Ask A Hindu: Worship Services?

Ask A Hindu: Worship Services?

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By Sreedharani Nandagopal 

How do Hindus worship? Are there weekly services?

There are daily and weekly worship services in the temples in India as well as the world over wherever there are Hindu Temples. Devotees can go to the temples at their convenience. But mostly we worship our deities at home every day.  

Hindus worship anything and everything that is created by the Divine. This includes The Sun (Surya namaskara in Yoga), the moon, water, air, rivers, mountains, trees, flowers, animals, etc. Without these we cannot exist. Every living being has a reason to exist. Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma (The Eternal Duty in Life) says that we should live in cooperation with the environment and not with competition.  

With so many ways of worshipping including the reincarnated forms of the Divine, Mother Goddess, the animals, planets, things in nature, we do not have a count of how many Gods and Goddesses are there. We worship whomever we want depending on the day and/or the festival, etc.  

Each community has its own way of worshipping and rituals which continue to this day in the world wherever people of Hindu faith are settled and Hindu temples are there. Our way of spirituality is very individualistic as each individual can worship any one they want, however they want, whenever they want and wherever they want.  

Bhagavatgeetha (Songs of the Divine) is a book about the questions and answers between a human being and the Divine Krishna. Human being is self-conflicted between his/her duty in life (Dharma) and what is right and what is wrong. The Divine guides him through his answers and advises him that he should follow his Dharma. To one of the questions as to how to worship the Divine, Krishna answers that a devotee, who is caught up in the mortal life and needs to do his/her Dharma, can worship the Divine in any form, wherever, whenever is possible. If the devotee does his duty in life that is like a service to the Divine. Feeding a hungry child or hungry animal is equivalent to worshipping the Divine. So we are really not required to go the temples but if we fulfill our duties at home, that is sufficient for the Divine. We can go to the temples whenever we can. There is no restrictions.  

About Sreedharani Nandagopal

Sreedharani Nandagopal followed her physician sister to Seattle in 1969. She attended University of Washington to get her Physics and engineering degree. Then, In 1975 went back to India and got married to an electrical engineering professor (Mallur Nandagopal, Ph.D.) and at the same time I received her immigrant visa. Together they returned to Seattle. In 1977 they moved to Spokane. Her husband has done some innovative things for the city of Spokane, one of them being rebuilding the Upriver Dam Hydroelectric project which produces annually
over $3 million in revenue to the city. Sreedharani taught for the Community Colleges of Spokane for 27 years and other colleges in this area including NIC. Together they do volunteer work for the schools and community at large by giving presentations about Indian culture, Hinduism, etc. They also try to educate the Spokane and the vicinity citizenry by bringing classical concerts and dance-dramas from India with the help of Rotary, Spokane Arts, Spokane city, Innovia Foundation, and many other organizations, and individual donors.

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