A Hindu temple is opening on October 14 in the Tea suburb of South Dakota’s largest city Sioux Falls, which is claimed to be the “first Hindu temple in the Dakotas”.
North Dakota and South Dakota, states in the Great Plains region of USA, are spread out in about 147,814 square miles area. There is a considerable growth of Hindu populations in the Dakotas.
Grand opening of Hindu Temple of Siouxland (HTOS), earlier scheduled to open on August 26, was delayed due to waterlogging caused by unexpected rain. Cost estimates for the two phases of the temple are listed as $585,000. Bhoomi Pooja of the temple site was held in 2016.
Ancient Hindu rituals to be performed at this Hindu Temple Opening Ceremony (Prana Pratishtha) and murti sthapana include sacred pitcher worship, consecration of deities, ceremony of fire and lights, flowers offering, liturgical dance, bhajans, etc. These rituals are believed to “endow the temple deities with divine power and bless the community in which they reside”. All are invited to the opening celebrations which will be followed by community lunch.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of temple leaders and area community towards realizing this much needed Hindu temple.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
“Mission and Objectives” of HTOS in southwest of Sioux Falls include: “Practice ideals of Hinduism through worship, education, and community involvement”. It is seeking donations and plans to celebrate “Festival of Lights” on November three. Archana Chatterjee and Muthukumarappan are Trustees Chair and Vice Chair, while Ramesh Singh and Kalyan Boinapalli are President and Vice President respectively.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world has about 1.1 billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Tea, incorporated in 1906 and whose tagline is “a growing tradition”, celebrates “Teapot Days” every June, which included “Crowning of Ma & Pa Teapot”. John Lawler is the Mayor.