Update: Utah's New Hindu Temple and Congregation Leader

May 24, 2003

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


On May 24, 2003 The Salt Lake Tribune reported that "the proper ritual required mango leaves to be offered to the deity, but mangoes don't grow in Utah, so leaves had been specially ordered from Florida. When the auspicious day arrived, the mango leaves didn't... So Pundit Somayaji Shashidhara, the new priest at the Sri Ganesha Temple in South Jordan, simply substituted other leaves and went ahead with the puja, or Hindu ceremony... 'In Hinduism -- no rules. Everyone has freedom,' Shashidhara explained with a smile... Flexibility is key to Hinduism, which is a constantly evolving, unwinding learning experience. Although its ritual is based on ancient Sanskrit, a dead language, the religion itself is alive and growing, and its few rules can be adapted to circumstances... The philosophy has served Shashidhara well as he tends to the Sri Ganesha community, and it has served the community well in the construction of its first new temple."