‘It’s a challenge’ — How the coronavirus is limiting temple worship for Utah Hindus

‘It’s a challenge’ — How the coronavirus is limiting temple worship for Utah Hindus

By Peggy Fletcher Stack

Like all of Utah’s religious groups, Hindus have been forced by COVID-19 to cut back their various festivals and forms of worship. It has been especially hard for a faith whose deities are housed in a temple that is now mostly closed on weekdays and whose rituals are part of daily life for believers.

Under normal circumstances, Hindu devotees flock to the Sri Ganesha Temple in South Jordan as a priest typically chants daily before the shrines, sprinkling each with water, and placing fruit, rice and flowers in front.

Many members of the community then would visit daily, weekly or for special blessings before a test, before a big game, before a new project or performance, before a birth or marriage.

Under current circumstances, the priest does the morning service by himself, while the evening service is livestreamed via YouTube. He is flanked by three screens, a tripod for the camera, a carton of Clorox wipes, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a roll of paper towels.

Devotees can make appointments to have a priest conduct a ceremony for them via a video call. They can arrange for a wedding or other big occasions to be held in the outside pavilion, but must observe guidelines such as restricting guests to six people, says Sandy resident Chaitanya Achan, who is the temple president.

“Visiting the temple is a cultural experience that has built up over a lifetime,” Achan says. “Suddenly, you have to stop doing that. It’s a challenge.”

Read the rest @ https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2020/09/26/its-challenge-how/


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *