Posted on 10 Comments

Hindu temple in Minneapolis

As posted by Shri S Narayanaswamy Iyer in Yahoo groups

Dear fellow-Brahmins

May I respectfully enquire what is the main “deity” worshipped in this Minneapolis temple?  According to which agama are rituals there performed?  What are the qualifications for priests there?

I have been to several so-called “Hindu” temples during my peripatetic sojourns in the US, UK and Europe.  Quite a lot are not to dedicated to any recognized deity found in our scriptures, whether Vedas, Puranas, or songs.  They are dedicated instead to some deified humans, often deviationists whose highly emotional followers encourage adoring these “manufactured deities” rather than divinities we are familiar with.  The ornate, conscipuous and mushrooming “Swaminarayan” temples are examples.  Others are to various “sadhus” or “gurus” or meat-eating, drug-taking, alcohol-consuming, tobacco-smoking “village-guardian” dark spirits that inspire terror rather than piety.

Some of these temples encourage “going into trances” when the mediums (both men and women) move about erratically and screech or scream and utter gibberish, till quietened down, for example by whip-lashing or by having lumps of camphor lit on their tongues or other tender parts of the body.  A few hack themselves with knives, or pierce themselves with skewers, while shaking and shivering uncontrollably.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer

10 thoughts on “Hindu temple in Minneapolis

  1. I wonder why this learned  Palakkadan Pattar is going around the places of worship of Hindus all over the world to find fault!
     ” Athikamayal amrithamum visham”-in the words of my patty, who was down to earth even while nearing the land mark of century.The problem with my revered friend is that he knows too much and he writes too well that I am mesmerized by his command over English. Otherwise, I would have punched his tummy .This is an earnest desire with the hope that his belly will be big enough,  unlike mine.
    The meticulously maintained  Swamynarayan temple in Akshardham, Ahmedabad, London and other places may not invigorate my internal strings of devotion as some of our temples, to which I am used to, from my childhood, do. But I have seen hundreds of men and women visiting those temples with utmost devotion. So are several temples in north, east and west parts of our country. The well decorated marble icons of the North Indian temples attract me no doubt but I do not “speak” to them silently, as I do at Guruvayoor or Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabha swamy temples. Does it mean that others are going there for sight seeing?
    The  awful appearance of the Divine mother with her protruded golden tongue along with the cry in agony of the lambs sacrificed before the alter, supersedes or suppresses all finer feelings including devotion, when I visit the  Kalighat Temple in Calcutta. But I have seen even ardent communists, touching their heart and uttering  reverently,’ ma” while passing through that temple gate.That monosyllable, moves up from the cavern of heart to surface as a subtle sound soaked in devotion from the tongue.
    The dance in trance of whip-lashing and screaming men and women before a place of worship may be repulsive to me because I was used to express my enthusiasm in a different way, such as street- dancing while accompanying a bajhan group when the dawn breaks over the Kalpathy river. But I cannot say that the screaming of  Ayyappas under devotional trance in Sasthapreethi is divine but the dance of dark-skinned  beauties holding a bunch of neem leaves, singing
    “Matriamma, Maariyamma!
    engamuthu mariamma!
     is vulgar.
    If we, the so called enlightened Pattars, stand at the gate of our temples and enquire whether the temples are constructed according to our ‘aagamas’ and ‘sastras’, soon, those who throng those places of worship will be seen moving in a line wearing a cross on their chest and holding a candle in their hand!
    Let as many people as possible visit and worship at the temples of their choice and in the way they want. Let us encourage them in their attempt to approach the Godhead.
    As usual with Love,
    P.S. If the senior criminal advocate outbursts against me and attack with an avalanche of American- Anglo English vocabulary, I know how to handle him. I will take him to the Olavakkode Mariamman koil and make him dance along with me, singing,
    ‘Engamuthu mariayamma ennai vanthu kaappayo
    Ponnumuthu Mari, enthan pullaikali kaappayo”
    Are you not moved by this song ?  Yes, I composed it instantly. Don’t you like my bakthy, though I am ignorant of Aagama and sastra?

  2. adada
    sivasubramanian sir, i missed the chance of meeting shri narayanaswamy [ulagum sutram vaalibhan] [i address him as chittappa, as we share the same gotram, bharadwajam] at trichur, else i could have shown you clicks… to say whether your wish would get fulfilled… for boxing punch…. now i have to ask another chittappa i found at simhapuri shri nurani parameswaran ramakrishnan for that.
    what a contrast bharadwajams we are….. he gets ignited for all… whereas lord varuna comes through my eyes instantly..
    srhi narayanaswamy’s mail on the subject reminded me of Late MKThyagaraja Bhagavathar’s song from the picture SIVAKAVI…
    as you have rightly said about Kali temple in kolkatta… the scene is not different in khamakya temple in guwahati…. i got chilled when i saw live cutting of 100s of doves in the sannadhi…. but the entire mass chanted in unison maa, maa, maa.
    no one knows how the Temple at Melmaruvathoor of Amman came up…. but see how the people are attracted there…. if a place has the devine power, whether built as per aagama rules or not, it would attract the bhakthas.
    we all shout at muslims… but ayyappas during their pigrimage visit a mosque before reaching sannidhanam [i am yet to visit sabarimala — for that my regional manager at ernakulam, george kurian, branded me as non-brahmin]… what is required is dedication and devotion…
    with pranams.

  3. Dear Cheenu,
    Glad to note that at least you are with me to lend moral support in my life’s ambition to perform a difficult but worthy act! I am sure that your chithappa will enjoy your words of wisdom to be weighed in gold, ”  what is required is dedication and devotion…”, because he is a man of wisdom .
    I too had an opportunity to visit the famous Khamakya temple, where the Sreechakram is believed to be consecrated by  Adi Sankara Guru, when I went to Gowhati to attend uninvited the wedding of a nephew to an Assamese girl. That temple, I am sure, would have been built on the solid base of ‘Aagama sastras’ as the Gagadguru was associated with the initiation. I was lucky to visit the temple on a Saraswathy pooja day and that was, perhaps, why I was spared of the sight of gory, mentioned by you, at the sannidhanam.
    You must visit Sabharaimalai, Cheenu and that too through the ‘ long route’ after full forty-one days’ vratham. It is a marvelous experience. There is a story behind my first visit.
    My second son Atchuth suffered from a prolonged stomach pain and the best medical facility made available to me could not find out the cause or remedy for his agony. It was at that time, very casually, a neighbor dropped in my house and handed over a pinch of ‘Viboothy prasadam’ from Sabharimalai, which I placed on my son’s tongue.
    That night he could sleep for a few hours and in a couple of days his pain was gone! I am not a Brahmin in the strict sense as I do not perform sandhya or amavasya tharpanam unless I get into a mood to do  such good acts. I have abundant  unbrahmincial attitudes and habits but that ‘viboothy prasadam’s instant solution for an a prolonged problem, opened my eyes  and  I took a vow on the spot,  to visit sabharimalai.
    We had in our group a Telugu Brahmin, who followed the scriptures verbatim and looked down upon the manner and methods of  one of the co-pilgrims, a strong and stocky chettiar, who could utter only ‘Appa, Appa’ instead of Ayyappa. The Telugu pandit, while trucking, broke a toe and could not move further . The chettiar carried the pandit on his sturdy shoulder, for several miles, up to the ‘sannidahanam; shouting Appa, Appa”
     You could imagine how small the big pandit would have become! You will experience several such inexplicable incidents during your visit to the Hills. And they are to be experienced and not told.
    My Canada friend, Natrajan, who loves to proclaim that he is an atheist but whom I consider as Godly for his worthy acts, will have a haughty laugh when he reads this post. But, like me, he too knows that there are several things in life which cannot be meaured by our limited knowledge.
    As Nalappad Narayana Menon said in his immortal kavyam ‘Kannuneeerthulli’ :
    ‘Anantha-majnatham, avarnananeeyam
    Eeloka golam thiriyunna margam,
    Nokkunna marthyan kathayenthu kandu?”
    I will be doing injustice to the poet if I translate his inimitable verse into English with my known inefficiency in the English language. There, I seek the help of my Palakkadan Pattar friend. I am sure that he will oblige because he is a well wisher of our group and he wants to give his best to our readers.
    As usual, with LOVE,

  4. Dear fellow-Brahmins
    Responding to my query for information about the main deity, rituals performed and the priests, one loud-mouthed member of this 4brahmins forum has threatened in public to “punch my (non-existent) belly”. He boasts that this act is his “earnest desire with the hope” that my belly will be large enough, unlike his own.
    He is unable to answer my factual query, but takes obsessive objection to my “command over English”.
    Should this incipient psychopath try to carry out his threat, let him be assured that he will receive instantaneously a karate chop to his adam’s apple that will make mush of his neck and fracture his cervical vertebrae, and will receive simultaneously an unerring knee-smash to his testicles, reducing them to a bloody pulp. The combined effect will be to send his immortal soul prematurely to Yama-lokam.
    If this yelping pup is not stopped in his tracks now, he might with equal ferocity attack the imagined belly of our well-loved V Venkatraman, our photo-expert Sreenivasan’s aged pithashri, or even of our moderator Prakash Muthuswamy himself.
    As a practising Brahmin, I shall dutifully (and sorrowfully) help at his mangled corpse’s apara rites, and meticulously see to it that his asthi and the whole of his remaining ashes are consigned to the city’s sewers, for his eternal damnation. All without charging any dakshinai or accepting any daanam.
    S Narayanaswamy Iyer
    Postscript: The demonised a..-h… can still perform unrestrained his crotch-clutching MJ-imitation dance, not in a gory lambs-blood-flowing Maria-aatha temple floor, but before the Yama-ganas. To demonstrate his perverse “bhakthy”.
    S N I

  5. I sincerely hope and pray that we all mature with age and not simply grow.
    Let this forum be free of bashing of individuals. As it is, we have enough problems on hand – why complicate it further ?
    Let this forum stop the habit of thanking or bashing individuals in public. Indivdual compliments or abuses (best avoided), if need be, should go to the individual only. Why should everybody watch dirty linen being washed in public ?

  6. Relax Sriram!
    Don’t you realize that two stalwarts are having fun with each other?
    And in the process, entertaining all of us?
    If the these two stalwarts (one of whom I will call the irresistible force and the other I will call the immovable object) ever meet face to face, be assured there will be warm hugs, copious tears of joy and mutual back slapping and general bon-homie.
    Enjoy the exchange like I am doing and do not worry.
    We Iyers are not violent.
    G Vishwanath

  7. Hi!
    All our brahmin brothers,
    For the first time I witnessed a boxing match with one fighter being a judo expert and another is an expert in Karate in our forum or should I say our arena.. Had this encounter been in any venue nearby it would be a bloody encounter fortunately both our brahmin friends were thousands of kilometres apart. The venue fortunately was the 4Brahmin site. As a neutral observer I find the Karate expert would have knocked the Judo expert convincingly as he gave a blow to a sensitive part trhat would have the Judo expert roll in pain. He would not have expected such a severe blow to that of the anatomy.
    Jokes aside I thought the whole encounter arose out of mere expressions of view and the provocation for this angry encounter was due to the Judo expert who wanted to punch the tummy of the karate expert surely he was incensed and as I know him personally he is not a coward and as I stated he will uphold his conviction to the point of a verbal duel. One aspect of this encounter amazed me but what would have happened if they were to meet at close proximity not at a distance of thousands of kilometre away. God only knows the result but words are merely words they both would have thought but the pen is mightier than the sword friends !!
    Leave alone what I have written as a jokeat the beginning but more seriuosly both brahmin brothers should have controlled their temper and since they are using the 4Brahmin forum for intellectaul discussion on topics of interest to all brahmins it is I consider a shame to indulge in unsphisticated vocabulary. It demeans us and our group.
    Initially I joined the group for enhancing my views on various topics which I found enriching. I enjoyed the wit and humour of VVR and also the expertise of many participants in this forum. I am a senior citizen in my early eighties and when I read this war of words between two of our members first my reaction was stunning disbelief that two mature gentlemen should resort to harsh and inappropriate words where the forum si viewed by many men and women who also I believe are seniors and well educated seing some of the comments on this issue I am afraid it is a poor reflection of brahminism.
    However, the moderator has very aptly put it that we should be sober in our expressing our views and also respect the views of others however different it may be. Let us uphold these principles in our dialogue sothat it will be true to the brahmin spirit.
    Sincere regards to all our fellow brahmins,

  8. Dear fellow-Brahmins
    The incipient psychopath is roaming the countryside, slavering at the jaws, looking for victims to assault, yet again. He proclaims loudly that to him it was the “right action”.
    This time he is at a wedding, where he wants to break the skull in public of someone who merely says innocently within earshot of the psychopath where a walking-stick for “kaashi-yaathra” came from. Extract below explains itself.
    S Narayanaswamy
    — On Tue, 7/7/09, Sivasubramanian Perinkulam wrote:
    I sharpened again and again my eyes and ears in vain, not to miss my girl’s shadow or gurgle.
    ”This stick for ‘kasi yatra’ was specially brought from Nagerkoil”- someone announced proudly. I wanted to grab that stick and strike him but that was a wrong place for a right action.
    ‘Before disappointment could devastate my mood, I could hear the authoritative high pitch of my father:
    (To be continued, as our forum, fortunately, have some members who enjoy my pranks)

  9. Is this round two of the bout between the irresistible force and the immovable object?
    Round one was abrubtly halted by the shrill blowing of the referee’s (Prakash Muthuswamy’s) whistle.
    Let’s see this time which comes first, the referee’s whistle or an apt rejoinder from the enraged victim.
    Who needs TV or movie entertainment when we have performing fleas like this on our very own forum?
    When will it be my turn to be Sri Narayanaswamy’s unfortunate victim?
    Isn’t it strange? Impecaable English has brought him notoriety, not fame.
    Regards to all
    G Vishwanath
    (Written in lighter vein and with no intention to offend any one and with apologies in advance)

  10. Aho, baghyam! aho, baghyam!‏
    I am thrilled; I have achieved my life’s ambition.
    My most respected Anna has read the posts of this ‘parayan’ .Not only that he has found time to pen a comment which only shows the extend of his love for this insect.
    To those friends who enquire whether my poojya Anna graced the occassion of my wedding, I submit with tearful eyes that I was not that fortunate. And certainly it was not Anna who made the comment about my Kasi yatra stick.
    My equally respected moderator has kept under his table glass, my earlier mail to Anna, extending ‘samsthaparatham’ but has been gracious to publish Anna’s Ashirvadam to me, every time every alternate day.
    I am not an orphan,I am convinced now.

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