One fundamental thing that I would like to clear up: Indian temple is not a place of worship or prayer. Are you aware of this?
-It is not really for a worship or prayer.
Today, You don’t know what else to do, you’re going to temple and doing things that everybody else are doing everywhere.
Nobody ever leads a prayer in the Indian temple.
Hinduism, the ancient Indian religious system, is arguably one of the most complex of known religions and its complexity has become one of its many characteristics.
Unlike most religions that base their faith on one definitive set of guidelines and rules, Hinduism does on confine itself to a single text, or a single interpretation or a single approach—which is also why it is so vibrant and rich. Given this heterogeneous character, rules, regulation, norms and guidelines of the Hindu way of worship, spirituality and all other aspects of the religion, have to be seen, always, in a larger context.
There’s a whole science of building a temple. This is called as Agama Shastra. Agama Shastra, a collection of ideas that lays down the rules for worship, temple building, spirituality and rituals, has for long been a guideline for many people of the Hindu faith. It contains, mainly, methods of temple construction, idol creation, philosophical doctrines and meditative practices. As a compendium of sorts that came into being after years of assimilation and from a variety of sources, the Agama shastra as a whole cannot be dated; some parts of it being pre vedic while the others are post vedic.
In simple words:
There are 5 basic ingredients. The shape and size of the idol, the mudras that the idol will hold, the mantras that you use to consecrate this, the size and shape of the sanctum-sanctorum, the outer parikrama. If these five things are properly matched, it will become a very powerful field of energy.
So the tradition tells you, everyday in the morning before you go to work or anywhere else, first thing is you have a shower, sit in the temple for sometime and then go into the world. It is like a public battery charging place.
Once you’re into the world, every transaction in the world is like this – My profit is your loss, your loss is my profit. 😀
If you’re not in a certain way, there is a possibility of friction in every single transaction in your life. Isn’t it?
Every word that you utter, every little thing that you exchange- you can fight with somebody because somebody has to get something and somebody has to lose something. This is the nature of the material existence. When it is so, unless you’re in a certain way within yourself, unless you found something valuable within yourself at every point you’ll fight.
For example: We see people driving on the roads, they’re all on the edge, smallest thing, they’re willing to pounce upon each other. You don’t own a road, just if you go into one’s lane or the other person comes in between your lane, something happens – I have seen people completely freaking out! ufff.. 😀 (My brother! is a best example) Because every transaction is a friction, if you’re not in a certain way within yourself.
So everyday people go to temples, charge their batteries and go out so that you sail smoothly through the day and come back!
It is also said in the tradition, once you’re on the spiritual path you needn’t go to temple. Are you aware of this? Because, you’ve self charging methods, you’re charging your own batteries, you don’t need to go to public charging place. So the Indian temple was never a place of worship or prayer. Even now it is not so, though people are slowly trying to make it like a church.
In tradition they’ve also told you to sit in temple for sometime. At least in South India it’s still alive. I think in North it is generally dead.
And people who come from south India are aware that they must sit in the temple for sometime but now they’re just touching their bottom to the floor and going away! (I have seen my mother doing that!)
There are live temples which are very very powerful. Have you heard of Dhyanalinga temple? In this temple – there are no rituals, there’s no worship, there’s no prayer, there’s no offerings, It’s in total silence always.
Somebody who doesn’t know anything about meditation, you sit inside the Dhyanalinga temple without a single instruction – the person will become meditative. The very energy is like that. If you’re little sensitive. It’ll shake you from the root of your spine, it is so powerful the impact that it has on you is so big.
All the temples were built like that but for different purposes; some for well-being, some for physical well-being, mental well-being, material well-being etc and etc. Like wise people built various types of temples. There’s a whole science behind it. Unfortunately, not knowing how to maintain it, we have killed lots of temples.
And today people are building temples just like shopping complexes, probably for same purposes or like a social place.
Temple has become more like a club. When I say temple, I am referring to the ancient temples. Most modern temples like in United States, you want to meet your own community in a certain atmosphere, so you created such a thing.
But the temple in its original form is a very powerful energy center. It is like a big induction for people to get inducted into completely different dimensions of life. But the science of it has generally been lost. It is just being done ritualistically, not knowing the intricacies of what it involves.
This is a way of recharging yourself with very positive vibrations of life so that you go into the world with a different perspective. The temple was not created as a place of God or a place of prayer. It was created as a place of energy where everyone could go and make use of it.