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Indian roots in a foreign land

Indian roots in a foreign land
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In a bid to enrich Indian children living in Texas with stories from the Hindu epics and also inculcate moral values and discipline, the Vedic...

America-based Indian kids performed puja to Goddess Saraswati at an event organised by MTS and VHS

In a bid to enrich Indian children living in Texas with stories from the Hindu epics and also inculcate moral values and discipline, the Vedic Heritage School (VHS) and the Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS), both based in Houston, Texas, organised an event where the children performed Saraswati puja.
Pavankumar Sribhashyam, head priest of Meenakshi Temple
The puja was performed under the guidance of the temple priest, Pavankumar Sribhashyam, and verses were translated and the significance of the pujas were explained for the children’s benefit.

The Meenakshi Temple located in Pearland, a suburb of Houston, was the third Hindu temple that was built in the United States since the 1970s, the peak of the Hindu immigrant settlement in the United States of America. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the only temple for the Goddess off the shores of India. However, in keeping with the spirit of Hindu civilization that has so many religious paths, Gods, sects and yet a single substratum ‘Brahman’ (the single Godhead) activating this diversity, the temple is also dedicated to Lord Sri Sundareswara or Lord Shiva of the Shaivite tradition. To meet the diverse needs of the Hindu population, the Vaishnava tradition of worship is also celebrated and the temple is also dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. Thus this temple has become a confluence of the several traditions of worship, the Shaivaite, the Vaishnavite, the worship of Lord Ayyappa, Devi Kannika Parameshwari, Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and several other deities.
Children performing Saraswati puja at Houston.
Sarada Akunuri, Hyderabad-based singer and Radio Jockey living in Houston, participated in the event. She said, “The Meenakshi Temple Society, Houston’s Vedic Heritage School or VHS as it is popularly called is a beacon of cultural heritage. It follows Swami Dayanand Saraswati's Poorna Vidya curriculum. The first MTS VHS class was started in February, 2000. The very first project started with only 26 students, five volunteers and a coordinator. The programme has now grown immensely.”

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