Sunday, March 7, 2021

More than a temple

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For the Sankat Mochan Samiti, it was a long-cherished dream realised. They celebrated the grand opening of a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman in south-east Melbourne recently.

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They call it ‘Kendra’, or centre, to denote that it binds rather than segregates humanity.

Fighting the deplorable 8 degrees of soggy Melbourne weather at 9am on Sunday,15 June, a hundred plus of us were already congregated at the venue. A select forty of us took our seats in groups of eight around five individual sacrificial fires known as Havan Kunds. Simultaneously and without breaking the continuity of the rhythm, we chanted the ahutis, all eleven thousand of the Gayatri Mantras discipline, and burned consecrated saamagri to seek god’s blessings for our physical and spiritual purification.Volunteers in the background continued to refurbish the hall. The day’s activities included Murti Pran Pratishtha, the actual moortisthapna and pranpratishtha, supported by aarti and Shanti Path. The ceremony ended with offerings of prasad and mahaprasad.

The Kendra boasts two hundred plus square metres of the hall that is used for spiritual activities, and eight square metres of office space. In Ram Darbar, the devotees perceive the sanctified manifestation ofHanumanji, DurgaMata, Ganeshji, ShirdiSaiBaba, Shiva-ling, and also Navagraha, the nine planets that determine destinies. The Kendra will be further augmented with deities in years to come.

Just as unconditionally as Hanumanserved Lord Rama, the Sankat Mochan Samiti,a welfare organisation, is committed to providing physical, moral and spiritual guidance to those of any colour, caste or creed in need. Irrespective of one’s religious beliefs, the Samiti involves itself in providing cultural heritage education to members of the fastest growing community inVictoria, the Indian community. Juxtaposed imaginatively in a refurbished shedat 1289A North Road in Huntingdale, the Kendra is by the Monash University bus stop and a convenient walking distance from the station, off street parking aplenty. For more information, please contact Samiti President Dr. Sunila Srivastava on 0427 274 462.                                                    

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