The Parashakthi Temple (The Eternal Mother Temple)

This profile was last updated in 2006

Research conducted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project.

Mission of the Group

The Parashakthi (Eternal Mother) TempleA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref..., located in Pontiac, Michigan, north of Detroit, sees itself as a place of worship for people of all faiths who wish to pay respect to the female aspect of the divine. Thus, the goals of the temple are: to have a place where all people regardless of their faith are able to worship the Divine Mother; to reach out and contribute to various humanitarian causes as the need arises in the community and the world; and to create a center for spiritual learning and exchange of ideas on spirituality.

Leadership

The founder of the temple is Dr. G. KrishnaKrishna is one of the most beloved of Hindu Gods, sometimes called an avatara of Vishnu, but widely worshipped in his own right as the Supreme Lord. The stories of Krishna gather together the ancient and heroic cowherd god of India, the adviser to Arjuna ... Kumar. Others involved at the very beginning include Dr. Kristen Kesky and Dr. Peter DeRidder. Five spiritual preceptors, including Guruji Dr. V.V. Swarnavenkatesa Deekshitar, were of great assistance.

Description

Construction the Eternal Mother Temple began in May, 1999, and worship began on October 19, 1999. Once the temple is completed, it will be of classic south Indian design. It will have in addition to the main temple area, a kitchen, meeting rooms, auditorium, cafeteria, and a residence for the priestA priest is the leader of a religious community or congregation, specially trained and often ordained to service, who leads members of the community in the rituals and practice of shared and individual life. Many traditions have forms of priesthood.In the... and guests. In addition, the hope is that there will be facilities for religious education, along with assistance and shelters for abused or battered individuals.

Location

The considerations for selecting the site for the temple were spiritually based, and related to Hindu beliefs about the Divine Mother. The site itself, originally a sacred space for Native AmericansEach of the many Native American nations has its own distinctive life-ways, although there are some widely-shared characteristics. most Native life-ways are primarily transmitted through oral traditions; they are oriented toward living in relation to a sp..., is believed to contain a wealth of spiritual energy. The land had never been touched by development, and so was in a pristine state. The site is filled with trees, shrubs, and has a stream on the south side. It is a natural habitat to many species of birds and other animals. It was here that the Divine Mother, appearing to Dr. Kumar in a vision during Kundalini yogaKundalini is a powerful spiritual energy, understood to be concentrated at the base of the spine like a coiled serpent. The discipline of releasing and raising that energy to the head where it transforms one’s consciousness is called kundalini yoga, a s... in 1995, indicated that she wanted a temple to be built. Because he did not recognize the particular form of Parashakthi-DeviDevi is a common term for goddess. It is used in the Hindu and Jain traditions to refer to female divinites, many of them localized goddesses. In the Hindu tradition, Devi also refers to the Goddess as the Supreme Being. DurgaDurga is one of the names of the Devi as consort of Shiva. Both a mother and a warrior, she is especially known for slaying the buffalo demon, Mahisha. Her autumn festival Durga puja or Navaratri is one of North India’s great celebrations. immediately, Dr. Kumar called in five Hindu spiritual preceptors to determine if his vision was correct. Once he understood the meaning of the vision and aware of the Temple in Thiruverkadu in Chennai, Dr. Kumar began to dedicate his life to the construction of the temple in Pontiac. Located on 16 acres of land in a middle-class neighborhood in the middle of suburban Pontiac, north of Detroit, the city has welcomed the new religious center.

The Temple

The rectory, which is now complete, is 6,000 square feet situated on the higher part of the property. There is an altarAn altar is a raised platform or stand which bears the central symbols of a religious tradition—whether in a temple, church, shrine, or home—and at which offerings are made, worship is offered, or prayers are said. room of 4,000 square feet in the center and two apartments are on the side to house priestsA priest is the leader of a religious community or congregation, specially trained and often ordained to service, who leads members of the community in the rituals and practice of shared and individual life. Many traditions have forms of priesthood.In the... and guests. Architecturally, Sannithanams have been constructed using traditional granite shipped from India. Work has been done by Padmasri M. Muthiah Stapathi. Shilipis came from California to help install the Sannithanams and work has been ongoing on the Mandapams. The main temple will be 11,9000 square feet. There will be Sannithanams in the middle, Yagasala in the front and Navagrahas will be present. In terms of the architecture, the temple will be authentically detailed, with artwork done by shilpis

Demographics

The majority of those who participate in the temple’s services are of Indian descent, however a number of Americans of European descent are members and have played an important role in the life of the temple, as members of the Board of Directors. Prior to the opening of this temple, many of the members attended the Bharatiya Temple in Troy, Michigan. Many still divide their time between the two places.

Activities and Schedule

Services are daily each morning from 9:00-12:30 and evening from 4:30-8:00. The language of the services is Sanskrit; conversation is in English or one of the many languages of India