The Vision for Shri Trimurti Bhavan from Pandit Chunelall Narine

Shri Trimurti Bhavan, called a “thriving Ozone Park temple” by the New York Times has made strides in the spiritual, cultural, and community life of many Indo-Caribbean Hindus. During the course of 14 years, the mandir has become a hotspot attracting politicians like Eric Ulrich and Mayor Bloomberg as well as spiritual leaders like Sri Swamiji. The temple youth have also played a prominent role in the Jamaica Bay Clean-Up Campaign. As the mandir celebrates its 14th anniversary, the leader and pandit-in-charge Chunelall Narine explains how the mandir has progressed and reflects on the future of Trimurti in its need for expansion.

Spiritual leader of the Shri Trimurti Bhavan mandir, Pandit Chunelall Narine.


What is your vision for Trimurti? Any current or future plans underway?

My vision for Trimurti is expansion. I think we have literally outgrown this mandir especially when we have important functions here, we run out of space. My vision is down the block, if it becomes available, then we should purchase more real estate in the future and expand our operations to include more youth and do much more for our seniors because we don’t have a program for our seniors right now. We purchased another building down the block which would be used as a cultural center but that building is in limbo right now. As it seems right now, it will fall in the hands of those that occupy it. My vision is to grow in size and to expand our activities, to do much more for the youths, seniors, and congregation.

City Councilmember Eric Ulrich greets a crowd at Trimurti in 2009. (Photo Courtesy of Gabel for News)

Explain more about the cultural center. What are some ideas for the way it would be run and what activities would be held there?

The cultural center would mean to implement a lot of cultural programs for our children like music programs, dance programs, and Hindi classes. The culture is about the youth. So at the cultural center we’d like to put the youth in charge. We have some brilliant youth here with technology at their hands. One of the things I’d also like to see is a permanent drama class. We were very successful in the few dramas we did for this mandir like Bhakt Prahlad and Ram Banwas. I’d like to see more of this happen…dramatizations, and re-enactments of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and other related Hindu texts.

Youths from Trimurti gather to clean up Jamaica Bay in Queens, New York on April 2011 Earth Day. (Photo Courtesy of Kamini Doobay)

During the last 14 years how has Trimurti progressed?

An area we have developed is in youth development and empowerment because one of the main focuses for this mandir is the youth. This means harnessing the capabilities of the youth in areas of music, academics, and so on. We have counseling sessions and music classes and the youths are given an opportunity. Now you may think the youth get a chance to sing here, so what happens to the other community out there? Well whatever happens here is also aired on Jyoti Satsangh on TV, so more than 10 million people are watching so the youth can expose their talents to 10 million people. We’ve also managed to produce at least three brilliant young pandits who serve the outside community as well. These pandits are the future leaders of tomorrow.

What are some of the reasons individuals come for counseling in Trimurti?

Couples come here with problems, family problems, and social problems. We sit down with them, interact with them, and help them to resolve whatever they are experiencing. Many people have gotten a lot of help here. Many people have also come with physical problems and illnesses. They pray and manage to get cured because of their faith. We’ve seen phone calls coming in the middle of the service where people are called right away for emergency treatment and relief from their problems.

Sri Swamiji visits the sprawling altar of Trimurti in July of 2000. (Photo Courtesy of Datta Peetham)

How does the administrative and executive body interact with the membership of Trimurti?

Another thing I must mention is that many mandirs today have administrative problems, with the executive, where they cannot get along. There are people who are power-hungry and people greedy for power and they have their own personal agenda when it comes to the mandir. And you can see many mandirs are split because of this now at the administrative level. And at this mandir, thanks to God and to a very capable executive body, we have not experienced that here. We have a very harmonious relationship at the executive level and at the membership level.

Shri Trimurti Bhavan Inc. is located at 101-18 97th Avenue in Ozone Park, Queens. To learn more log on to www.shritrimurtibhavan.org and to receive weekly updates join the group Shri Trimurti Bhavan on Facebook.

Advertisements

5 comments on “The Vision for Shri Trimurti Bhavan from Pandit Chunelall Narine

  1. Leila says:

    I am trying to find the book of bajans Bhakti Sangeet by Chunelall Narine . Please help!!

  2. Mohan says:

    I also need this Bhajan book to take to Canada. Where can I buy it and what are your hours of operation?

  3. myrna persaud says:

    I have been trying to speak to Pt. Chunelall for months but no return calls nor does he answer his phone. This is in regards to my son wedding so I would really apprecitate call back at 516 536 9730

  4. Shanta says:

    Why is there conflicting dates for Diwali

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s