Nov 22, 2014

What is a real temple?

temple in subramanya
Shanmukha HR
Having prayed to gods and goddesses in so many temples, I once gave a thought to what's it that we really go to temple for...? All of us go to temples to pray for one or the other reason. Most of us pray for our loved ones and feel protected.
The idols in temples never have changed their size or form; they have remained the same since ages. It is only us that change; we get old, we become poor or rich, wiser or fool. It is only us who change, not the idols. The idols have never spoken to anyone. They have remained the same. Then, what is the real purpose behind building so many temples all around and clinging onto the gods for all our problems?
I could just find only one answer: The temples are built and gods are carved to bring out the goodness in each one of us, to bring that belief in us in doing good and believing in doing good. Nobody is born perfect and all of us have deficiencies either physical or mental and most of the times both. Our entire lives will go in correcting these deficiencies, more of mental than physical. Bringing out in each one of us a strong belief in being good and doing good is what is the purpose of building temples and making it a practice to pray. Everyone knows gods always do good and everyone knows that gods expect us to do good. The only purpose of building temples and giving material forms to gods is to bring out the goodness in us that is masked by the desires of worldly pursuits.
Giving a further thought, if we think about our own body and mind we see a similarity and will realise what a real temple indeed is: Our body is the temple, our mind is the environment or air in the temple and our soul is the god/goddess of the temple. If we have a strong and healthy body, we can keep away diseases, weakness and laziness.This can be compared to a well build temple which isolates from all the unholy places around. If we keep our mind calm and centered around the good thoughts, we can keep an environment conducive for prayers. This can be compared to the environment inside a temple which is always peaceful, calm and conducive for prayer. We chant mantras, bhajans to praise the gods in the temples. Very similarly we chant prayers to praise the lords inside us. If we dedicate our body in good deeds and mind in holy thoughts, the god/goddess inside us will bless us. It is our own blessings that we actually seek when we go to temples. If we are good, our salvation (Union with our true self) will be quick.
Our ancestors were satvik and very intelligent in bringing the disciplines in the form of worship. It is for us to understand that gods live just in us if we are good enough. The real temple is us and gods will reside even inside us if we let them. Let us be good, let us do good. Let us build the real temples and let the gods and goddesses reside in us.

No comments:

Post a Comment