Temple Visit FAQ

1. I am not a Hindu but I would like to learn more about this great culture. Can I visit your temple?
Of course YES. We are more than happy to share our culture and tradition with interested people. Please check the temple timings on the homepage and call to schedule for a guided tour. The best time for guided tour is between 10:30am and 12pm on weekdays. The attending temple priest or someone from the temple can give you a guided tour. If you are visiting the temple as an essential part of your educational project, please call us to make an appointment, just to make sure that someone is available to answer any of the questions you may have.

If you want to go a bit deep into this culture, Sunday is the best day to visit the temple. Though Sunday does not have any traditional significance, devotees in the US visit their local temples on Sunday as they find some time on this day. If you are interested to see how devotees offer their prayers to their Deities, visit the temple on Sunday. Most of the devotees come to temple between 10am and 1pm. Some devotees visit temple between 5pm and 8pm. It may be difficult to arrange a guided tour during weekends.

2. What are the things that I should know before attending the temple?
Footwear: All devotes and visitors are expected to leave their footwear at designated locations in the temple before entering the Prayer Hall. There are two shoe-rack rooms just before you enter the main prayer hall. You can keep your socks on.  Once you come out of Prayer Hall, you can put your shoes on to go around the building.
Dress: Business casual is just fine. We humbly request women to choose full pants over short skirts.
Namaste: There is absolutely no problem to handshake with your tour-guide or any individual at the temple. But traditional greeting ‘Namaste’ would help you make friends quickly at the temple. The word Namaste is a compound word; Namah + Te means ‘my respects to you’.
Right Hand: If your timing coincides with Prasad (food offered to Deities) distribution time, the priest may offer you some fruits or nuts. If you are interested you can take Prasad with your Right Hand.

3. I see devotees bringing fruits/milk and placing on the platform near the Deities. What does it mean?
It is called Naivedyam (food offering to the Supreme Being). In simple words, it is a token of gratitude to God for fulfilling all the individual needs to survive in this world. Once offered, it becomes Prasad or blessed food. This Prasad is distributed among the devotees mostly on the same day.

4. I see people walking in the prayer hall in clockwise direction. What does it mean to the devotee?
It is called Circumambulation (Parikrama OR Pradakshina). The flexibility of Sanatana Dharma (known as Hinduism) makes it very difficult to define what Circumambulation mean to a devotee. The simplest explanation is that it is a way for devotee to offer his/her prayers to his/her Guru and Deity. You can find more explanations on the Internet.

5. I see people standing straight and circling around themselves in clockwise direction. What does it mean to the devotee?
This is another form of Circumambulation which is explained above. It also symbolizes the Circumambulation to our own soul, where God resides.

6. I see the devotees reciting some words. What does it mean?
Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) believes in one Supreme Being but gives flexibility to choose the form of the same Supreme Being. In other words, the God is one and has infinite forms. A follower of Sanatana Dharma can develop great interest in one specific form of the same Supreme Being. For example, a devotee can be devout of Lord Rama and always chant the prescribed chain of words about Lord Rama. The reciting/chanting can be done individually or as a group.

7. I see the Priest holding a plate with small oil lamps and moving it up and down in clockwise direction. What does it mean?
It is called Aarati. The light, being a symbol of knowledge is showed in front of the Deities, and people take a closer look at the Deities as the light moves around them. As the light circles around, people in their mind pray to the god saying that – “Oh Lord! Please take me from the darkness to light. Give me the divine knowledge. Show me the right path, as you are the one who is leading me; and lead me in the right path”.

There is another meaning for Aarati. It is a traditional belief in Hindu culture that when an important person or a highly effective person is visited by many people and his/her qualities are praised high, it causes good and bad influences, depending on how they are seen (the negative or positive attitude). If it is negative influence, it is called Drishti (the bad effect of evil eyes). The Aarati is performed to dispel those bad omens. Out of their great love towards their Deities, the devotees like to do Aarati to dispel the bad omens. What you see there is Aarati being performed by the priest on behalf of all the devotees; not only to dispel the evil eye on the Deities, but also praying to dispel theirs (devotees).

It is very common in India that grandmothers do different kind of Dristi dispelling Arati to their beloved grand kids.

8. I see the Priest reciting some words and ringing a small handheld bell. What does it mean?
When the priest rings the bell, it is a reminder that it is pooja (worship) time. It is an invitation to all the good spirits and a warning to all the unwanted elements and spirits that hinder our good practices.

The bell also helps keep the devotee’s attention in pooja. As soon as they hear the bell, it reminds them that worship is going on, and brings back their attention to worship and concentrate.

9. I see the Priest giving a small amount of water in the hands of devotees. What does it mean?
Again, it is the holy water that has been used for the worship. As they take it, the devotees get a feeling that their body and soul is purified.

10. I see the Priest distributing small amount of nuts/fruits to the devotees. What does it mean?
It is the blessed or sacred food offered to the Supreme Being and it is called Prasad. A visit to a temple is not complete without receiving Prasad. It is mostly fruits and nuts and 100% vegetarian items.

Note: The Hindu Temple respects all other faiths. Please refrain from asking controversial, challenging, political, unfriendly or disrespectful questions. The answers from the Priests or Devotees should be taken for information only and should not be used for any other purpose. The temple does not have any authority to make any comments on other issues, religions or faiths.  Opinions of the Priests or Devotees may not reflect Management's opinion.
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Mon - Fri: 8a - 12p 5p - 9p
Sat - Sun: 9a - 9p  

44955 Cherry Hill Road.
Canton, MI 48188-1001

Phone: (734) 981-8730

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