World Religion Students Visit Oxford Hindu Temple
On March 6th, World Religion students of Nichols College Professor Conrad Pecevich took in the sights and sounds of the Sarva Dev Hindu Mandir located on Route 12 in Oxford. The temple was established in 2001 to meet the religious needs of our local Indian community. Barin Bando, one of approximately 300 members, gave students a tour, as a temple priest said prayers for each student's health and welfare. The next closest Hindu temple is located in Ashland, Mass.
Hindu is one of the world's oldest religious faiths, with over 1 billion Hindus living throughout the world, mainly in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.
Bando told Nichols students that Hinduism is as much a "philosophy," or "way of life," as it is a religion, affecting every aspect of life and activity. But unlike most religions, Hindu has no one founder, no one scripture, and no one "Holy Book."
Hindus believe that as all rivers lead to the same ocean, all genuine spiritual paths lead to the same goal. Therefore, there is no attempt to convert others to the religion, as each person is allowed to pray and worship according to one's own knowledge, desire, need and spiritual elevation. Hindus believe in One God, beyond form, space and time and beyond human comprehension.
Hindu worship includes ritualistic temple or home prayer; offerings of flowers, coconut, fruits, incense, flames of oil lamps and camphor - directly or through the priest; and the chanting of prayers in Sanskrit. In addition, worship includes service of one's fellow man, a study of the sacred texts and devotion to the Supreme, and meditation to understand the inner self the divine that is everywhere.
Hindus believe in non-violence, karma (the law of cause and effect), and reincarnation, or "life after death." Attachment, greed and lust leads to bad karma, which leads to grief and further suffering and rebirths to wash off those effects.
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