“Bahá’u’lláh has commanded that a place of worship be built for all the religionists of the world; that all religions, races and sects may come together within its universal shelter; that the proclamation of the oneness of mankind shall go forth from its open courts of holiness.”
For Baha’is, devotional life, time spent in prayer and meditation is not undertaken only for personal satisfaction; it serves to inspire the individual and the community to give expression to their spiritual energies in actions that better the world.
With a vision of the connection between worship and service, prayers translate into actions and actions are infused with spirituality. It becomes possible to tread a spiritual path with practical feet. A pattern of community life is being woven in villages and neighborhoods across India in which these features of worship and service are closely interrelated.
The Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi, known as the Lotus Temple, brings together these two aspects of Baha’i life -- worship and service. The House of Worship consists of a central prayer hall, with 9 entrances, symbolizing the oneness of religion and the idea that the teachings of the Messengers or Avataars of God are all ultimately doors to one reality. The temple itself is surrounded by gardens which serve to prepare the visitor spiritually for their devotions. It is envisioned that a number of dependencies will be developed in the immediate vicinity of the temple which will serve the material and educational needs of the population. The spirit generated by the ongoing prayer and meditation at the temple is also channeled into a growing number of community building activities in the neighborhoods of Delhi-NCR and further afield.