What are temples and why do we built such place to worship Gods? If we look at the issue generally, in any religion, there is a need for people to gather and worship their God. By doing so they are able to teach and educate the rest about their God. Preaching the teachings and also help built the community has been the main purpose. For these purposes one need no specific building structures or rules but in Hinduism the scope is not limited to these reasons.
Universal Energy - Sleep, Meditation And Idol Worshipping
In Hinduism, the science takes precedence rather than belief. Our bodies are consists of 5 elements which are Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Ether. The first 4 elements mainly for the body are easily available on Earth. Our body is able to refresh itself through various acts like eating, drinking and activities. But for the 5th element which is for the soul, is only available from the sky. This element, Ether is also known as the universal energy or the Cosmic energy is the most important of the elements.
According to the "Law of Attraction" if one focuses on certain needs and pour in the complete emotion as if it has been fulfilled, it will trigger the Universal Energy to fulfil it. So in Hinduism we meditate on such requests. Meditation not only gives us energy and solution for achieving our desires, it also has many medical benefits.
These medical benefits are derived from the influx of Universal Energy and it works the chakras in the body thus healing the body and mind. This Universal Energy also known as God by itself as all energy can't be produced but can be only harnessed from the existing source.
We can absorb this Universal Energy by 3 ways.
1. By sleeping we naturally absorb this energy but the amount is very little. Most of the time, the energy will be exhausted within the day. A proper time of sleep is required. The best time to acquire such energy through sleep is at around 9pm to 12am. If we sleep during these hours, we will able to receive energy equivalent to 3 hours of rest for every hour of sleep. From 12am to 3am, we will be able to harness energy equivalent to 1½ hours and from 3am to 5am, we will be able to get 1 hour of energy for each hours. But this energy will start to drain if we sleep further after 5am. As such we notice that we feel very tired in the morning even when we wake up late. To avoid such incidents, in Hinduism, we start our prayers early in the morning and we set many rituals to be done at early hours not only because it’s the right time but also to make sure we get of the bed.
2. The best way of harnessing the "Universal Energy" is through meditation. By meditating, we are able to perform many miracles. Meditation allows us to set our mind vibration to equal the vibration of atoms. Once we achieve this, we able to communicate our desires to the universe and all our wishes can be achieved. But this is not an easy thing to achieve. Furthermore one can easily lose their mind in the universe if they are not properly trained by a guru.
3. Meditators can easily lose their focus and concentration. To help them temples are built in such an intricate way. ”Moorthi”s (idols) are built in the temples. These Gods are given shapes and stories to accompany such designs. But these stories not always were created. Many stories are based on true accounts and history
Unlike other religions that stand firm against idol worshipping, Hinduism neither prescribes nor proscribes worship of idols. In Hinduism, it’s about worshipping the God through the Idols not the Idols itself. The Puranas and the Agamas give descriptions of idol-worship both in the houses and in the temples. Idol-worship is not peculiar to Hinduism. Idols are defined as images or sculptures not only physically but also that of mind. Everyone needs to hold an image in mind when they pray, like Christians worship the Cross. They have the image of the Cross in their mind and the Muslims keep the image of the Ka’aba. Such practices are considered as idol worshipping in Hinduism.
"IT IS MUCH DIFFICULT TO FOCUS ON GOD AS THE UNMANIFESTED THAN TO FOCUS GOD WITH FORM, DUE TO HUMAN BEINGS HAVING THE NEED TO PERCEIVE VIA THE SENSES."
- BHAGAVAD GITA, LORD KRISHNA
Worship is the expression of devotion, reverence and love to the God. Idols are shining channels through which the heart of the devotee is attracted to and flows towards God. Though the image is worshipped, the devotee feels the presence of the God in it and pours out his devotion unto it. It is the appalling ignorance of the modern sensual man that clouds his vision and prevents him from seeing Divinity in lovely and enchanting idols of His form.
In temples, the Gods are believed to be brought alive by priests using special mantras and place these powers into idols called ”Moorthi”s. These idols often times given 4 to ten hands and weapons are entrusted into each hand. What these weapons are for? In many cases they accompanied by stories like the killing of a specific demons.
What are these weapons really for? These represent certain qualities of the Gods that are warranted by the worshippers. Let’s compare this situation to a human figure. If a child is asked to draw a lawyer, the child will draw a man in a black robe and holding a roll of paper which appears to be the court orders. If the same child is requested to draw a doctor, the child will draw a man with a stethoscope in a white robe. The characteristic of the man might just be the same but what distinguishes the profession is the apparel worn and what is hold by the person. This goes same to Gods. If a person goes to temple to pray so someone needs to be cured of some disease, he needs to pray to God that represents that character i.e. Amman. Goddess Amman holds a bunch of herbs in hand that represents medicine to cure sickness.
By focusing on the herbs on an idol, we will be able to trigger the Law Of Attraction of wishing the cure for the disease. Same goes to a person who is facing some difficult situation, He needs to focus himself getting out of such entanglement. This is shown in knot held by Lord Ganesha. This knot represents the problem. He also hold the Moodaka which represents the reward once the problem is solved. So when we pray to remove the problem, we should focus on the knot and imagine that it unties by itself and once it unties, we should image that we acquire the reward. This way of focus allows us to achieve our desired results. To further enhance the result, rituals are performed. In this case we have to perform "Toppukaranam". Please refer to the previous post on the subject.
TEMPLE STRUCTURES AND RITUALS
In regards to the temple shapes, temples are designed with golden tops and shaped as a "Gopurams" with ”Moorthi”s right in the center. This is to harness the energy from the universe. Gold is the best conductor of electricity. By placing it on the top of the temples, these domes are able to absorb the energy and channel it to the “Moorthi”s right in the center. The energy is stored in the “Moorthi”s. Please note that black colour has the highest absorption powers.
When the priests perform Deepaaraadhana, this energy is transferred to the worshippers through the fire. When the worshippers put their hands on top of the fire and places them on their foreheads, the energy transfers from the fire to the body through the Pineal Gland which is also known as the "3rd eye".
Not only that, these temples is located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as "Garbhagriha" or Moolasthanam. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This Moolasthanam is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be at the maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the slokas. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.
Further, the Moolasthanam is closed on three sides. This increases the effect of all energies. The lamp that is lit radiates heat energy and also provides light inside the Moolasthanam to the priests or poojaris performing the pooja. The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers takes a worshipper into trance, thus not letting his mind waver. When done in groups, this helps people forget personal problems for a while and relieve their stress. The fragrance from the flowers, the burning of camphor give out the chemical energy further aiding in a different good aura.
The effect of all these energies is supplemented by the positive energy from the idol, the copper plates and utensils in the Moolasthanam / Garbagraham. Theertham, the “holy” water used during the pooja to wash the idol is not plain water cleaning the dust off an idol. It is a concoction of Cardamom, Karpura (Benzoin / Camphor), saffron, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Clove, etc... Washing the idol is to charge the water with the magnetic radiations thus increasing its medicinal values. Three spoons of this holy water is distributed to devotees. Again, this water is mainly a source of magneto-therapy. Besides, the clove essence protects one from tooth decay, the saffron & Tulsi leafs protects one from common cold and cough, cardamom and Pacha Karpuram, act as mouth fresheners. It is proved that Theertham is a very good blood purifier, as it is highly energized. Hence it is given as prasadam to the devotees. This way, one can claim to remain healthy by regularly visiting the Temples. This is why our elders used to suggest us to offer prayers at the temple so that you will be cured of many ailments. They were not always superstitious. Yes, in a few cases they did go overboard when due to ignorance they hoped many serious diseases could be cured at temples by deities.
When people go to a temple for the Deepaaraadhana, and when the doors open up, the positive energy gushes out onto the persons who are there. The water that is sprinkled onto the assemblages passes on the energy to all. This also explains why men are not allowed to wear shirts at a few temples and women are requested to wear more ornaments during temple visits. It is through these jewels (metal) that positive energy is absorbed by the women. Also, it is a practice to leave newly purchased jewels at an idol’s feet and then wear them with the idol’s blessings. This act is now justified after reading this article. This act of “seeking divine blessings” before using any new article, like books or pens or automobiles may have stemmed from this through mere observation.
Energy lost in a day’s work is regained through a temple visit and one is refreshed slightly. The positive energy that is spread out in the entire temple and especially around where the main idol is placed, are simply absorbed by one's body and mind. Did you know, every Vaishnava (Vishnu devotees), “must” visit a Vishnu temple twice every day in their location. Our practices are NOT some hard and fast rules framed by 1 man and his followers or God’s words in somebody’s dreams. All the rituals, all the practices are, in reality, well researched, studied and scientifically backed thesis which form the ways of nature to lead a good healthy life.
The scientific and research part of the practices are well camouflaged as “elder’s instructions” or “granny’s teaching’s” which should be obeyed as a mark of respect so as to once again, avoid stress to the mediocre brains.