Sanatan Dharam is known to be the original name of Hinduism. The world's most ancient organised religion & culture, Sanatan Dharam is also a spiritual and religious tradition. Sanatan Dharam represents much more than just a religion; it provides its followers with an entire different world view, way of life, and a coherent and rational view of reality.
Setting the Foundation - Establishing Sanatan Dharam in Kenya
From as early as the 18th century, men and women from the Indian sub-continent braved the Indian Ocean's choppy waves to venture into far off lands. Most of the first Indian settlers hopped off at coast of Kenya and began their new lives. To date, they have grown to form a thriving Asian African minority that plays an active part in the county's economy.
The Hindu immigrants brought with them a rich heritage of their inimitable culture and religion, including the Sanatan Dharam, In 1917, some followers of this ancient religion with a sharp vision for the future, felt the need to organise the Hindu community and and provide a place for worship, that would also be fit for social gatherings for community members. The Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Nairobi, was formally established on Saturday 26 July 1917. The meeting held at Messrs. Naurhia Ram and Sons, on Government Road, Nairobi, elected Mr. Bhwani Shankar Seth as the first president, Mr. Bakshi Gianchand as the secretary, Mr. Kahan Chand Kapoor as the joint secretary and a respective committee consisting of the founder members was established.
At their first meeting, the Sabha resloved to embark on a campaign to create a religious awakening in the minds of Hindus throughout Easr Africa. Thus, it was unanimously decided to build a temple, a Krishna Mandir, at a cost of KSh 25,000 and a rest house at a further cost of the same amount. The first anniversary of the SSDS, Nairobi, was celebrated from 25-27 December 1919. The Sabha took large strides to avail education to children. The SSDS introduced a boys' school, which the colonial government took threafter. In October 1922, the Shree Sanatan Dharam Girls school came into being. Even though the temple, hall and school were built in different phases, each annex constitutes one building in the real spirit of the Sabha.
Major improvements were carried out in the temple premises over the recent years. During the chairmanship of Mr. Amar Nath Sarna, from 1972-1974, the Sabha acquired a block of six flats in Parlands in Nairobi. In 1983, the Sabha team felt there was an urgent need for improvements to the temple premises. Consequently, the main entrance to the temple courtyard was widened; and cloakrooms, a new kitchen and a washroom for utensils were constructed. In 1985, the Sabha undertook the construction of two temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Santoshi Mata. The installation of Moortis took place during the very colourful ceremonies held from 6-8 March 1986. Simultaneously, the Sabha renovated the existing Lord Krishna Temple and replaced stone used in all three shrines with marble slabs. Additionally, a parking space for cars was created in front of the Sabha's building. All these improvements took place during the chairmanship of and under the guidance of Mr. Tilak Raj Sharma. The Mandir is a living monument of the past; an illustration of zeal and vigour of our forefathers; an immortal tribute to facets of their achievements; and a moving example of their devotion and faith in the land they lived in and loved.
"The power of God is with you at all times; throughout the activities of mind, senses, breathing and emotions and is constantly doing all the work using you as mere instrument"