Greater Cleveland Shiva Vishnu Temple

This profile was last updated in 2004

Research conducted by affiliates at Kent State University led by Dr. David W. Odell-Scott and Dr. Surinder M. Bhardwaj in 1999.

Activities and Schedule

There are three pujas (prayers) daily before noon and two nightly pujas. Special events take place on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a bimonthly newsletter called Bhakti which has been published since 1984. Classes are held on the Temple premises on Harmony, tabla, Veda, and Indian heritage.

History

Original meetings were held at Cleveland State University in 1983. Within several months, the current temple name was adopted with a charter in 1984. Founding members include: R. Balu, Subbarao Cherkui, Darshan Mahajan, Selvaraj, J.L. Sharma, and V.V. Sundaram. In 1985 a closed restaurant on West 120th and Lorain Road was rented as temple space. Search for a new temple site led to the possibility of building in North Royalton, Ohio, but perceived negative attitude of the local community toward a Hindu temple aborted that initiative. Later, in 1987, a burned out building with 22 acres of land was purchased in Parma. Total cost of the site was $200,000. The building group raised $80,000 in one week as cash payment and borrowed $120,000 from a bank. The local residents of Parma welcomed the plans. In March 1989, the burned out building was remodeled into an upper level and walkout lower level at a cost of $350,000 and a temple inauguration occurred on September 10, 1989. The images were removed from the earlier rented building into the remodeled building. In addition, larger images of deities were brought from India. Two thousand devotees attended the inauguration despite rain and mud

Demographics

Hindus from Cleveland and the suburbs of Akron and Canton. Many of the Asian Indians have a Gujarati background, although most regions of India are represented.

Description

There are several altars in the main temple, including two main ones; Shiva on the left and Vishnu on the right as seen from the entrance of the temple. In addition, there is a prominent image of Ganesa, immediately on the outside of the Shiva altar. The goddess (Devi) Durga is situated between the Shiva and Vishnu altars. In front of the Shiva altar is Siva’s vahana (mount), Nandi, the bull, looking toward the Shivalinga (Shiva image in the form of a cylindrical black granite stone). Along the walls of the temples are niches with deities. Images of the goddess Laxmi and the goddess Durga are situated between the Vishnu and Shiva altars. The temple has an extensive wetland area on its property, which makes the setting very esthetically pleasing.