There is a new hype for the country India amongst Australians, particularly women, with the release of the film 'Eat, Pray and Love' and the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The richness of culture, language and religion in India, makes this country attractive to tourists all around the world. But, how would it be to have a taste of this richness from our own backyard?
The intricate designs of the idols, the refreshing aroma of sandalwood and the reverent chanting of Hindu priests to the many deities, makes the Sydney Murugan Temple in Mays Hill, one of the most treasured Hindu temples in Australia. The main deity that the temple was created for is Lord Muruga, as there are a large proportion of Tamil speaking individuals in Sydney and Lord Muruga is seen as the creator of the Tamil language. The temple is beige in colour, embedded with small idols and difficult to miss as it sits over the peak of Mays Hill, parallel to the Great Western Highway.
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There are certain customs that must be followed prior to entering the temple, these customs include the removal of shoes and the washing of the feet, as this is a sign of respect to the Hindu deities. The easiest way to get to the temple is by car as the temple has its own parking area, however, there are both bus and train stations nearby (closest to Westmead station, walking distance of 1.5km).
Every day, auspicious poojas (rituals to deities) occur at different intervals of the day, along with monthly Hindu festivals and the hosting of several Hindu weddings. The atmosphere surrounding the temple is peaceful yet powerful making it ideal for meditation. It is almost impossible to leave the temple, without feeling cleansed of bad energy, effects and vibrations. The temple allows people to conduct personalised poojas, by paying the administration office $20. The pooja involves a plate of flowers, fruits and holy powder being offered by the priest on your behalf to the deity and sacred hymns being recited by the priest for your wellbeing. However, there is no obligation to conduct a personalised pooja as just witnessing the daily temple poojas that occur, provide the same sense of fulfilment and tranquillity that are felt by observing sacred rituals in India.
The temple is a stunning arena to experience the spiritual intensity of those who practice Hinduism and get a real feel for how integrated culture, religion and language are in India. So, for all those mothers who are eager to have the same spiritual experiences of Elizabeth Gilbert in India, look no further than the Sydney Murugan Temple in Mays Hill.
It's amazing to find out about the diversity of religions and cultures in Sydney.
As a yoga teacher I totally respect and to some degree are influenced and always learning about the Hindu culture.
I'm ready for a road trip to the temple.
By eleni - reader Saturday, 7th of April @ 10:57 am