Address: 3350 N German Church Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46235, United States Phone:+1 317-891-9199, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46235
Contact Name: anil chaudhari
- What to ExpectFriday, July 10, 2015
The Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, upon first glance, is probably not what one would expect. It is a plain building in the middle of a large field. There is a playground in the front, and an unceremonious sign that simply says "Hindu Temple." This is in stark contrast to the elaborately decorated temples of India and many places in the United States. A gate blocks the parking lot, and it is closed except for when services, ceremonies, or festivals are taking place. When the gate is open, the visitor can feel free to park and enter the Temple.
Upon entering the Hindu Temple, guests must remove their shoes and wash their hands. While some worshipers wear traditional Indian clothing, visitors may wear anything modest and presentable (e.g., khakis and a collared shirt). The visitor may sit on either side of the room, regardless of gender. There are only a few chairs, so the visitor should be prepared to sit on the floor. The service is brief, lasting ten or fifteen minutes, though services at important times in the Hindu calendar may take several hours or more. The priest will present offerings to the deities, and chant verses in Hindi. This will all be done in Sanskrit, for the most part. There is not much participation, although there are times when the assembled worshipers put ash on their foreheads, move a candle in a circular motion (a ritual called arti), or stand up and spin three times. It is not required that the visitor participate, though visitors are welcome to join in. At the end of the ceremony, the prasad (food that is offered to the deities) will be given to those assembled. Visitors make take prasad as well. It is expected that the prasad be eaten.
Those wishing to visit the temple and to have some guidance should contact Mr. Vasu Vasudevan via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. He and his wife, Indu, orientate visitors to the Hindu religion by providing a plethora of information. They cover topics such as the history of Hinduism, its development, and how it
- Service StyleFriday, July 10, 2015
here are many variations on the ways in which Hindus choose to worship. Although the majority of Hindus perform puja or devotion services, daily in their homes, there are daily pujas held at the Temple regardless of attendance. The worship space inside the Indianapolis Hindu Temple is temporary, but is still very much suitable for the current congregation. The space is large enough to accommodate around 200 people and an altar. The altar is also temporary and contains most deities that are popular throughout India.
Upon entering the worship space, one is surrounded by the smells of Indian incense and the sunlight which streams through a large window across one side of the wall. The floor is covered with soft carpet and rugs and there are live plants as well as few Sanskrit inscriptions on the walls. There is also a drawing of what the temple will look like upon completion, with four towers representing architecture from all corners of India. The daily worship is somewhat brief compared to that of other religions. The Brahmin, or priest, arrives early to meditate privately next to the altar. Once the service begins the Brahmin chants in Sanskrit and gives offerings to the various deities. Each puja focuses on specific deities, but the priest makes some type of offering to most of the deities that are represented. The various names of gods and goddesses comprise a significant proportion of what the priest chants. Because the Divine is everything in Hindu thought, the Divine has unlimited names. By saying all of these names over and over again the namelessness of the Divine is stressed and hence, the Divine's oneness. During the worship, the Brahmin decorates the deities with necklaces of flowers and waves a handful of incense over them. The Brahmin also offers the offerings which have been given by devotees to their deity. Prasad can be any material that is given to a deity as an offering, but is normally food, like fruits and nuts. At the end of the service, the