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Vedic Temples

Why do we need Temples? Were temples relevant only for older cultures and were they ignorant and less sophisticated than the modern scientific cultures or is it the other way around? What were our ancestors thinking and were they more intelligent and in tune with subtler energies than the modern culture? Are Temples relevant now?

From time immemorial, not only Hindus or Rishi cultures, but cultures from all over the world in all traditions have been creating space for the Divine as part of their culture and lives. Researchers say that even animals living in groups allot a specific area for rest which is not used for eating or anything else. Hindu culture created huge temples for communities as a means for relating with the Divine. Every village in India has a temple making one wonder why these huge structures were created, even if the homes in most villages were made of mud. Most of these temples are constructed in granite and are sometimes more expensive than the cost of all houses in these villages. What did we gain spiritually, culturally and socially from these huge structures?

Scientific studies were conducted by a scientist Dr. Rudolf who stayed in the Amazon along with a group of tribes for 30 years to research the tribes" lifestyle. These tribes believed that by creating an image of a particular person and by invoking that person"s energy into the clay image they could heal or transmit any disease of that person, even if the person lived thousands of miles away. This scientist published papers and a book named "Hidden Mysteries" and produced ample proof, evidence and case studies in which he reported that in 98% of observations three things were evident. First conclusion was that they were truly able to heal people of any disease, secondly, they were able to heal even animals & trees "by making clay models of those trees and by making vibrations or sounds they could bring the dead tree to life and thirdly, they were even able to handle energies of dead human beings or talk and relate to them continuously. In most cases they could bring a dead person to life within three days.
If this tribe related to ordinary persons through a clay image why is it mysterious or strange to relate with the Divine energy that envelopes us and has created the whole Universe. This is where our ancestors succeeded in giant leaps. It is a common mistake to think that Hindus worship idols. In Hinduism, there is no idol worship, but only worship through idols. There is a big difference between idol worship and worshipping through an idol. When idols are created out of stone, clay, marble or any other material you would not find one saying "Ok stone give me a boon" or "Ok marble heal me", instead you would find them saying "Oh Shiva, heal me, bless me" or "Oh Devi, bless me".

Ignorance sets in with great speed when there is a rush to imitate what seems like another glamorous culture or so called scientific cultures and more so when there is no clear knowledge or patience in understanding of the original cultural practice. Some of the western scholars translated Vedas " just to prove there is nothing worthy in it. Max Mueller translated the Vedas and in one of his letters to his mom, he mentions with deep disrespect, that he did this just to prove there is nothing worthy in it. Many Eastern scholars have also picked up the same trend, same thinking style and started condemning the Hindu worship, culture and the way of life, and started giving more importance to Advaitic philosophy without understanding that it not just one philosophy, but the whole Vedanta itself is a clear and practical essence or juice of the fascinating facts of spiritual science discovered and recorded by the rishis, saints and mystics.


A scientist is a person who creates a formula to recreate the same experience he has in the outer world. He is able to reproduce this experience of the outer world in others. The one who is able to reproduce an experience which happens in the inner world is a mystic. These temples, rituals, pujas, homas, etc are formulas created by our Rishis to reproduce those inner world experiences in other beings. Misunderstandings, not understanding or not practicing these formulas due to lack of patience, guidance and knowledge does not make it untrue. Before understanding any of these formulas it is interesting to note a recent research conducted by a Japanese scientist who has published a book named ‘Messages from water’, also widely popular due to the movie ‘What the bleep do we know..’.  He conducted more than 300 experiments where he has proved that water can hold, radiate and respond to our thoughts further proving how thoughts directly affect us human beings who are composed of 71% water.

Rishis not only proved that water could carry thoughts and vibrations, but the whole Universe is constituted of thoughts and energy vibrations. It is alive and bubbling with our thoughts and emotions. Even Einstein says there is no such thing as matter and energy separately with boundaries between the two and that the whole Universe is energy. The last statement of science and quantum physics saying that everything is energy, is the first statement of the first Veda of the first Upanishad. “Isha vashyam idam sarvam” meaning, whatever exists is energy.

Our seers have created so many methods and techniques to hold and radiate cosmic energy so that humanity can be helped by this positive energy. This whole universe and universal energy is symbolically constituted of five elements namely ether, air, water, fire and earth. They have tired to install the energy first in the earth element in stone idols or ‘moorthis’; secondly in water or ‘tirthas’ (every temple has a tank or river); thirdly in fire or ‘agni’ in the form of at least one lamp which is never put off; fourthly in air which is filled with vibrations of mantras so that the very air vibrates with energy and finally in ether or space. These temple architectures are created in a dome structure to hold energy like a battery. If a bolt of lightning could be stored in a battery, we could supply electricity for more than one year for any big city. These temples are created to hold enormous energy, so that when enlightened masters come, they would install their energy in these structures. Our masters have designed beautiful batteries in the form of temples that can hold this energy and radiate it to help millions of people for thousands of years.  It is because of the concentrated energy in the central dome structure or ‘garbha mandir’ that our prayers become a reality.

The science behind realization of prayers can be explained with an example – anything kept in front of a projector light, will be seen in the screen. If you keep a slide of a temple scene you will see the temple. If you keep a slide of an actor or actress you will see their image. In same manner, any thought kept in front of concentrated energy, will become a reality. The garbha mandirs of temples hold high, intense potential energies created by enlightened masters and maintained by regular pujas and mantras. Continuous repetition of mantras charges the whole space and keeps it alive. When you stand in front of this energized moorthy or space and create a thought or wish, your whole body and mind will be tuned to that thought and so naturally it will become a reality in your life. In the temples in the energized space, two things will happen, you will have shakti or energy to make your dreams into reality, next you will have buddhi or intelligence to realize that what you see or think as reality itself is a dream. Enlightened masters designed these temples because they wanted some space which could continuously heal, inspire and give the humanity an experience of spirituality.

The energizing process of these temples itself is one of the most fascinating aspect of our spiritual sciences. According to Taitriya Upanishad:
  • from ‘akasha’ or ether came air or ‘vayu’
  • from ‘vayu’ came fire or ‘agni’
  • from ‘agni’ came water
  • from water came the earth and finally everything else.
In this manner the energy is harnessed. It is understood that this cosmic energy exists beyond ether, beyond space, as atman or atma shakti.
  • from ‘akasha’ or ether came air or ‘vayu’
  • from ‘vayu’ came fire or ‘agni’
  • from ‘agni’ came water
  • from water came the earth and finally everything else.
  • Through visualization or meditation this energy is brought to ‘akasha shakti’ or ether or space.
  • From ether through verbalization or mantras it is brought to the air
  • Through fire rituals such as ‘homas’ it is brought to the fire
  • From the fire to the ‘kumbha’ or water
  • And finally this energy is installed in the ‘bimba’or the idol or moorthi or vigraha inside the ‘garbha mandir’
When the ‘prana pratishta’ or energy is installed in the idol, it is no longer an idol, it becomes a deity or ‘archavatara’ with different incarnations of God. The Upanishads beautifully explain how the ‘brahmanda’ expresses itself in form of ‘pindanda’ through the idols. This cosmic energy radiates itself, making itself available to us through these idols, statues or vigrahas. One can derive enormous benefits by understanding this science.
Idols are the windows through which you can see and relate with the vast sky or ‘brahmanda’. For example, if someone with a cell-phone stated to an entire culture which had no idea about phones, that he could speak to people on the other side of the world with a tiny device or instrument they would not believe it. If he were to prove that he is able to talk, then he would become a great saint and worshipped and respected. This is exactly what happened with saints and eastern cultures also. Temples are cell phones, in those days everyone was able to relate to the Brahmanda through these structures. But in modern times with the cultural invasion, ignorance has led to strong disbeliefs and misuse of such powerful resources to the wonders of the Universal energy. Now only a few are able to operate these cell phones and the younger generation is not able to believe that these cell phones actually work. Secondly if at all you saw some proof of a person using it, then you would make him a saint and call him a great saint and enlightened person. These cell phones work and it is very easy. It is for common man and common public - for all of us.

Just because we lost a few keys, we can’t say that this lock will never open. Just because we lost a few techniques we can’t say our ancestors are fools for building these huge structures. These ancestors were highly intelligent beings who designed, developed and created these temples for the benefit of humanity. We seem to have lost the technique or methods to use them for our day to day life which should not mean that our original system itself is useless. It is much more important than any other comforts to rejuvenate your self. Temples have played a major role in keeping the social structure alive. Hindus are alive as a community or country just because of these temples and it is these temples which kept our whole culture alive even through the endless invasions. There is no culture or civilization that did not invade India and there is no culture or civilization that was invaded by India. It has survived with its roots with more than 10,000 years of recorded history. In modern day, societies and civilizations that are just a few 100 years old are shaking with younger generations questioning and rebelling and are laden with confusion and depression.

These temples were broken and destroyed repeatedly but they continued to come up and stand in a much more beautiful way every time. For example, the Vishwanath temple was destroyed more than fourteen times and Somanath temple was destroyed more than seventy times. All major temples of India were destroyed at least ten times, but they stand up again and again, because they are more -than physical structures - they are like satellite relay centers where the high intense spiritual energy is created. These spiritual vibrations are created and sent all over the world to help human beings to heal them physically, mentally, emotionally and above all spiritually. It is we who are supposed to understand the science behind and take the responsibility to learn how to tune ourselves and relate with this higher energy to derive the benefit from this higher energy. It is we who are supposed to discover the keys to unlock this lock and experience the inner treasures and it is we who should know the contact number to activate this cell phone.

Meditation is the key to unlock this door and experience the inner treasure. Meditation is the number through which you can activate and relate with this higher energy. Meditation is the master key to relate to higher energy which is also available to us in the form of moorthies or deities to see and experience the Brahmanda or the cosmic energy to have all the physical, mental and emotional benefits. Practical techniques have been handed over passionately by the intelligent seers to tune ourselves into this cosmic energy. It is our responsibility to see how religion is relevant to spirituality. Day to day practice of religion can be made into spirituality. When done with awareness any ritual can become a meditation technique and without awareness any meditation can become a ritual. There are beautiful ways how we could make spirituality into religion and how we should make religion into spirituality.