Later in the day, we squeeze in a visit to the remarkable Baha’i temple in Delhi, one of just seven Baha’i temples scattered around the globe. Our tour has been arranged through the family of Aarti Mody ’10, and we are given a thorough and informative introduction by Shatrughun Jiwnani, the managing director of the temple.
The temple itself, completed approximately 20 years ago, is constructed in the shape of a lotus flower, an imposing yet gentle structure designed to build on traditions of harmony and oneness within Asia. The temple has become famous as a tourist attraction in India, not only for the country’s 2 million Baha’is, but also for millions of other both inside and outside the country who come to admire its projection of spiritual calm. The spacious sanctuary is filled with reverent silence as we walk through. Mr. Jiwnani gives us a brief exposition of the early days of exile and journey of the faith. For Jehuda, the Baha’i community has a special significance. As a boy in Haifa, he and his friends used to use the grounds of the faith’s world center as their personal playground, and as an adult he has come to appreciate the intense feeling with which Baha’is from around the world make their pilgrimage to the city of his birth and his childhood.