Shri Prakash Gossai
(April 25, 1953 – June 15, 2009)
The Shaanti Bhavan Mandir is one of the many temples influenced by the teachings and character of our dear Guruji, Shri Prakash Gossai. His vast knowledge and wisdom have touched the hearts of many devotees around the world. Guruji is well-known for his charity work and establishing Bhuvaneshwar Mandir in Brooklyn and later in Queens New York. From his humble personality to his sweet melodious voice, Guruji cemented himself as a pioneer in Hinduism and the evolution of humanity. During his early years in the United States, Guruji worked in the school district as a Biology teacher. During this time, he realized the youths needed more direction in life both mentally and physically. As he expanded his own knowledge by studying with his Guru, Brahmrishi Vishvatma Bawraji Maharaj, Guruji quickly engraved the name of the God and the overall elements of Dharma into his body, mind, and soul. He devoted a lot of his time and effort in shaping young children of the future, among which was our own Pandit Manoj.
Pandit Manoj Jadubans
Pandit Deokarran Jadubans known to many as Pandit Manoj Jadubans, is the spiritual leader and founder of the Shaanti Bhavan mandir and one of the leaders of the Naujavaan Mandalee Youth Group. As leader, he strives to create an environment conducive to peace in all facets. He selflessly encourages the growth of the youth of the mandir with the hopes of instilling the rich teachings of Hinduism passed down from our ancestors. To ensure that Dharma, or the Hindu culture, remains vibrant and strong he believes that it is his duty along with the adults of the mandir make sure the children are involved. The youth, as leaders of tomorrow, lead in chanting, singing, instrument playing and even sermon reciting to build a strong foundation that can only be established through this practice. These teachings he derives are sourced from reading and extracting knowledge from our ancient texts including but not limited to the Devi Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita and his favorite the Ramayana. One of these teachings being compassion to our fellow human beings in the form of Seva or giving back, which the youth are also heavily involved be it a car wash fundraiser for children in need, or writing get well cards for the sick and/or elderly. The act of giving back strongly resonates with Pt. Manoj, as a former resident of Guyana, his birth place, where the poverty rates are much greater than the USA.
Pandit Manoj was born in little Abary Mahaica region and brought up # 36 village, East Berbice- Corentyne, Guyana. His parents Yasodra and Kuldip Jadubans along with his four siblings migrated from #36 village Mahaica, Guyana to Queens, New York in 1984. Upon arriving to the United States, he attended several Hindu Temples with his parents. His first encounter with the late Shri Prakash Gossai, his guruji, was in summer of 1984. He was captivated by the wisdom the honorable Shri Prakash Gossai-ji had displayed of the scriptures, but most importantly his humility towards those around him. After that encounter, Pandit Manoj was so intrigued, that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Gossai-ji and decided to get christened. Pandit Manoj became the first Chela (godchild of Shri Prakash Gossai).
He continued his education and, in the process, paralleled his pursuit of religion. Pandit Manoj broadened his knowledge of the scriptures by continuous research and reading, as well as the support and guidance of his Guruji. He made an oath not only to himself but to his Guruji that he would spread the word of God to Hindus throughout the world. Unwaveringly, he still continues to expand on his knowledge through the various sources of scriptures.
After the sudden death of his guruji, the late Shri Prakash Gossai in June of 2009, he would do what any great chela would do and that is to share what he was thought with the world. He continued to lead sermons at the Bhuvaneshwar Mandir (formerly founded by Shri Prakash Gossai) in Queens, New York, however after much contemplation he decided that moving on would better achieve his goal of following his gurujis teachings. It is then that he founded the Shaanti Bhavan Mandir which literally translates to “Abode of Peace”.
Currently, Pandit-ji is a full-time employee of Montefiore Medical Center as a coder/registrar in which he has been employed for 15 years. He is still dedicated and determined to upkeep his promise that he made to his Guruji in regards to spreading the word of God. His passion and drive for his religion and those in need keep him going every day. He loves what he does but more so loves to bring joy to the people he encounters.