Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday. The air was crisp and cool with a steady slow breeze. The sun was bright, the birds were chirping and the sky was an infinite sea of blue space. Not a single cloud sailed the sky. It was a perfect day to go out and enjoy the outdoors.
After breakfast, about nine o’clock my wife and I decided to visit a Hindu Temple about half a mile from our house. It is the only Hindu Temple in Panama built to assist the modest community of Indian citizens living in Panama. The temple is on top of a hill in Tumba Muerto and has a typical Asian architecture.
Panama, because of its historical reliance on commerce, is above all a melting pot. This is shown, for instance, by its considerable population of Afro-Antillean and Chinese origin. There are also communities of Spanish, Italian, Greek, Indian, Jews, Hindus and Muslims.
Smaller religious groups include Jewish and Muslim communities with approximately 10,000 members each, and small groups of Hindus, Arabs, Buddhists and Rastafarians.
The Hindu population is Panama is a prosperous and respected ethnic group. Many of them are businessmen. They own stores which sell imported Indian merchandise, engage in the sale of used cars and peddle other small-priced goods such as clothes, watches and perfume. They are known for their hard work.
As expected, I took my Birthday camera with me and took a few photographs of the temple. This is what I saw. Here we go.
Hindu beliefs vary widely, with concepts of God and/or gods with Vishnu and Shiva being the most popular deities. Other notable characteristics include a belief in reincarnation and karma, as well as personal duty, or dharma.
Elephants are an important part of the Hindu religion. For example, the son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshiped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the panchayatana puja.
This is the end of the tour to the Hindu Temple alongside the Tumba Muerto (Ricardo J. Alfaro) Highway in Panama City. I hope you have enjoyed the trip as much as my wife and I did. Good Day.