America's Sacred Hindu Landscape

June 15, 2005

Source: INDOlink

On June 15, 2005 INDOlink reported, "like so many Americans who like to play 'Indian', Indian-Americans too have been traversing America’s sacred landscape without connecting with the deeply held beliefs of its ancient inhabitants, the American Indians. But not anymore. They are becoming grounded on American soil. And from Hindu temples in Juneau, Alaska, to Tallahassee, Florida, and to Kauai, Hawaii, they are chanting praises such as this: America vasa jaya govinda or Victory to Govinda who lives in America. That’s because there is an ongoing process of Hinduizing the American sacred space. Hindu Americans have begun to cultivate the strains within their own religious tradition that foster a sense of the sacred earth through myth, ritual, ceremonies, and spirit power that more or less reflects Native American or American Indian cultures. Indeed, Hindu Americans would not be doing this if they did not realize the land was sacred in some intrinsic way, something the Native American Indians knew for thousands of years. Now, Hindu Americans are locating, establishing and embellishing sacred spaces in America by co-mingling the waters of the Ganga and the Kaveri with the Mississippi and Rio Grande, and by invoking the holy Indian rivers into the local waters. Even if this ritual is not viewed as purifying one of all sins it is a palpable affirmation of an emerging Hindu cosmology transplanted in America."

See also: Hinduism, Statistics