Like most Canadians of Indian origin living in Canada, we too usually visit temples once a week, normally on the Sunday morning. (Six days for me, one day for God!) Our temple, called Shri Ram Sharnam is located about 30 kilometres from our home and it takes us about 45 minutes to reach there on the Sunday morning when the traffic on the roads is very light. Shri Ram Sharnam looks quite different from a typical Hindu temple, as you won't find statues of the Hindu gods and goddesses. On a typical Sunday morning, about 25 to 50 people come to Shri Ram Sharnam. These days, Swami Eknaamdev Ji Maharaj from Kurukshetra, India comes to the temple every Sunday, therefore, the attendance is on the higher side. The program, which starts at 10am and ends around 12pm, is quite predictive — Amritvaani sung for about 45 minutes followed by bhajans. Most people sing along with the lead singers, however, I am usually not able to do so. My mind starts questioning the validity of quickly singing the same rhymes every week without even bothering to stop for a moment to understand what is being sung. Within no time, my mind starts wandering all over the planet and then stops at the wall-clock to check how much time is still left. When the program ends, people have parsaad, tea and light snack. Unlike other Hindu and Sikh temples in Toronto, where free lunch is served every Sunday afternoon, Shri Ramsharnam devotees get lunch only once in a blue moon.
|Shri Ram Sharnam Temple, Toronto
Sometimes I wonder — why do people visit temples? When I ask this question, I get all sort of reasosns, such as
- We must go to temple, at least once in week.
- To do darshan of bhagwan.
- To find peace/happiness. Temple is the place where you would get great happiness.
- To request the God to eliminate all problem or ask for favours. (God, please get me good marks in the exams and I will offer parshad of $101/Rs 501.)
- To do pooja. You can't do pooja properly at home.
- To see ancient Indian history and arctitecture.
- This is how we can teach Hinduisum to our chidren.
- Social gathering — to meet our friends and relatives.
- Don't need to cook lunch on Sunday (particularly applicable in Canada/USA)
- My friend/relative is organising pooja in the temple next Sunday and has invited me, so I must go on that day.
I heard the most interesting reason for going to temple from a barber, Haridwari Lal in Moti Bagh, New Delhi in 1972. While I was waiting for my turn for haircut in his shop, Haridwari Lal, who was around 55 at that time told his client that when he was young in his teens, he used to go to temple almost everyday in the evening because a lot of young girls used to visit temple around that time!
Is going to temple the only way to find God? As per Hindu believe, God is everywhere (कण कण में भागवान), so one should be able find God everywhere, in every person, including your wife/husband and parents. One can find God while singing/dancing in temples, but also while painting a picture, writing a song/poem, creating music, raising children, doing work in a factory or growing food in fields. As God has created this world, when we do something creative, it becomes easy to see God in that creation. If Kabir can see God while weaving cloth, why can't we do the same while doing our work?
(The Toronto Shri Ram Sharnam Temple is located at 12 Steinway Boulevard, Unit 19, Toronto, ON M9W 6J8, near Steeles Ave West and Highway 427/27. The temple is usually open only on Sundays from 10.00 am to approximately 1 pm. The temple opens on other days only when there are special events.
Phone: 416 675 7262.
Email: [email protected] Click this link for the map.