Hindu Temple Essay

This essay has a total of 401 words and 2 pages.


Hindu Temple





Inside a Hindu Temple The Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, located in Lanham, Maryland, is unique
in that it houses both an icon to Shiva and an icon to Vishnu. Shiva is represented with a
stone lingam and Vishnu is portrayed lying upon a bed of snakes. These two icons are the
center of the temple and are housed in inner shrines. About twenty other gods are also
represented in icons ringing the temple. These icons were dressed in saris and jewelry.
Placed in front of many of these icons were offerings of fruit and rice, as well as the
red powder kunkumma. These offerings were likely placed privately by families during
worship. The visitor is struck by the bright colors of the ornately decorated interior,
tje smells of burning incense and the sound of ringing bells. When we arrived, a puja was
being conducted for Vishnu by two temple priests. A puja is a Hindu act of devotion to a
deity. Though they may vary considerably, a puja typically is directed towards an icon of
the god being worshipped. The icon is bathed, typically with water and milk. The icon is
then dressed in a sari and jewelry, and often shown his own image in a mirror. A food
offering is made to the icon, accompanied by the ringing of bells. The puja being
conducted at the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple was being conducted by two priests, dressed only
in dotis, cloth wrapped around their lower bodies, and wore their sacred thread
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