The Goddess On-Line

"Gods have always been in Heaven; now they are in cyberspace too."

- India Today, 2/16/98
Nowadays one can access any number of on-line temples and on-line deities. In addition to the Indian temples which are accessible by web, at least 50 American temples have their own websites, including the Sri Lakshmi Temple of Ashland, Massachusetts ( and the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple of Lanham, Maryland. (

Some consider this new phenonmenon the tenth form of bhakti - cyberbhakti. It allows non-Hindus access to Hindu religious beliefs and allows Hindus who work outside of India access to their temples and deities year round.

Cybertemples usually incorporate still photographs, aartis and bhajans sung in the temple and sometimes even on-line pujas for which credit card payments are accepted.

While some like the more conservative Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam temple charge that the idea of an on-line puja "may go against the tenets and practice of the religion itself", others see cyberspace as the logical extention for Hindu ritual in this technological age. (India Today, 2/16/98)

Calcutta's Durga Puja even had its own website during this year's annual festival so Hindus and non-Hindus could watch the elaborate events without ever venturing out into the crowded streets.

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