"It's for the children," said Mr. Kannapan, one of the moving forces behind the Murugan temple being built at Lanham, Maryland, outside of Washington D.C. in an interview with HINDUISM TODAY. "We must have a place to preserve the Tamil culture, and teach our children spiritual values."

Like many other Indian communities in the US, this group decided not to lose their culture and children to the American "non-culture" and have taken positive steps in the direction of constructing and consecrating an Agamic Muruga temple for the inspiration and upliftment of the nearly 17,000 Indians living in the Washington DC area.

The Murugan Temple of North America has acquired an eleven-acre parcel of land. Daily pujas are already being performed in a temporary temple by a resident priest. The five-foot, six-inch Muruga murthi to be used in the completed temple is finished in India – along with twenty five other vigrahas. The carving was made possible because of financial help from the government of Tamil Nadu which allotted US$15,000 for the project.

Visits by holy men Swami Satchidananda of Virginia. Tiruchi Swami and Balagangadharnath Swami of Karnataka, Kunrakkudi Adigalar, Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and Paramananda Bharati have left a powerful spiritual site vibrating with a holy energy daily inspiring the devotees to work towards the temple completion. A spokesman for the organization proclaimed. "It is our hope and dream that festivals such as Thai Poosam and Vaikasi Visakam will be celebrated by thousands of devotees in Washington as they are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, even though outside of India. We have no doubt that the world's most powerful capital will also become the spiritual capital for the Hindus." The estimated cost of the project is US$600,000. The inauguration ceremony is planned for the fall of 1992.

Address: Murugan Temple of North America, 6300 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, MD 20706, USA.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.