Hindu Faithful Re-Create Godly Marriage in Push to Build Temple

September 15, 2008

Author: Tanveer Ali

Source: The Detroit News


Every day in a prominent temple in southern India, the marriage of the major Hindu god Venkateswara is re-enacted as it has been for centuries.

Sunday morning at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, the ceremony was celebrated for the first time in Michigan, in the first of many epic events Metro area Hindus hope to present as they plan to build a temple devoted to the god.

"When you go to Thirupati (Temple in India), the minute you see the god, you can sense a mystical power," said Lakshmi Addala of Troy, a regular at the Sterling Heights temple.

About 2,000 people watched Sunday's ceremony, as 20 men carried the representative of Venkateswara on their shoulders as he prepared to be married to Padmavathi and Lakshmi, the goddesses of patience and wealth, respectively.

The three-hour ceremony, the basis of Hindu weddings, was marked by drumbeats and sounds from the oboe-like nadaswaram. Recitations from four visiting priests permeated the room before the deities' hands were joined in marriage; then they made their seven steps around a sacred fire.

While there are many Hindu temples in Michigan, the Sri Balaji Temple of Great Lakes is the only one focused on the Destroyer of Sin.

Devotees hope to build a replica of the Indian temple and move out of their rented room in Sterling Heights that barely holds 50 people.