Record observances on Lord Hanuman Jayanti in Trinidad
By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of- Spain: It has been a series of religious observances for the Hindu community in Trinidad and Tobago, as indeed for Hindus worldwide.
Hindus have just come out of observances Nau Raatri, then Shri Ram Naumi, climaxing with Lord Hanuman Jayanti on Saturday March 31. Today, there were special Lord Hanuman pujas to mark the occasion. These Hindus observances juxtapose with the Christian calendar of Lenten which ushers in Good Friday, Glorious Saturday and Easter Sunday/Monday.
In this oil-rich economy, there is respect for the many religious groups, and this is enshrined in the Republican Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, and Divali and Eid are public holidays since 1966. Thousands of Hindus have converged at temples, private homes and other public places in the annual observance of Lord Hanuman Jayanti. The prayers and devotion are sourced from the Ramayana, in which Lord Hanuman played in pivotal as He generously serves His Eternal Master, Lord Rama and Mother Sita. Across the landscape was the reciting of Lord Hanuman Chalisa which resonates at all religious functions.
Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago,and the Caribbean continuously pay exclusive obeisance to Lord Hanuman as they feel and believe that He maintains close affinity to all mankind as he is ready to intervene in any human issues that face His devotees. He is one of the several gods and goddesses to whom Hindus pay special reverence. And in addition to religious services at Nau Raatri, Ram Naumi, Lord Hanuman is noted with exclusive devotion.
Pundit Gajendra Kumar of India, spiritual leader of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Freeport, Central Trinidad, has hailed the message, teaching and life of Lord Hanuman as a perfect exemplar and devout to Lord Rama, and whose works should be duplicated by all in order to receive the grace and benediction of Lord Rama.
Hinduism was first planted in the Caribbean soil when East Indians were brought here from India, principally Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to work on the sugar and cocoa plantations, following the freeing of African slaves in 1838 by an Act of the British Parliament. Approximately 148,000 East Indians were brought to Trinidad during that period.
“Lord Hanuman epitomizes the strength, vigour , commitment and dedication to Lord Rama, and not only Hindus, but people of all religions should read the Ramayana and the Hanuman Chalisa and emulate the eternal human and spiritual message that they endow to mankind of all ages,” Pundit Kumar echoed. Pundit Kumar who holds weekly Sunday morning service at the Temple continuously evokes special attention as his sermons are broadcast on a radio frequency.
“This is a very sacred period for not only Hindus, but for all peoples. Lord Hanuman is the way to go in
order to receive salvation in this life,” he thundered.
Source: World Hindu News (WHN)