Hinduism Today Seeks Expert Input for Article on Hindu Temple Worship

ar@hindu.org KAUAI, HAWAII, February 13, 2012 (HPI): Hinduism Today is working on an update and expansion to its popular article, “How to Visit a Hindu Temple,” for our upcoming July issue. The original article dealt entirely with South Indian temple tradition, and now we want to expand this to encompass traditions found in other parts of India. We’re looking for experts (or at least semi-experts) who can help with any of the following. Specifically, we’re seeking information on the form of temple frequently found in the US, Canada, Trinidad, Fiji, Mauritius and other countries outside India where the Deities are placed in ornate niches or on a shelf (as in a home shrine) around the perimeter of a large prayer hall. The worship usually is with the “Aarati Song” (Aum Jaya Jagadish…), bhajana, occasional homa and preaching of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These temples differ substantially from the South India tradition as having no central sanctum or individual sanctums for each Deity, no abhishekam (ritual bathing) of the Deities, no provision for cirumambulation and a much simplified puja routine. We are hoping to establish the source of this tradition, its origins in India, scriptures describing practice, etc. We’re looking for background on temples such as Kasi Viswanath, Khalighat temple (one of the 51 Shaki Peethams), Badrinath, Kedarnath, Mahalakshmi and Siddhivainayak temples in Mumbai, Pasupatinath in Nepal and others that do not fall into the South Indian traditions. We need to know the particular silpa shastras under which they were constructed, the scriptures which govern the worship and the influence of local traditions. One item of interest, for example, is the performance of abhishekam of the main Deity by the devotee rather than the priest, whereas in South India, the devotee would not be allied in the inner sanctum. If you can help with any of this, please contact Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Managing Editor, at ar@hindu.org . We have a rather short time to develop the article!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s