Hindu community mourns acclaimed priest

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SOUNDVIEW -

The Hindu community gathered on Saturday to mourn an acclaimed Hindu priest.

Pandit Vishnu Sukul started the temple Vishnu Mandir to give people of all faiths a place to freely practice their religion. He died in February -- one month after surviving a heart attack -- at the age of 63.

The Saturday memorial service was held for those who could not attend his funeral. Attendees passed around a clipboard, gathering signatures to garner support for naming the street Noble Avenue after him.

The priest was part of the group who started the first Holi -- or festival of colors -- celebration in the borough. He lived by the belief that knowledge is power, his daughter says. People of all faiths came to the temple he started, his daughter adds.

"He wanted people to know that we live in a diverse borough and he wanted people to know where his family was from," she says.

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