- Topics & Settings
Becoming a member of the MHMM requires very little, other than religious curiosity and dedication. Mrs. Balroop makes it her mission to spread the teachings of the guru to all that want it, and thus there is an open door policy for the temple.
Members can come pray at any time and they have open access to temple facilities. A member must also be willing to become a member of the Indo-Caribbean community, for the core of the congregation is a tightly knit group. The majority of members are either first or second generation Guyanese immigrants, while the rest are from India proper. There are two Anglo-Saxon members of the church whom Mrs. Balroop met through her administrative work, which adds a bit of diversity. The majority of the members come as families, and children form a large part of the congregation. Part of the allure of the MHMM is its intimate and personal instruction, and thus the desire to provide a proper cultural moral background for Hindu children plays a large role in temple membership.
Many of the core members are directly related to Mrs. Balroop, and the temple the marks a common gathering site for their family interactions as well. This family is closely tied to the devotion of Guru Maharaj, since many have worshipped the guru at Bharat Sevashram sites in Guyana and America.
When asked why they became members of this temple, one woman cited the approachable nature and patient instruction of Mrs. Balroop as her primary motive. The MHMM is not particularly close to any concentration of Hindus, thus adherents must seek it out for its cozy and inviting personality. Mrs. Balroop cites the remote location as a self-selective barrier against superficial or materially-minded Hindus. As such, the small congregation allows her to focus on members with a high degree of spiritual curiosity, by providing personal instruction and individual lessons for members. While it requires dedication, faith, and lots of time, the MN Hindu Milan Mandir is a place where people are invited to discover themselves through communal worship.