Sri Meenakshi Temple Society Texas
Sri Meenakshi Temple located in Pearland, TX, a suburb of Houston, prevails as the third Hindu temple built in the United States since the 1970s, the peak of the Hindu immigrant settlement in the United States of America. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the only temple for the Goddess off the shores of India. However, in keeping with the spirit of Hindu civilization, viz., “Unity in Diversity” with so many religious paths, gods, sects and yet a single substratum “Brahman” (the single Godhead) activating this diversity, the temple is also dedicated to Lord Sri Sundareswara, or Lord Siva of the Saivite tradition. To meet the diverse needs of the Hindu population, the Vaisnava tradition of worship is also celebrated and the temple is also dedicated to Lord Venkateswara (Sri Balaji), a form of Lord Vishnu. Thus this temple has become a confluence of the several traditions of worship, the Saivaite, the Vaishnavite, the worship of Lord Ayyappa, Devi Kannika Parameshwari, Lord Ganesha, Hanumaanji and several other deities – an affirmation of the theological “Unum” of the Vedas seen by devotees as many manifest forms – “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudah Vadanthi” – “Truth is One, the wise speak of that One in many ways”.
Agama tradition of worship for Lord Venkateshwara and His consort Sri Lakshmi. Expert priests who follow the various traditions celebrate the several Hindu festivals and perform the rites of passage called Samskaras – the life-cycle rites such as prenatal rites, birth rites, childhood rites, student rites, marriage rites etc. A special hall called the “Kalyana Mantapam” was built for the purpose of performing these rites. These traditional rites have been supplemented with new rituals such as the Graduation Pooja, the Mother’s Day Pooja etc. in order to meet the challenges of growing up in America. A youth program called “Vedic Heritage School” brings young people together for weekend classes and summer camps. The “Beyond Heritage School” program brings seniors and adults together to discuss Hinduism. The temple also holds religious discourses and workshops by experts from India. The Indian classical arts, which richly reflect man’s spiritual yearnings, also find a place at our temple in the form of performances and education. With the many activities taking place at the temple, a cafeteria serving authentic vegetarian fare was added to the temple complex. The temple houses a grand Library, which caters to devotees of all Indian languages, including English.