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Tuesdays at the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati

Every Tuesday night at 6:30pm the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati fills its airways with the bass-heavy rhythm of the dholak, a double-headed hand drum, and its traditional accompanying instrument, the harmonium. The two instruments provide temple-goers a resounding, energetic medium through which their minds can transition from daily thoughts to the flow of the Hanuman Chalisa, forty lines sung (five times) in respect and admiration for the Hindu deity Hanuman.

The temple, which is open seven days a week, has been hosting Hanuman Chalisa every Tuesday for the past twelve years. Pratap Jani, whose musical prowess as a singer and keyboard player is well respected within the community, has been an active participant throughout that time. "Initially we were five or six people, and over the years more people started coming. Over fifty people now attend [the event] regularly. They come, recite Hanuman Chalisa and disperse. The temple is now booming."

Hanuman's symbolic representation is associated with the human mind. "In monkey form, Hanuman is a rudra avatar [incarnation] of Shiva, said to remove ignorance and negativity. His gadha [mace] represents that, bad thoughts," says head priest Kailash Sharma. In relation to the human intellect, the monkey form is symbolic of that which is ever restless, never still.

For Hindus, the reasoning behind such beliefs relate to our unique ability, as humans, to condition our minds and realize the power associated with changing the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Hanuman, as a champion yogi, represents a mind capable of calming and controlling senses. Through faithful devotion and selfless service, Hanuman devotees aspire to still their minds and overcome ego in an approachable way. Although Hinduism is deeply complex, Hanuman offers simplicity, says Kailash Sharma.

You can visit the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati at 4920 Klatte Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244. On Tuesdays, chances are you'll see priest Kailash Sharma, Pratap Jani and a diverse group of regulars from a variety of backgrounds and regions of India enjoying music and singing Chalisa.

For more information about events and activities, visit the temple's website

Comments

  • Jeegar Shatrughnavyas 4 years ago

    As a Hindu, I often question the symbolism behind certain gods and goddesses. It is sometimes daunting to have fellow peers ridicule and taunt Hindu gods because of their eccentric appearences. Never having been taught the formal meaning of hanuman's apelike appearance, this article presents a fresh outlook on not only the diety hanuman, but on Hinduism as a whole. It would be nice to hear more analysis on some of the mythology surrounding Hinduism.

  • Devarshi Patel 4 years ago

    It is hard to explain to those who ask and are not familiar with Hinduism why we would pray to certain deities and what they represent. This article does a very good job with its thorough explanation of Hanuman and, to a small extent, beliefs of Hindus. I believe that articles such as these are important to understand the complexities of Hinduism.

  • Hariohm Patel 4 years ago

    Like, Jeegar Shatrughnavyas, I too appreciate the writers explaination of what Hanuman embodies and how this is related to chanting and/or other activities performed by Hindus, which is often not understood, especially in the west. Great article. I look forward to similar articles in relation to other dieties, rituals, etc... from this new Cincinnati Hinduism Examiner.

  • Chandrakant Bhakta 4 years ago

    Interestingly, the article is presented with a tone that, in my opinion, embodies the calm and controlled qualities the writer has described in the symbolism of Hanuman. I found that to be very cool-even if unintended.

    The most unique aspect of the article is its humanistic approach to a subject (religion) that has been dominated by authoritative writing. The points and observations made seem to have been carefully selected to appeal to a universal audience. The previous comments prove that there is something for everyone, from the devout Hindu to the free spirited thinker.

    Informative + insightful = well examined. I hope hear more from this author, perhaps relating to the "Ram Katha" alluded to in his Bio.

  • Kabhie Kabhie Kuch Kuch 4 years ago

    Wow! I really appreciate your explanation of the ceremonies. They are so beautiful, the music, the color, and the dancing. I look forward to more articles like yours explaining the meaning of such artful meditation. Standing ovation!

  • Mohandas Thoduvayil Nelliot 4 years ago

    Hi Anand,

    It was really refreshing to read your article about the Hindu Temple, where I have been a few times. I like your writing style and your presentation. Your article provides good insight for a person who has recently moved to the Tri-State.

    I am a new writer on the Examiner Site, "Cincinnati India Travel Examiner." I love India!

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