Chapter

Grounding the Sacred

Corinne G. Dempsey

in The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195187298
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195187296.003.0008
 Grounding the Sacred

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This chapter describes the transplanting of South Asian divinities onto North American soil, and the transposition of South Asian sacred geography to rural upstate New York. It begins by recounting the circuitous route of Íri Rājarājeśwarī’s granite mūrti from an ashram in the Poconos to Aiya’s temple housed in his garage and, finally, to its current location that transformed a barn in Rush, New York, into a temple. It discusses the importance of sacred geography within Hindu traditions, and recounts the challenges and innovations involved in establishing sacred terrain at diaspora temples in general, and at Rush in particular. The chapter concludes by recounting narratives of traveling Hindu deities and accounts of their miraculous appearances at Rush, demonstrating divine as well as human creativity and adaptability.

Keywords: geography; Poconos; Rājarājeśwarī; mūrti; barn; diaspora; Hindu deities; adaptability

Chapter.  9061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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