Official Message from the Oneness University - April 28, 2008
The consecration of the Oneness Temple, a magnificent structure designed to contribute to the activation and flowering of higher consciousness, took place on the morning of April 22, 2008. Sri Amma and Sri Bhagavan appeared in the main hall of the temple at around 8:15am and bestowed blessings for mental and emotional growth, physical health and higher levels of awareness upon thousands of grateful followers in attendance from all over the world.
Months of planning and considerable human and fiscal resources were invested in the consecration. India's premier event management firm was retained to organize the event. The entire staff of the University was engaged, along with 3,000 trained volunteers and 700 public and private security officers. The University cleared 200 acres adjacent to the Temple as a hospitality lot with water and food for 250,000 each day, including a buffet serving 35,000 in each sitting.
As millions of people follow the teachings and have experienced the grace of our beloved Sri Amma-Bhagavan, we expected large numbers at the Consecration. To effectively manage the crowds, the country was divided by regions, with each region assigned one of the six days to attend. On the 42 acres occupied by the Temple, an orderly cue system was created which included three miles of carpeted and shaded walkways and 1.5 million square feet of covered space. Seven thousand fans kept people refreshed as they waited to enter the Temple.
By our projections, 150,000 people would participate in the opening each day, with one million total by the end of the week. Actual attendance, however, exceeded all possible estimates. During the first 24 hours alone nearly one million traveled to the Temple site. According to the organizers, who have produced dozens of large-scale events, concerts and temple openings involving thousands of people, the response of the public to the opening of the Oneness Temple was unlike anything they have ever seen in the history of their organization.
Sri Amma-Bhagavan, the Acharyas (senior guides) and the Dasas (guides) of the Oneness University were deeply moved by the extraordinary response of the public to the opening of the Temple. However, with new figures projected at least three million by the end of the six days, it became evident that the crowds would be far larger than our facilities could possibly accommodate. In the interest of public safety, the decision was made to postpone and reschedule the opening for smaller groups broken up over several months.
The size of the crowd became unmanageable even for the police and local authorities. As is to be expected from the swell of a crowd that hovered past 500,000 at any given time, our medical team had to provide assistance to some who were affected by exhaustion and heat.
There were no casualties in the Temple grounds. However, we were informed by the police later that day that four casualties had been reported in the vicinity, primarily due to exhaustion and other natural causes. Our love and prayers go out to the families affected by this loss. Sri Amma-Bhagavan, and the senior guides and the Guides at the University have offered their condolences and arrangements were made to provide material and financial assistance to those affected.
In the continued interest of safety, all opening events have been postponed and the Temple has been closed to the public until further notice. At this time, only the Oneness Beings are being granted access to the Temple, where they remain meditating and praying for all of us and for the advancement of consciousness in our world. All other events and courses at the Oneness University's India and Fiji campuses will continue as scheduled.
We wish to express our deep gratitude to everyone who joined us for the consecration, and most especially to all the Blessing Givers, friends, workers and supporters who invested their time, efforts and resources to make the Oneness Temple a reality. The vision and mission of Sri Amma-Bhagavan is strengthened thanks to your continued cooperation, and we are honored to join with you as co-creators of a better future.
Humanity continues to face complex challenges and struggles requiring solutions on a global scale. The Oneness community is engaged in the search for those solutions, striving to alleviate suffering, and joining at the heart, where all differences dissolve. Let us march together, with renewed energy and hope, towards an era of freedom, peace and Oneness for all.