Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Temple Santa Clarita (SSVTSC), where the main deity is Lord Ganesh, had its grand-opening on February nine evening in Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita (California).
Mission of Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Temple of SSVTSC, a non-profit organization, is “to serve Santa Clarita community by offering a place to worship, practice spirituality, celebrate festivals and cultural activities”. It plans to have Ganesh Puja (worship) and other services every Saturday, besides various activities/programs for everyone round the year, including programs for children and charity food donations.
Temple opening puja was performed by priest Cherukupalli Narasimhacharya and Tyger White of Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council also participated in the celebrations. Temple leaders/volunteers reportedly include Mano Dhana, Suman Dutta, Prakash, Deepthi Rajaraaman, Gautam Deepthi, Kavitha Muru, Aparna Kiran, Vijay Sharma and Ritu Khadiya.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of temple leaders and area community towards realizing this Hindu temple. Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Incorporated in 1987, City of Santa Clarita is claimed to be “one of the best places to live in California”. Notable people associated with it include Oscar winner filmmaker Tim Burton, Olympian gold medalists track-field sprinter Allyson Felix and swimmer Anthony Ervin, etc. Cameron Smyth and Dr. Kenneth W. Striplin are Mayor and City Manager respectively.