Om Namah Shivaaye

Why do we go to Temples?

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It is not fair that Seetha Devi had to enter into fire to show her purity to Sri Rama and the whole world. It is not fair that Sri Rama killed a great warrior Wali. It is not fair that Arjuna killed Karna while he is off his chariot. All of us were brought up with questions related to these incidents depicted in our Puranas. Further, we also had doubts on many day to day rituals like do pranamam to God, put Sindhoor on our forehead, take Charanamruth (Theertham) in the temple, bow for Shataari( God’s feet), etc. Questions like these and rituals that are confusing to young children are being passed on from one generation to the other continuously. But very few adults make an effort to provide answers to these questions and explain the meaning behind such rituals prevailing in our way of life (Hinduism). One genuine reason is that many adults also don’t know the importance of all these rituals and practices which have been in our tradition for thousands of years. Going to the temple to worship is one aspect that is in discussion and debate often.

◾Traditional Belief (what people think):

Temple is a place where Devathas(gods and goddesses) are invoked. In Sanskrit this invocation process is called “Parthista”. During the prathista gods and goddesses are invited to the place where the temple has been built and the specific gods and goddesses are asked to be present in the Vigrahas (idols) that are made of black stone or marble stone. All this process of inviting gods and goddesses to be in the Vigrahas is done with the Veda Mantras, sacred rituals, and Homas(fire sacrifice/prayer). It is the power of the Veda Mantras recited and chanted by learned priests that transform mere stone forms into Devathas.

Many Hindus worship and pray at home. It is usual practice to have small prayer room in any Hindu home. Mostly devathas( gods and goddesses) that are in ones’ prayer room at home are pictures of devathas framed. Also, there are small idols in gold, silvers, brass, panchalohas(made of five metals) in different sizes. Very few people will have the vigrahas that were given pranaprathista by the Acharyas (saints). Most of the people buy the virginals that are sold in markets and directly worshipped at home. Without the pranprathista vigrahas are equivalent to decorative dolls.

When we go to a temple we will see many other devotees who come to worship and pray. Because of devathas’ presence there is already enormous amount of energy that doesn’t exist at home. Ever persona carries some amount of energy. When enormous energy of devathas and little energy of humans combine at one confined place, the amount of energy that is totaled becomes huge. In addition to this, chanting of Veda Mantras, recitation of sthothras, singing of songs and bhajans, performances of traditional dances, etc. add extra energy to the place. Also, the prasadam cooked in the temple is done cleanly with devotion, only certain types of food is cooked and offered to devathas, and everything is kept clean. Devotees receive Theertham(sacred water) which is nothing but the water that devathas have been bathed. Also, their heads are touched with a silver hat(Shatari, which is nothing but the Holy feet of God). These two blessings take away the sins and purify devotees forever. One aspect that underpins all these activities is to create a sacred environment in the temple, because devathas are there all the time.

◾Scientific (Ancient) Belief:

Well, temples are not only about statues.The environment and energy field of temple is what matters. When you enter into the temple , you feel something different inside you. You feel peace. This is not due to statue or pictures of gods and goddesses hanging over the walls of temples. This is due to state of mind of visitors in the temple. Everyone comes in the temple with a feeling of surrender. They drop their ego and hatred for some moment and bow down with all their heart. This creates a wave of positive vibes around the temple area.

Further , the architecture and location of temple also have some important role to play. Most of the Hindu temples are somewhat pyramidal in shape as shown in pictures below.

Structures with pyramidal shape absorb more cosmic energy in comparison to ordinary structures. It's been experimentally proved that a person meditating inside a pyramidal structure attains enlightenment much quicker than a person doing so in flat structure. And if you've noticed, most of the temples and monasteries are built on the top of small hills or mountains. It is for a reason. Hills and Mountains are natural pyramids. They collect more cosmic energy than plain surfaces and create high energy field that changes the state of our mind and pacifies us.

Bells in Temple also help to gain focus

Most of us would have thought why do we see bells in all the Hindu temples and what will be the significance nature of bell to keep in all the temples and ringing while doing Pooja also and here is a scientific reason behind Temple bell presence; Bell is not made up of just your ordinary metal. It is made of various metals including cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, chromium and manganese.

The proportion at which each one of them mixed is real science behind a bell. Each of these bells is made to produce such a distinct sound that it can create unity of your left and right brain. The moment you ring that bell, bell produces sharp but lasting sound which lasts for minimum of seven seconds in echo mode good enough to touch your seven healing centres or chakras in your body. The moment bell sound happens your brain is emptied of all thoughts.

Invariably you will enter state of Tran’s state where you are very receptive. This Trans state is the one with awareness. You are so occupied in mind that only way to awaken you is with a Shock! Bell works as Anti-dote to your mind. Before you enter temple – to awake you and prepare you for taste of awareness is the real reason behind temple bell.

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