Charleston (West Ashley), May 7, 2017: West Ashley is a distinct town in Charleston, South Carolina in North America. This city has a Hindu temple where the devotees come to meet their Gods from distant places, across the world.
What is fascinating that, few priests came from different parts of the world to be a witness of the rededication of the recently renovated building of the Hindu Temple and were received by hundreds of devotees.
After the renovation, 14 “murtis” were established at the temple in presence of the devotees. The priests also participated in a collective consecration ceremony which is supposed to imbue the statues and bring them to life so that they could see the devotees worshipping them.
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The room was filled with colors. Apples and bananas and grapes and coconuts covered with turmeric powder, pineapples and lemons and oranges, lentils and an abundance of flowers were offered to the gods.
The priests chanted Sanskrit mantras at the “yajna vedi” while several devotees seated themselves at the carpets. The majority of devotees consisted of Hindus, however, there were a few non-Hindu devotees too, mentioned postandcourier.com report.
People sang songs to show their affection towards the deities and women clad in fine saris played on drums. The environment was filled with tranquility and solace.
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Peeyush Dwivedi, a lead organizer of the event said to postandcourier.com, ”Devotees each have their favorite, and it’s very likely that here, in West Ashley, they will find the god considered a protector or a teacher, he said, and such a comprehensive ceremony is rare. Though temples are purified every 12 years, such consecrations are uncommon — and rarer still when multiple murtis are involved.”
The Indian community is on a rise in Charleston. Hindus are finding their place in almost all the walks of the life. The largest Indian community in Carolina is found in Columbus with a population of about 6000.
The Hindu temple here is about 25 years old. The “sthapana diwas” was visited by over 100s of devotees. The statues were made in Jaipur. The temple serves as a meeting place for the Hindu and Sikh community in the area with many devotees taking up to music and yoga classes. “It’s like the Woodstock of Hinduism,” Dwivedi joked.
The temple allows the Hindu community there to maintain their religious and cultural identity and to share the beauty of this religion with others.
– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6