opposition, seeming contradiction and rough edges, which will persistently confront us for a response and ‘do something or not do something — we must’.

Rama’s story in the Yoga Vasistha is not a story of a long time ago; it is our story even today as at every moment, we too are brought face to face with our understanding of the world at large. We think before we act and hence when cornered with opposition continually, we are not afforded the complacence of an adopted value system and forced to re-evaluate things as our old ways of thinking and envisioning provides viable solutions.

We will continue on Rama’s response in regards to his condition to the wise sages in the next issue.

Swami Suryadevananda, presently residing in St. Petersburg, is with the Divine Life Society founded by Sri Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh, India. He can be reached via e-mail at


About 1,500 people attended the grand opening ceremonies of the Swaminarayan Temple from June 29-July 3 in Lakeland. It was the first U.S. PranPratishtha by recently inaugurated His Holiness Acharya Maharaj Koshalendraprasadji of Ahmedabad who attended all five days of ceremonies.

Among the 13 idols installed in the temple were Harikrishna Maharaj, Radha Krishna Maharaj, Hanuman, Ganesh and also a representation of Shreenathji for the Vaishnav followers.

Yogendra Bhatt presented a five-day Bhagvat Katha, combining the complex concepts of Shreemad Bhagvat with everyday concerns of people by using large doses of humor.

HHAM and Sant Mandal Shobhayatra presided from a specially designed parade float. Devotees sang songs and lit fireworks.

Ishwar Shukla, who was in technical charge of the Yagnabhumi, also handled the murti preparation. Assisting him were Nalin Joshi and Dhiren Shukla.

“Devotees came from Central Florida as well as various International Swaminarayan Satsang Organization (ISSO) chapters in New Jersey, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston,” said Dilip Shah, one of the temple board members. “This is actually the opening of the seventh temple of the original Swaminarayan Sampraday in USA.”

Shah specially mentioned 40 youth, members of the Nar Narayan Dev Yuvak Mandal. “NNDYM is a pet project of His Holiness Acharya Maharaj Koshalendraprasadji who deeply believes in instilling in the younger generation the spiritual values we take for granted as the first generation of Indians in America,” he said.

The temple is at 2798 New Tampa Highway in Lakeland. For more information, call Dilip Shah at (863) 647-2597 or the temple at (863) 687-4776.

Acharya Mridul Krishnaji Goswami will present Bhagwat Saptah Aug. 21-27 at Sanatan Mandir (311 E. Palm Ave.) in Tampa.

Swami Goswami was born in Vrindavan in the devout family of Swami Shri Haridas, guru of the famed classical maestro Tansen.

“Swamiji continues to live up to this divine musical talent that has been carried along from generation to generation,” said Veena Rattan of Sanatan Mandir. “Swamiji creates the presence of the lord through his discourses on the Srimad Bhagwatam.”

Swami Goswami has been preaching this divine scripture since the age of 16, and till date has completed more than 700 Bhagwat Kathas.

For more information, call the Sanatan Mandir at (813) 221-4482.

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