Finally Rejoicing

March 20, 2010

Author: Hillary Feeney

Source: Chico News & Review

Whether it’s waving a flame in front of an image of a god or offering food, ceremonies and festivals are important ways for Hindus to show devotion to the gods. Until recently, though, the Hindu community in Chico did not have a place to celebrate festivals, hold ceremonies or meditate.

In 2008, Manju Pillai bought a former church on Hicks Lane and converted it into the Grace Light Hindu Temple to give Hindu Chicoans a place to gather.

“We can do all of it at home, but when more than one person join together, the power of prayer is multiplied 100 times,” Pillai said during a recent visit to the temple.

The place of worship gives believers a place to sing devotional songs, recite prayers and make offerings to the gods. Uniting the Hindu community is a vision that began when Pillai became involved with Hinduism two years ago, she said.