As part of our Hindu Dharma module, we had the chance to visit a Hindu temple in Preston. The Swwami Narayan Mandir was such a beautiful place, with amazing statues and colours.
We began the visit with a little talk from one of the members of the Mandir. She was lovely, and explained everything we needed to know, making all the information really clear so that there was nothing we didn’t understand. For me, the most interesting topic covered was Puja (when Hindus pray at home). As our next seminar is on Puja, it was nice to get an overview so that when we study it, it won’t be completely alien. We learnt that there are many elements to Puja, with each one meaning different things. For example, the use of fire in water in Puja, which are used as a way to cement the prayers and the worshsip. Also, in the home shrine, there will be pictures and/or statues of deities, as Hindus believe that God will be present in these representations.
After answering any questions we had, we went into a beautiful room with many elaborate statues of Hindu deities and had a go at some meditation. It felt like such a relaxing place to be, especially with the music they played for us to help us with our meditation.
Lastly, a visiting priest said a prayer for us all, wishing us good luck on our course and for the future. We were also told that any time we wanted to visit, their doors were always open. It was so lovely to feel so welcome in the Mandir, and to get an insight to home worship for Hindus. The only drawback was that we couldn’t spend all day there!