Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir, Bay Area

Hindu calendar is lunar based calendar and all of our festivals are celebrated according to the waxing and waning phases of moon.
But Hindu culture is also very permissive and inclusive as well. We adopt things and put a label on it like nobody's business.

One such example is that each day of the week is devoted to a deity. The Weeks and Months are part of Gregorian Calendar and has nothing to do with Hindu Calendar but as we were accepting a foreign calendar in our country we were molding our rituals and traditions to continue to incorporate our religion and culture into our everyday life.

Today is Tuesday - Day of Hanuman ji, he is the monkey faced God and Son of Wind and also referred to as 'Pavan Putra (Son of wind). He represents ultimate strength and energy as well as unyielding devotion to  Ram and selfless devotion to serving what is right and inherently good. He can get rid of all demons in your life. When he's on your side, nothing and nobody can harm you....

I think because of all the funny and inspiring stories built around the life of Hanuman ji, he is easily the first God that most kids connect with. I know I first connected with him because he was so silly and yet he was God. My grandma would tell me stories from Hanuman ji's childhood and life and later during one of her travels she brought me a story book with all stories of him.

Recently, we visited the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir in the San Francisco Bay Area (picture above) and I decided there couldn't be a better day to share the pictures from the temple than a Tuesday. The temple is located at a hill top in the middle of a forest, it is a meditation and Ayurvedic center along with a Hanuman Temple. It's often known shows up as Mount Madonna in internet searches.
Take a peak:

Beautiful chandelier with Raag- Ragini

Ornate column, looks like Tibetan inspired to my untrained eye
A hanging diya adorned with roses, interesting touch for day time decorations
Loved this panel so much, I need this reminder often...
A Ganesh ji (elephant head God) panel
Ganesh ji is the remover of all obstacles so he's prayed to first...
Standing outside the main temple pavilion
Another interesting Ganesh panel, he's rarely shown as blue so I found the color combination unusual 

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