Special welcome and prayer service held at Murugan Temple in Monksland

A ceremony to welcome and incorporate the new statue of Lord Shiva into the Holy Altar took place in the Murugan Temple in Monksland in recent times.

A ceremony to welcome and incorporate the new statue of Lord Shiva into the Holy Altar took place in the Murugan Temple in Monksland in recent times.

A ceremony to welcome and incorporate the new statue of Lord Shiva into the Holy Altar took place in the Murugan Temple in Monksland in recent times.

The grand opening of the Murugan Temple took place in June during which time a blessing ceremony for the Holy Altar and Statues occured. As part of the continuing development of Murugan Temple a special Pooja (prayer service ) was held at the Temple to welcome the Statue of Lord Shiva (Natarajar ) and to incorporate him into the Holy Altar.

Lord Shiva is a Tamil God who is the central figure of the Saivam religion. He was the head and leader of the first Sangam, a meeting between various important Tamil figures held at Thenmadurai, which has since been submerged and is known as Kumari Kandam. The first Sangam period lasted about 4400 years from 9600 BC to 5200 BC. One form of Lord Shiva is Nataraja where he is in the form of a cosmic dancer. Although the sculptured form appeared as early as the fifth century it was further spread under the rule of the Chola Kingdom

During this special Pooja, more than two hundred people united to celebrate the arrival of the Statue of Lord Shiva (Natarajar ). Amongst the many guests in attendance, both local and from across the country, were Deputy Mayor of Athlone, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke and CEO of Involve Youth Services, Michael Power, who is supporting the development of our youth participation strategy.

The establishment of a Midlands temple to facilitate members of the Hindu community outside of Dublin became very necessary as the Hindu community is a growing one in Ireland with 13,729 members recorded by the CSO in 2016. As the results of the recent census to confirm the exact figure today is awaited, it is estimated that the number of practitioners of the Hindu religion in Ireland is approximately in excess of 17,000 people.

Since the official opening of the Murugan Temple there have been weekly prayer services each Saturday with numbers in excess of 50 people arriving for prayers and meditation.

While the primary function of the Temple is the offering of weekly Hindu prayer services, Pooja, and spiritual support a key function of the Temple will also be to act as a centre of interreligious connection and understanding. It is important that in an increasingly multi-faith and pluralist Ireland the Temple will have a role in promoting mutual respect, understanding, tolerance and harmony with other churches, faiths and community groups.

The Temple was established primarily to serve Lord Murugan and his devotees, it is also a refuge for spiritual and emotional comfort to all those who might come to the temple in search of it. Ireland Murugan Temple is a non-profit organisation with charitable status.

The hours of worship are every Saturday evening from 5pm to 7pm.

For more information on the Murugan Temple and the services offered please visit www.murugan.ie or check out the Facebook page.

 

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