The Satsang Group
The followers of the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s master course are spread out over the UK. This means that we rarely see each other. Over the last few years there have been email discussions about the possibility of meeting, nothing actually happened until Ramai, a master-course student, arranged a group Satstang. She says that the event organised itself, but she was certainly the catalyst that made it happen.
One of the founders of the UK Venkateswara temple in Birmingham, Dr Rao is very respectful of the Nandinatha Sampradaya, and allowed us to use temple buildings on the Venkateswara temle site for our Satsang. This was the ideal location, as people from the North of England, South of England and Wales can all reach Birmingham and return in a day. Continue reading
the hindu temple of shri venkateswara (balaji) in tividal, birmingham.
I have been rather lax about posting recently, and it is several weeks since we visited the Venkateswara mandir in Birmingham, UK. This is a very impressive temple, as can be seen in the picture (courtesy of San Sharma, released on the creative commons license). The main temple is fronted by two smaller temples, one dedicated to Shri Ganesha and one to Shri Murugan (Kartikaya). The The main temple has Venkateswara at the centre, and also had other deities including Lakshmi and Hanuman.
Like all the other Mandirs I have visited, we were all made welcome. I mention this again, because I think it important that westerners know that they will be welcomed, many are worried as I was before my first visit to a Hindu temple. We received a blessing and Jal (holy water). Unlike the gulab jal (sweet rose-flavoured water) that I have received in other temples, this jal was spiced with what I thought was a hint of ginger. A commenter has since told me that it was not ginger,but thulasi (tulsi) leaves, cardamom and saffron.
Though Venkateswara is associated with Vishnu as the destroyer of sins, the layout, ambiance and association made me think of Lord Shiva. Continue reading