It is a shrine for thousands of Hindu followers throughout GTA. This month, completing seventeen years after it was begun, the temple is the gathering spot for several Hindus in the Mississauga area.
There is a central meditation hall, with beautiful deities of Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva and Parvati, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Goddess Saraswati, Ram Durbar and Lord Surya for devotees to worship. The temple priests decorate the deities beautifully with flowers and garments each day.
The Hindu Heritage Centre is also fully equipped for fulfilling the needs of the community in as far as various rituals are concerned, including weddings and other religious ceremonies. The temple is untouched by the frenetic rhythms of big city life, and all bhajans, prayers etc. are performed by the priests daily with great devotion.
Walking barefoot on the cool and immaculately clean marble floor of the temple complex (visitors must remove their shoes at the entrance, though socks are optional), the smell of incense wafts sweetly through the air, instilling visitors with the temple’s calming, soothing aura.
A common sight on the temple grounds are the polite and gregarious priests – all of whom come from India – many of whom live full-time at the temple complex; the priests go about their daily activities and devotions to the temple’s deities during the day
The temple is open to visitors between 7 am and 9.00 pm; On weekends and other important festival days, a kitchen in the temple’s basement level serves up tasty vegetarian food to all devotees.
Daily prayers are offered in the morning and evening. On Sundays, from 4.00pm onwards there are special bhajans, satsang, discourses, meditation and Aarti, followed by Preetibhoj. Traditions such as Deepavali, Holi, Maha Shivaratri, Navaratri, Ram Navami, Janmashatmi to name a few, are celebrated with great enthusiasm. In addition, prominent sages and Vedic scholars are invited on a regular basis to provide a great experience for those who want to learn from them.
For seniors, the centre hosts special activities wherein these elders get spend quality time, make friends, and stay involved in the community. The seniors share their knowledge and wisdom with others, especially children and youth.
On Sundays, classes on Hindu culture, Hindi language, classical singing, and dancing are offered to those interested. These classes are for all age groups, including children, youth, and adults. All class sizes are small, for best learning experiences. Yoga classes are also held every Sunday morning and the teachers are certified practitioners with vast experience.
Baal Vihaar classes for children are held on Sunday and I have been blessed to volunteer in the Mandir to teach our kids to learn about our culture. Children learn through stories about our religion, culture and scriptures. All devotees are encouraged to bring their kids to be part of this activity.
A Hindu temple is considered as a house of God. It is a space and structure to bring human beings and God together, infused with symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs. Although it is known that the Supreme Being is omnipresent, but for most of us need a physical location to experience divinity. The temple provides the right environment and facilities for pursuing religious and spiritual life.
Scientific facts can be explained to the younger generation and effectively convey the message that seeking blessings of the Almighty has a calming impact on their minds. Temples are sacred places with sanctity and there is abundance of positive energy. Once children catch the idea that temple worship is a great tool for stabilizing their emotions, it will enable them to believe that worshipping with serenity and attentiveness takes them deeper into their soul nature.
Apart from ‘Satsangs’ and lessons for children, youth and adults, frequently performed rituals, music and dance concerts provide not only psychological consolation for diasporic Indians but helps to construct their identities as Indian.
The temple does not charge any entry fee, but donations are both accepted and appreciated. So, dear readers, do visit this beautiful centre of worship and experience positive energy, seek divine blessings and enjoy the vibes!
For further details about the services, please visit www.hinduvision.org