The Shiva Lingam at the Hindu Temple of Minnesota, decorated for the holiday Shivarathri.

Priest Sri Gowtham Sharma, at the new Hindu temple of Minnesota, sings a prayer to his family God, Lord Shiva. This particular temple offers equal devotional space to 19 Hindu deities, unlike many other temples which focus primarily on one. As a result, it’s unique in welcoming the many different Hindus, and also Jains, that make up the local South Asian-American community. For Sri Sharma, although Shiva may be his family God, he prays to all the deities at the temple since, as he puts it, “all the power [of the Gods] is one — like all rivers go to the sea.”

Priest Sri Gowtham Sharma (courtesy of Hindu Temple of Minnesota)

My parents, like many of the members of this temple, were once new Hindu immigrants to North America. My interest in visiting the temple is in part my childhood experience of Hinduism — it helps me create a larger context for my personal experience and shed new light on my own family traditions.

What are some of your stories of reconnecting with your traditions, and where have they taken you?

Share Your Reflection



My spirituality has helped me through the toughest of times, and have taught me how God comes in the form of the people around you, and how each of us makes a difference in each other's lives.

thank you.

Thanks you! This is of the most clearly recited prayers! I wonder why Krista has never interviewed a Hindu. I suggest you could pick any one from Chinmaya mission in the US. Address is:
or specifically:

Krista is doing a wonderful job! She can also contact The Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of Massachusetts: located near the Kenmore Square and Fenway areas of Boston.

58 Deerfield Street
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 536-5320

email Address

Can you clarify, Does a temple having one primary deity not welcoming enough for all different Hindus? I would like to know the reason for such a thought!


The people that I spoke to who visited the temple, and the priest, felt that it gave them a greater sense of community. Most of them have moved to the US from India, and I believe they liked having a piece of home - their own family deity or local deity. Have you had experiences with temple worship? It would be great to hear your thoughts!

Yes, I visit the Hindi Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Sri Venkateswara Temple, and BAPS temple. I am glad we have so many temples around the cities whether they have 19 gods or one god. I after all need a Hindu God to fulfil the spiritual needs. When I was in India, I was not affliated to one particular deity, I visit temples of different Gods (single main deity), it allowed me to accept different Gods within Hinduism.
namaskar Surya