Members of the Transcendental Meditation movement plan to lay the cornerstones today for 46 new buildings intended to house 500 Vedic pandits from India.
Maureen Wynne, city attorney for Maharishi Vedic City, said today is Akshaya Tritiya, considered to be an auspicious day for starting projects.
"It's a day in the Vedic calendar where, if you do things, they have a lasting achievement," she said.
Akshaya Tritiya marks the birthday of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
The buildings are scheduled to go up this summer, Wynne said, and organizers hope the pandits will be able to arrive in July.
TM advocates say a large number of people practicing the technique in one place can create peace. The pandits have been described as Vedic scholars and peace-creating experts by supporters and as Hindu monks by critics.
Also today, Wynne said, 3,000 little flags will be placed around Vedic City. She said the flags represent 3,000 "peace palaces" that the Global Country of World Peace, a TM-linked group, plans to build around the world.
At some point, Wynne said, the small flags will be replaced with larger flags, and then when a palace is built, the builder will come to Vedic City and take the flag corresponding to their palace.