Of Temples Old and New

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This year on the holy day of Mahashivaratri, I participated in the opening of a new temple in the town of Kericho. The Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple built by our Foundation came up in 2013 in Kibigori near Kisumu. Ever since, atleast four other temples have come up in Kenya and I feel very happy that many temples are now dotting the landscape. Even in other parts of the world, many temples are coming up periodically thus offering residents of nearby places a place of worship to call their own.

Temples help in connecting us to our culture especially when we are far away from India. It gives a sense of community feeling and we can organize and participate in many programs that reflect our culture. These temples also help in the locals’ understanding the spirit of Hinduism which is vasudaiva kutumbakam that is the whole universe is our family. There are many things people may feel they cannot undertake as individuals especially service initiatives but a temple brings people together and they can participate in many community programs and feel happy that everyone has contributed towards them.

In the Agni Purana, Lord Agni says that he who attempts to erect temples for gods is freed from the sins of a thousand births. Also, there is a belief that a place without any temple is not fit for people to live. This is now being set right as we find many temples coming up all over the world wherever the Indian diaspora is present.

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