June 21, 2001 VNN6804 Comment on this storyThis story URL: http://www.vnn.org/usa/US0106/US21-6804.html
Daily Herald Report
BY CARU DAS
SPANISH FORK, Jun 21 (VNN) The following editorial appeared Tuesday June 12, in the Daily Herald. The Daily Herald is Utah Valley's, population 450,000, main paper. The previous day there had been an article on the front page with color photos. That article appears here below the editoral, and lastly there are a couple of kind letters from well wishers.
The Daily Herald, Editorial, Tuesday June 12
Living in a predominantly Latter-day Saint area, it's easy to forget there are adherents to other religions in our community.
But there's a visible reminder of our religious diversity in Spanish Fork.
The Hare Krishna Temple is set to open June 23, providing members of the Hindu sect with a formal setting for their worship services.
We think it also represents an opportunity for Utah County residents to get a taste of another culture.
When most people think of the Hare Krishnas, they think of people with shaven heads and saffron robes chanting and selling flowers in airport terminals. There are also some who view them as a dangerous cult that brainwashes people.
But in reality they're normal people who have unique religious beliefs.
The Krishnas do not proselytize, but they invite the public to their weekly services and vegetarian feasts, as well as host the annual LlamaFest in Spanish Fork.The Krishnas also enter local parades with their llamas, including the Freedom Festival's Grand Parade.
The Krishnas constructed the temple with an eye to completing it by the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, showing the world that Utah has a diverse culture and that people of all faiths have found it to be the right place.
This will show that our community is like a quilt, with different pieces being knit together into a greater whole.
And it has already helped pull the community together, as the LDS Church donated $25,000 to the project and area residents have helped out with the construction.
We congratulate the Hare Krishna group on completing this structure, and suggest Utah County residents go down and get a chance to meet their neighbors.
Opening of Krishna Temple nears
by Jay Patrick
Spanish Fork-A divine vision has materialized on a hilltop overlooking South county countryside.
On June 23, the Hare Krishna Temple on the south side of town will open with a festival featuring music, dancing, food and speakers, including senator Orrin Hatch, and Stanley Green, an LDS stake president from Salem.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) or Hare Krishna movement, is a branch of Hinduism founded in New York City in 1966.
At that time, ISKCON's founder Srila Prabhupada set down goals for the movement, including: *To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large, and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life, in order to check the imbalance of values in life, and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
*To bring the members of society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
*To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
The temple in Spanish Fork, 10 years in the making, is one of 500 worldwide but is unique in Utah.
In a deep sense, we're very satisfied at being chosen to do this, said Caru (pronounced Charu) Das, who along with Vaibhavi Devi, have worked non-stop to build their dream in Utah's rural farmland.
But we're pretty darn tired too, Das said. We're going to take a couple of days off. That realization of a dream is the result of community cooperation among followers of several faiths.
I have nothing but praise for the people here, Das said. A lot of credit goes to this community. Despite significant differences in belief systems, Das feels akin to the LDS majority; about 50 BYU students show up for services every Sunday at the log home has housed Das, Devi and other followers since 1987.
Many local LDS folks have also donated labor and funds to help raise the temple.
The Mormon community has been very supportive, Das said. They've shown a generosity of heart and broadness of vision. Spirituality embraces all kinds of people. The LDS Church officially showed its support when in May 1999, it donated $25,000 to the project.
The temple's nearest neighbors not only accept but embrace the sacred structure.
It's quite a beautiful building, said Mary Jane Peterson, who's lived in her house across the street from the temple site for 50 years.
Peterson days she enjoys watching llamas mill about the land.
Das and Devi have raised, bred and sold llamas since 1987 to help fund establishment of the temple.
Right now, the furry critters roam the temple's walkways and under its arches.
At this point, the llamas think it's a glorified barn, Das said.
After June 23, the llamas will be moved aside to make way for worship services, community events and visitors who will be welcome daily.
The main dome and several arches are complete but 16 more domes and 80 more arches will be added before the project is entirely finished.
Das said everything should be done within a year, crowning an improbable achievement through hard labor and powerful beliefs.
If you want spirituality, you have to work for it, das said. There might be gold in the ground, but you have to dig for it.
Had the following letters come in from Merrill Batemen, Brigham Young University President, and David Burton, the LDS Presiding Bishopric of Salt Lake City.
I read with delight and appreciation the Deseret News article relating to the opening and installation ceremony of your beautiful temple, and I want to congratulate both you and Christine for your faithful leadership in our valley and perseverance in this most aggressive undertaking.
We are gratified at the completion of this beautiful edifice, and we receive it in our surrounding communities with anticipation of the good it will bring to further enhance our friendship and celebrate our diversity.
Please know of our heartfelt appreciation for all you do to make our community one of peace and beauty. You are good friends and we are indeed blessed by your presence.
Thank you for your invitation to speak at the opening of the Krishna Hindu temple. I regret that I will not be able to attend since I will be out of town on an assignment that weekend. However, I want to congratulate you on your beautiful building. A great deal of time and effort went into planning and building your temple, and it stands as a monument to the Indian community. I wish you well in the festivities celebrating this event.
Comment on this storyContact VNN about this storySend this story to a friend
NEWS DESK | USA | TOP
Surf the Web on