"It has been going up all these years," says Sharada, the mission's acharya, or religious instructor. "People are more and more aware of what we are doing, and the positive education we are giving on the Hindu culture."
The mission provides a variety of services, the most popular being Sunday religious classes for children and adults. Mission workers also host regular satellite events in Lansing, Troy, West Bloomfield Township, and Novi. One of more than 300 Chinmaya missions worldwide, it emphasizes personal improvement and self-discovery through study of Hindu scripture. "If you go into a [Hindu] temple, it will be purely ritualistic in nature, but we combine ritualism and philosophy," says Viswa, a retired engineer. "Ritualism teaches how to do what we do, and philosophy teaches why we do what we do."
[Originally published in January, 2013.]