Being a Brahmin and growing up in an orthodox Brahmin Community, I was, literally, no more 200 meters away from a Temple. Having said that, It has been 6 months since I last went to a temple, this might not seem like a big deal, but a bit of background on myself will make you understand the magnitude of this.
I come from a lineage of orthodox Brahmins and my family is a direct descendant Hindu Saints. I basically grew up learning sacred Vedic literature near a huge temple called "The Parthasarathy Temple" which is one of the 108 sacred places in the Hindu literature. My family is an orthodox brahmin family, although I, myself, am not very orthodox to speak, and visiting the temple daily, as my dad puts it, is as important a duty as attending college every day, and I get reprimanded heavily if I skip it. But of course being bought up in a modern world, I barely orthodox but I do get some peace of mind by visiting temple especially when life gets tough.
TL;DR, my culture's sacred ancient literature basically says that as a Brahmin, I must do my duties to god every day, not just only when I want to get an A+ in my next midterm or pass that paper I messed up because I had to watch that episode of Game of Thrones before a midterm, don't tell my Intelligent Systems professor.
Now that you know why it is such a big deal not visiting any for 6 months, let us talk about the trip. It was a New Years day called "Ugadi", at least that' s what my roommates called it, on April 6th, different cultures in India have different calendars. So my roommates decide that we take a trip to the Rochester Hindu Temple which was due for a long time. This semester has been a hard one for each one of us, we were being bombarded with projects, assignments, quizzes, and midterms on all sides and we needed a stress buster and this trip came at the perfect time.
The temple was only a few miles away from RIT. The temple was smaller than we expected but on a big piece of land. The architecture was similar to the temple architecture that you would see in Northern India. There were 7 deities in total. The temple's environment was very calm and peaceful. They also had a wonderful set up of miniature statues that depicted the entire epic of Ramayana. We spent a few hours there sitting and meditating. I felt a tinge of nostalgia which was soon eradicated when I got a message in myCourses dropbox saying I had a project due in 2 day. Overall, I had a wonderful and the trip got me geared up for the final phase of the semester.
- Aravind Vicinthangal Prathivaathi, Computer Science MS graduate