(Originally published on Nov. 09, 2011)
What is the use of a temple if its spiritual vibrancy is not enhanced day after day through rituals? Have you ever heard someone say about his or her experience, while inside a temple, on positive vibrations?
The act of consecration of Deities in a temple is only the first step towards building a place of worship which will become divine and sanctified over a period of time. This can be compared to giving birth to a baby. Does the responsibility end there? No, it just begins!
(Originally published on Sep. 14, 2010)
While the truth is just plain, simple and only one, there are several philosophies arising out of the perception of this truth. Each philosophy has given rise to a set of religious practices. Forgetting the fact that all these philosophies arose out of the same and single truth, some people who follow different philosophies fight among one another in the name of religion.
(Originally published on May 25, 2010)
A priest is considered to be a divine interface between the Deity (GOD) and the Devotee (believer). Truly speaking, it is not just another job or career. The quality of the interface would determine the fulfillment of daily rituals that are part of the basic functioning of the temple and those rituals conducted on behalf of the devotee and his/her family on specific occasions. When the interface lacks true devotion, the result will be simply nothing. There are no gray areas here. This is how the science behind temples works.
(Originally published on May 12, 2010)
GOD is formless (nirguna) but is given forms (saguna) for the sake of our convenience. Each Deity represents a typical form of the One and Only GOD. There are specific characteristics or attributes (visesha gunas) personified in each Deity.
In other words, a Deity is the personification of certain specific characteristics of GOD. The human form attributed to GOD helps one visualize and meditate upon easily, aiding in his/her quest for Self Realization. Deities aid the devotee attain Self Realization through intense devotion or Bhakti Yoga (leading to Jnana Yoga).
(Originally published on Feb.08, 2010)
Many people think Goddess Mahalakshmi is Lord Vishnu’s consort. This is not entirely true!
Mahalakshmi is the supreme Deity Who is also known as Tripura Sundari or Sri Vidya or Lalithambika or Lalitha. Mahalakshmi is the confluence of Lakshmi (satvic), Saraswathi (rajasik) and Kali (tamasik) powers. Here, the term “Maha” is not an adjective used for the noun “Lakshmi”.
While Lord Vishnu’s consort is Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu Himself is a Sri Vidya Upasaka, i.e., He worships Mahalakshmi. This is exemplified through Lord Hayagreeva’s chanting of Lalita Sahasranama Sthothram to Sage Agasthya.
(Originally published on Jan. 08, 2010)
Our Sanatana Dharma is NOT a religion. Sanatana Dharma in a religious costume may be called Hinduism. However, identifying Sanatana Dharma using the word Hinduism is not correct.
GOD is only One and is present in several forms. Of the various forms, three forms represent three important aspects which are not separate from one another. It is impossible to separate these three primary forms – Saiva (the core), Vaishnava (the vibrancy) and Saaktheya (the power). However, one can realize his Self by worshiping any one form which would initially act as a guide but ultimately causing a confluence with the devotee (upasaka) thus, leading to the Realization of the Self.
(Originally published on Dec. 23, 2009)
From the common man’s point of view, a temple is the abode of GOD’s form(s) wherein a devotee comes to worship the deities therein.
The true concepts behind temples are directly connected to the Yoga Sastra as explained in the scripture Siva Samhita. What we practise as Yogasanas (Yoga exercises) are rooted in Siva Samhita wherein Lord Siva teaches His consort Parvati, the secret powers that lie dormant in every person in his astral body irrespective of his religion or ethnic group.