On Vernon Jones Avenue in Flowood, just off Old Fannin Road east of Jackson, is the Hindu Temple of Mississippi.
People who pass this way are getting used to seeing this slice of India in Rankin County. People who have not yet seen it can hardly believe this is in Mississippi.
This day there is a religious celebration going on here, one of the most joyous Hindu events of the year.
"Today we are celebrating the wedding of the Lord Rama with Queen Sita, said Shree Lakshmi. "It is an auspicious occasion for everyone to even watch that and to be a part of that."
The Hindu religion has many deities, and all of these deities are different manifestations of the one God. Sort of like a flag is a small representation of a whole country, and even though the flag deserves its own reverence and devotion, it's not the country.
So the deities represent slices of God but aren't in and of themselves, gods.
"You do your best to do the right kind of thing so that there is peace and harmony in the world," said Dr. Rushi Mehta. "It gives you guidance and direction but no rules You actually are going to get the results as fruits of whatever you do, your actions."
There are many of these celebrations open to the public, like the recent Festival of Colors at the beginning of spring when youngsters being their friends from school out to the temple to participate.
This by the way is not an outreach attempt. They don't do that. You won't have a Hindu knocking on your door trying to get you to join. But visitors are welcome to drop by the Hindu Temple in Flowood to satisfy their curiosities.
"Only thing is we ask them to leave the shoes outside because we don't step into our temples with shoes," said Lakahmi.
The ornate decorations inside and out were created by craftsmen who came here from India just to do so.
Seeing this is Mississippi reminds me that it is a big ole world. And it is getting smaller all the time.
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