Free «Religious Studies and Theology» Essay Sample

Religious Studies and Theology

The name of the religious organization I visited is Malibu Hindu Temple, which translates to a temple of the Hindu god Venkateswara. Its address is 1600 Las Virgenes Canyon road, Calabasas, CA 91302, Unites States of America. This organization is for those who profess Hinduism or the Hindu faith especially in the Southern California. It was established in the year 1981 by the Hindu Temple Society of Southern California (Kurien 87).

In this temple, the Hindus are taught the four principles of Hinduism, namely dharma, artha, karma, and moksha (Clothey 239). In a guided tour to the temple, some of the issues I noted were the business casual wear of all people, food warnings, serenity, and non-smoking signs. These highly correlate with what we have learned in class, which shows genuineness of Hindu faith. This temple, just like any other temple follows the Hindu practice; for example, all visitors must take off their shoes and wash them.

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Some of the images noticeable around the temple include Balaji, Radha Krishna, Durga Shiva, Ram Parivar, and Ganesh among others. Whenever visitors come to this temple, they prostrate and offer the deities a lot of goodies known as the prasada. In this temple, one of most important ritual objects is the cow. However, there are stones and trees which form part of the ritual. Men and women in this temple stay on different sides; though the main ethnic people in this temple are Indians, some other people from varying ethnic backgrounds tend to show interest in the Hindu spirituality practiced in this temple.

The primary teachings in this temple are the four Hindu principles, namely karma, dharma, artha, and moksha. This temple has a room for major activities such as picnic and meditations. There are other special cultural activities as well as numerous Hindu programs that are practiced in this temple. These practices and activities reflect what was learned in class about Hindu temples and beliefs. In the course of the tour, I was highly impressed by the adherence to the cores of the religion by all people who visit it. Especially, the offerings that are given to the deities in this temple show the commitment to the Hindu religion.

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During the interaction with the visitors in this temple, I saw that most people come for meditation and show their dedication to their religion and teachings. There is a lot to be learnt from this temple, and I would go for any opportunity to come back to this place. The religious adherence in this temple is quite different from other religious organizations, especially in the belief of the existing Supreme Being and the powers of the statues mounted all-round the temple. This practice gives an impression of people who are taught about the principals and the dogma of the religion. Coming from a different faith, I was anxious to learn the differences in beliefs. Essentially, I learnt that the cultures practiced in this temple and Hinduism at large help in molding the followers to living godly and fruitful lives.

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Based on the experience of visiting this temple, people should put real essence and association to what they are taught by their religions. It was interesting to see how close activities in the calendar were and how faithful people behaved during the events. As Kopping (93) wrote, the sacred spaces are the ritual spaces, while the areas not designated for sacred performances are the non-ritual spaces. The ritual spaces are prepared by manipulation of some objects and recitation of texts.

Time is not a factor in performance of rituals and some of the objects used in rituals include the bell, Gau, Mandala, the Kartika, and Phurpa among others. Most of the authorities in this temple speak the Indian , and participants of the rituals recite some texts. The performance of the participants did not try to adapt to the particular context of the study.