From Sacred Space to Hindu Community

But perhaps it is to the wise monks at Hinduism Today that both Narayan and I should turn, as we seek answers about the multitude of temples being built in North America and who will sustain them. Their latest 2012 issue had a cover story dedicated to the Hindu temple, highlighting how "Hindu Temples of the West Adjust, Adapt, Improvise . . ." The monks attended the first Hindu Priests Conference, held in mid-2012 in Pennsylvania, and the magazine article uses anecdotes to explain how temples are changing what they do to support the needs of the community, be it life sacraments such as weddings and funerals, community service, marital counseling, or elder care.

As Guyanese-born Canadian Pandit Roopnauth Sharma, of the Shri Ram Mandir of Mississauga, says, "Hindu temple leaders and community members must accept that we must change our approach in disseminating the tenets, philosophy, and practices of our great religion." Perhaps we should adapt what we do in temples—rather than stop building them—just as Sanatana Dharma aka Hinduism has done over centuries. As Managing Director of the Hindu American Foundation, Suhag Shukla said in her essay on the Future of Hinduism, that we Hindus in America are experiencing a journey back to the basics, "a testament to the eternal and dynamic nature of Hindu teachings."

10/31/2012 4:00:00 AM
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  • Padma Kuppa
    About Padma Kuppa
    Padma Kuppa is a writer, IT professional, community activist, wife, and mother working to build a more pluralistic society within a Hindu and interfaith framework. You can also read her blog A Balancing Act, at The views represented in this column are not a reflection of the views of any organization of which she is a part.
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