Hindu Temple to Install Three New Deities

July 15, 2006

Source: The Indianapolis Star


On July 15, 2006 The Indianapolis Star reported, "Local Hindus will install three new metallic deities, just arrived from India, at their new Far-Eastside temple during Sunday morning ceremonies that will involve a procession led by a live lamb. The addition of the deities at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, which opened in February... will bring the number of deities there to nine. Crafted from five metals, the new deities each stand about 2 feet tall. They represent the family of Lord Rama; Sri Hanuman, a devotee of Lord Rama; and Sri Durga Mata, said Girdhar Ahuja, a leader in the Hindu community. The celebration of the new arrivals will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday with a worship service. It will be followed by a procession of the deities, which will trail a live lamb into the temple. Hindus worship thousands of deities but see them each as personalities of the same universal God. Even so, various regions of India, where Hinduism originated, have their favorite deities. Since the Hindu temple serves Hindu immigrants from all over India, as well as American-born followers, adding to the variety of deities in the temple is important. 'They represent the different aspects of our Hindu mythology, our Hindu religion,' Ahuja said. The community's priest, Sandip Shastri ji, said it would be particularly significant for the community to have a deity representing Lord Rama, since his birthday is celebrated each year. 'It will give more satisfaction to celebrate on Rama's birthday,' Shastri ji said. 'It is very important for the community.'"