Shree Ganesh Temple in Utah, USA
Lord Ganesha is the deity of wisdom and prosperity. Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. They are considered as the most divine couple of this universe. Ganesha is also known as Ganpathi because he is considered to be the Lord of the ganas of Shiva. Ganapathi is a Sanskrit word :
Ga means wisdom, na means salvation and pathi means God.
Lord Ganesha is a dwarfish deity with a pot belly and smoke-hued body. As he removes all worries, tensions and obstacles from the path of his devotees, he is the most loved and worshipped among all the deities. Lord Ganesha is an extremely prominent deity when it comes to his followers. Lord Ganesha is loved in the western countries too.
The main shrine of the Ganesh Temple is of Lord Ganesha. Like every Hindu temple has many shrines in the premise, so does this temple at Utah. The shrines other than that of Lord Ganesha are of Lord Shiva (father of Lord Ganesha), Goddess Parvati (mother of Lord Ganesha), Lord Balaji Venketeshwara, Navgrahas, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Hanuman, Lord Krishna, Lord Murugan (brother of Lord Ganesha), Lord Dattatreya, Lord Ram’s Darbar (that includes Lord Rama, His wife Sita, His younger brother Laxman and his ardent devotee Lord Hanuman), Goddess Andal Bhudevi, Lord Nataraja, Shiva Lingam (iconographic representation of Lord Shiva), Goddess Sivakami Umadevi and an icon of Naga (Snakes) Devta in the garden.
The temple has its own magazine by the name of Himani Archives. The temple has regular prayer ceremonies on different occasions. The temple runs on the money of offerings only. At present, there are two main priests of the temple. Pandit. A. R. Krishnan and Pandit. N. S. Satish Kumar. These two priests take care of the temple and all matters related to the religious activities in the temple. The priests are both highly knowledgeable and hail from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Below is the excerpt of an article by the temple priests in one of the temple’s magazine’s editions.
‘He is the supreme deity according to the Hindu religion. Hindu religion is a truly vast religion. Hindu religion is not confined to just one book or one scripture. There are more than thousands of scriptures in the Hindu religion. Some are as long as of 18000 sects, and some are just limited to one line mantras. Unity in diversity is the main splendor of Hinduism. All the Hindu families around the world do not pray alike. The majority of the Indian subcontinent’s population is Hindu, and every part of Indian subcontinent has different beliefs. A north-Indian Hindu and a south- Indian Hindu both pray to the same deity, yet their rituals are entirely different from each other. Hindus believe in an omnipresent God. Hindus worship idols or murthi pujanam (idol worship). There are many seen and unseen forms of devtaas (celestial beings) in the Hindu religion. Hindus still believe in the sanctity of four Vedas, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Saam Veda and Artharva Veda. Puranas, Upanishads, Chalisas, Stutis, Stotras, Mantras or the Aartis all add their own importance and charisma to the religion. If one wants to understand the core values of Hinduism, then Mahabharat and Ramayan are the best books to gather knowledge about the religion. The famous book ‘Bhagvadgita’ can give all answers from the origin of a human being to its death. The Bhagavad–Gita is still considered as the storehouse of knowledge as one can find all his answers about the life cycle and death of a human being.
Hindus believe in karma which states that one earns what he has done in his life. The philosophy of karma says that a person’s life comes to a full circle that means he will get what he had already bowed in his life. Hindus believe in the fact that a body has a soul that never dies. They believe that the bodies die, and the soul is transferred from one body to the other. Hindus believe in the four point mantra of life i.e. Dharm (righteousness), Arth (wealth), Kaam (desire) and Moksha (salvation). According to Hindus, life is sacred and we should live in on these four principles so that we can attain peace in the end.’
Jai Shree Ganesha!