Trained Priest for Temples

Hindus who have settled outside Bhaarat are acutely conscious of the growing  need for properly trained priests who can perform poojaa [worship]. In Western  countries, we need priests who are knowledgeable in spiritual as well as the  practical aspects of Hindu dharma and who are able to speak in English. They  need to be fluent in English so that they can communicate with Hindu children  who have been brought up in the Western countries.

In response to this demand, Hindu Heritage Pratishthan, an organisation based  in Bhaarat, has initiated the project of training Pujaarees [priests]. The  candidates have to be Brahmins, well versed in Sanskrit and possess a working  knowledge of English. They undergo a training programme for 9 months leading to  a diploma. The training involves exhaustive study of the scriptures, including  the Vedas, the Upanishads, Bhagvad Geeta and Ramayana. They are taught how to  perform various rituals, and to correctly chant the shlokas – hymns and mantras.

The trainees are imparted a basic knowledge of other religions so that they  can take part in debates with people of other faiths, to give a Hindu point of  view on various issues and, if necessary, to speak in defence of Hinduism. It is  expected that, particularly outside Bhaarat, such priests will contribute to  correct understanding of Hindu dharma.

Thirty-three priests have already completed their training, and they have  been sent to USA, Singapore and Mauritius. Others will be made available for  appointment to temples elsewhere including the UK. Hindu Temples and  Associations wishing to benefit from this scheme should contact the VHP-UK.

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