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Hindu Temple in New Jersey Consecrating Unique Krishna Idol with 19-day Rituals

The Hindu Temple at Edison, Shri Krishna Vrundavana is organizing Pratishtapana and Brahma Kalash Othsava that is scheduled to be held from 28th May to 15th June

Hinduism, Hindu temple, Krishna idol
Krishna idol. Pixabay
  • The Hindu Temple at Edison in New Jersey is organizing Pratishtapana and Brahma Kalash uthsava
  • The present pontiff of ‘Shri Puthige Matha’ from Udupi in India, Sri Sugunendra Teertha, is reportedly participating in the event

Nevada (USA), June 11, 2017: The Hindu Temple at Edison in New Jersey, ‘Shri Krishna Vrundavana Hindu Temple’ is organizing Pratishtapana and Brahma Kalash uthsava that is scheduled to be held from 28th May to 15th June. The activities involve myriads of festivities, multiple philosophical conferences, and a plethora of traditional ancient rituals.

Six months were spent to finish the sculpting of the idol of Lord Krishna, crafted from the Saligrama rock that was searched for months and finally found and brought from the Gandaki riverbanks in Nepal. Post its arrival from the India, the sacred idol has visited over 100 homes of devotees residing in New Jersey. Then holy statue was installed in the ‘Grabha Griham’ inside the temple that was specially constructed for it to become its main deity.

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The Hindu Temple is situated in the location where the Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church used to be present long ago. The history of the holy Hindu temple dates back to 2002, the year on which it was first established at Iselin in New Jersey. The renovation of the temple began in May and it included importing of teakwood (about 3000 cubic feet) from Burma for the ‘Garba Gudi’ ritual, along with several other materials from India.

Symposiums-rituals-festivities-events during this period include Homas, Japas, Sapta Shuddhi, Samkeertanas, Veda Paarayayanas, Balis, Saligrama Krishna Pratishthapana, several Poojas, Kalash Pratishta, Mantrakshate, Avabhruta, music and dance performances, discourse, and knowledge conferences on Karma and Moksha etc. The ‘Maha Prasada’ is being served as free lunch and dinner daily. The present pontiff of ‘Shri Puthige Matha’ from Udupi in India, Sri Sugunendra Teertha, is reportedly participating in the event.

It has been noted that it was necessary to pass on to the next generation; the concepts, traditions and the spirituality of the Hindu religion, amidst the multiple societal distractions of the consumerist society.

The temple is situated in South Edison on a 15,000 square feet area with 3.5 acres of land. It opens daily 6.30 in the morning and conducts daily Poojas including the morning- evening rituals. Along with the worship services, the temple committee also celebrates the plethora of Hindu festivities while conducting multiple free classes on Sanskrit, Slokas, Sthotra, Bhajan, Geetha, Sandhya Vandana etcetera. The programs of the ‘Spiritual Sunday’ include sessions focusing on ‘personal growth and development’ and interactive sessions on ‘Dharma Tradition’.

There is a specific dress code in the ‘Pooja Hall’ of the temple. It is mandatory to cover the shoulders and the knees, and wearing ‘dhoti’ is a compulsion during the recitation of the Veda Mantras. A Hindu Matrimonial site is also run by it and it is called that states that the bond of marriage not only ensures living the outer life but the inner life as well. The donation for ‘Nithya Archane’ in a year is $3001 and the amount of the suggested donation for the ‘Chandikaa Homa’ in the home of the devotee, is $451 and the ‘Car Pooja’ at the temple requires $51.

The oldest and the third largest religion in the world, Hinduism, has over millions of followers around the globe, and there are about three million Hindus in the USA.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC
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Right of Nature: Are Rivers Living Beings?

Should rivers be considered Living Entities?

Right of Nature
Many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

By Dr. Bharti Raizada, Chicago

Science says that water bodies are not living entities, as water does not need food, does not grow, and reproduce. Water is required for life, but in itself it is nonliving.

However, many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

The Maori tribe in New Zealand considers the Whanganui River as their ancestor and the Maori people fought to get it a legal status as a living being. In 2017, a court in New Zealand gave this river the status of living being and same rights as humans, to protect it from pollution. Thus, now if someone pollutes in it then it is considered equivalent to harming a human.

ALSO READ: Worshiping mother nature part of our tradition: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Right of Nature
Rivers are sacred in many religions, including Hinduism. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

Rivers are sacred in Hinduism also. Hindus believe that the Ganga descended from heaven and call her Ganga Maa. A few days after New Zealand’s court decision, Uttarakhand high court in India gave the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries the status of living human entities. The Court-appointed three officials as legal custodians. However, the court did not clarify many aspects related to this decision.

After this verdict some of the questions, which naturally came to mind, were:

Can Hindus still do rituals of flowing ashes, leaves, flowers, diyas in river or no? Can a dam be built on the river after this judgment? If some damage, to a person, animal, plants, or property, occurs because of river e.g. overflow, hurricanes, flooding etc., how the river will pay the liabilities? What if all rivers, oceans, ponds etc. are given the status of living beings? Will drinking water from river become a crime? What about taking water and using it for routine needs,  agriculture or building structures? Will it be illegal? If a child throws a stone in water, will it be a criminal act? Will fishing be considered stealing? What about boating? If someone is using heat near water and water evaporates, is it equal to taking the body part of a human being? What about taking a bath in the river?

Right of Nature
If the river gets a living status, as human, then we cannot use it for anything without its permission, so everyone has to stop touching the water. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: Decoding supernatural: What is the nature of entities and gods who influence human behavior

Other queries, which arise, are:

Will animals and plants get the same status? What if you kill an ant or a chicken etc. or cut a tree? Will all animals and plants get a legal custodian?

Where is all the waste supposed to go? It has to go somewhere back in nature, right?

Uttrakhand state government challenged the judgement in Supreme Court and the latter reversed the judgment.

Right of Nature
So where do we stand? In my opinion, granting living status to nature is a different thing than giving protected status or preserving nature. Image by Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: How nature destroys the negative tendencies in a positive manner

Ecuador’s constitution recognized the Right of Nature to exist, specifically Vilcabamba river, in 2008.

Then Bolivia passed the law of the right of mother earth and granted Nature equal rights as humans.

Many communities in the U.S.A. passed the Right of Nature law.

These laws are creating a dilemma or quandary also, as people need to use these resources. We cannot live without using natural resources. However, there is a difference between using natural resources and afflicting or destroying these. So, please use natural resources very diligently. Try not to vitiate nature.

On World Water Day (March 22), please start taking care of rivers, so that there is no need for future celebrations. It should not be a one-day celebration anyway, we should scrupulously look out for nature all the time.

Dr. Raizada is a practicing anesthesiologist.