Uni Glos RPE meet Hindu mandir community at last!
14th March 2022
After two years of social distancing and Covid mitigation the level 4 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics students were finally able to physically visit the Cheltenham Hindu Mandir. It was very much worth the wait and Teams online visit, the experience of being immersed into the Hindu devotional world has to be experienced fully in the here and now. The Hindu community leaders Jiteshbhai, Kailashben and Naynaben asked me to drop them some feed back and this is what I replied with, ‘On an intellectual basis the material that you covered was spot on for the purposes of the module and the added nuances that you provided in terms of the day to day running of the mandir , the challenges and how the lives of individuals have been changed over the last two years was both enriching and touching.
The experiential element of the visit was possibly even more valuable. The time that you allowed us to just sit and listen to the bhajans, have our own personal darshan with the deities, the involvement in the aarti and just to sit and absorb the atmosphere and watch what was going on was invaluable. Te maru Mandir bo seres che!
I caught up with some of the students later and the overwhelming response was that they could not have had a better experience of lived Hinduism first hand. As we mentioned some of them had been to other much larger mandirs but the Cheltenham mandir had something very special about it and the students were made to feel very welcome and included but not just as a bunch visitors who dip in and out. For me personally, it was yet another wonderful experience of reconnecting with bhakti and the deities, and especially to have a close experience of Krishna and Radha in these troubling times was like a salve for the soul….Jai Shri Krishna, haribol’ Enough said!