Northern Virginia, through the many different roots and cultural backgrounds of its people, boasts one of the most diverse and fascinating cultural lifestyles in Virginia and the larger United States. The millions of people who have decided to call this place home over the past few centuries have brought with them unique cultural artifacts, beliefs, and rituals of their ancestral homes.
They have integrated the American landscape with a breathtaking global appeal. The different religious traditions of the world have consequently found their way to Northern Virginia. And as one of the world’s largest belief systems, Hinduism has firmly rooted itself in the region.
The iconic Hindu Temple of Virginia (HTVA) attests to that fact. Let’s take a detailed look at this symbol of Virginia’s cultural and religious diversity.
Hindu Temple of Virginia
Hindu Temple of Virginia was a brainchild of two priest brothers who had served the Hindu community for over two decades. These brothers successfully trained many young believers in the Vedas and Agamas, and as a result, passed on the faith to the next generation.
While this was not an easy task, they accomplished it with due dedication. The brothers had several goals, and one of which was the establishment of the Hindu Temple of Virginia. They wanted:
- To provide a place of worship and Puja services according to Indian traditions;
- To explain the reasons behind the Hindu rituals to ensure the upcoming generations remain as close as possible to Dharma, Indian Culture, and Indian Customs; and
- To establish the temple of Sri Venkateshwara by following the path of SHRI BHAGAVAD RAMANUJACHARYA.
The Major Principles of Hindu Temple of Virginia
The Hindu Temple of Virginia also follows the same philosophy as outlined by Jagadgurus. It focuses on training able children and adults in Hindu Sastras and scriptures as well as helping in shaping perfect Agama experts. To achieve this, HTVA has laid down the following principles.
- Distributing free Prasadam
- Offering only Satwik prasadam in the temple premises
- Adhering to Sri Paancharatra Agama for all rituals.
- Observing the same principles while allowing family events in the premises
- Encouraging the next generations to follow Indian culture and traditions
- Writing temple bye-laws based on the Saasthras
The Hindu Temple of Virginia Literature
The Hindu Temple of Virginia tradition is based on Vedic Literature. Vedic literature is composed mainly in Sanskrit and is divided into two main categories:
- Smiriti – this denotes tradition or that which is remembered
- Sruti – this indicates revelation or that which is heard
The Vedas that constitute Sruti is considered scripture by many Vedic religion adherents. Smiriti is composed of post-Vedic scriptures, including the Itihaasaas and the different Shastras. It may also include histories in the epic verse.
Generally, the literature comprises:
- The 4 Vedas
- The 2 Itihasas
- The 18 Smrutis
- The Upanishads
- The Puranas
- The Bhagavad Gita
In conclusion, the Hindu Temple of Virginia is one of the outstanding symbols of cultural and religious diversity in Northern Virginia. The region is a hotbed of different cultures from around the globe.
Read Further: Fun Events at Frying Pan Farm Park