Monday 8 July 2013

The Temples of Ancient Wisdom

Feels great as the blog crossed 10000 views last week and in a way completed a milestone! All thanks to all of you, who read and liked the posts and the content of the blog. I am really grateful and humbled and would once again like to thank all of you.
Imaginations sometimes run wild and I tried fiction for the first time in my last post-The 14th Year. Thankfully, there were a few positive comments and people asked me for a sequel. Some of you were able to notice that it, in fact, was re-presenting the Laxman-Surpanakha story in a new Avatar.
I hope to write more on the same lines some day, but let us reserve that for later and get to the topic straight away.

Some years ago, when my father was based in Varanasi, I had the chance to visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple for the first time in my life. I was only 9 then, and had only witnessed the slightly newer and more "blazing" temples like those of Birla's and J.K.'s, which are mostly built of white marbles, and shine brightly during the evenings and nights.
For the first time I witnessed a temple built in slightly older times. The kid in me was disgusted by the water and  pieces of flowers and leaves lying all around the temple premises and me being forced to remove slippers and walk barefoot. All of a sudden I blurted out "This temple is so dirty!".  My father snapped back "You shall never call a temple dirty!". I wanted to ask why, but sensing the mood my father was in, a better sense prevailed inside me, and I decided to postpone the question in the wake of my own health benefits.. Never knew I would eventually find the answers to my questions.

The knowledge of Ancient Vedic Men was of such high degree,  the customs they popularized and inbred among the people in their daily lives was of highly scientific and logical nature. A highly scientific marvel like Aum is remodeled to be an important religious symbol, while the Gods are attributed with Vahanas akin to their individual divinities. It is but very obvious then, that the places where the Gods reside, the temples are deemed to be resplendent of similar scientific and symbolic imagery, which not only appeals to the devotee's sub-conscious, but also helps him meditate peacefully.

The Architecture-The location and The Garbhagraha:
It is a mighty known fact that most of the ancient temples were designed to be more than mere places of worship and meditation. The Vedic temples were built strategically at places where the positive cosmic energy is in abundance because of the magnetic and electric fields.

The main idol is always located in the core center of the temple, known as the Garbha-Griha. As a matter of fact, first the idol is placed at its position and then the temple is built around it. The Garbha-griha is chosen to be the place where  magnetic waves are the strongest. As a practice, some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic Shlokas are kept beneath the main idol. Copper absorbs the magnetic energy and radiates positive energy to the surroundings. This specific attribute of copper makes it useful in curing arthritis by wearing it in bracelets.

As a person revolves around the main idol in a clockwise direction, he receives the positive energy radiated from the copper, and this, gradually helps him, in meditation and maintain a good health on a regular visit. In a way, the temples were designed as "Public charging sites".

The pyramidal shape:
The particular pyramid shape of these temples serve manifold purposes. However hot or humid the entire surroundings may be, one could never feel hot inside a temple. A tall, gradually narrowing structure, along with water being poured all across the floors keeps the inside of the temple premises cool, and the magnetic fields stronger(heat reduces magnetic energy).
In the year 2005, an article was published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. A group of scientists in Bangalore took containers of various shapes and placed various food items in it. As days passed, it was observed that the container which was pyramidal in shape demonstrated the slowest decay out of all the containers.
Various temples use flowers to further keep the atmosphere inside light and comfortable, to negate the effects of moistness. These flowers and fruits get decomposed as slowly as possible because of the pyramidal structure.

The Bells:
 As per legends, the bell sound is to ward evil forces away. A well designed bell, if struck, produces long strains of AUM.
Symbolically, the body of the bell represents time. the tongue of the bell represents Saraswati. Striking the bell would mean the message of Saraswati, which is knowledge and wisdom itself, being spread all over.
Scientifically, a temple bell is made up of a variety of metals, just in the correct proportion. When struck properly, a bell sound lasts for at least seven seconds, and touches the seven healing centers, or the Chakras   in the body. It also unites the left and the right part of the brain. As soon as one hears the bell, all pre-thoughts are emptied, or in a way, it wakes one up before entering the temple itself.
The bells also dont allow any insect to remain inside the temple. The reason, why even the oldest of temples wont have any insects or pests inside them.

Another inseparable ingredient of any Vedic temple, Dhwaja or, the Flag, serves purposes more than mere symbolisms of a number of legends. The color of the dhwaja, red or orange, symbolizes the fierce energy of the sun. As the flag flutters, thanks to its very peculiar spear shape, it symbolizes sun's life-giving glow. As the flag flutters, it also symbolizes great wisdom and bravery together.
Scientifically, the flag acts as a conductor to transfer the energy from within the Garbha Griha to the entire atmosphere, thus radiating positive energy all across. It also acts as a lightning rod which saves the temple structure from lightning.

As per legends, the pillar holding the Dhwaja, the Dhwaja-stambh represents as a connect between heavens and earth. The stambha symbolizes the Holy Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The flag when seen by a devotee from a distance, informs him about the deity being worshipped within the temple and sometimes, even the rituals are symbolized by the Dhwaja.

The ingredients of worship: Lets take a step back from here, ie. the temple premises, and have a look at whats all happening inside the temple. Even under scorching sun and intense heat, the insides of the temple are still pretty cool. Water is being sprayed continuously and devotees are lighting up incense sticks, striking bells, and offering flowers to the deity. Lamps are lighted all over, which emit talismanic low light. Add to that the positive vibes which are already present all around.
All these ingredients of a 'perfect' worship create a state of trance, where from the point a devotee enters the premise, he enters into a state of trance and is almost hypnotized in the entire settings of the temple. His mind is now singularly focussed on devotion, and the body is absorbing positive energy. According to the very scientific Vedas, this is the state of trance when a man himself becomes God. Its only then,  it is said, that one could build a temple inside his heart and can meditate without even needing one temple.

I wont say that each and every older temple of India has been built keeping the same concepts and ideologies in mind as stated above, but every temple that's based on Vedic notions, follows the same architecture and model as stated by the Vedic principles
Neither did I try to comprehend nor find any logical reasoning to why certain temples allow animal sacrifice. I personally feel that's an incorrect practice and should not be encouraged in the name of religion.

Its nothing lesser than a colossal tragedy with what happened in Uttarakhand a few days back. Thousands of innocent souls lost their lives and we all must pray for their souls to rest peacefully.
However, one cannot take away the fact that only Kedarnath temple kept standing along with the central sanctum, primarily because they were based on Vedic foundations and the calamity couldn't shake it's very foundations.
Hoping that our governments take some lesson out of this tragedy and embrace the state with better disaster management facilities

People go to temples to wish for money, success, luck, and what not. But, this was not the primary reason for which these temples were built. The temples can help you attain a better health and peace of mind, and guide you towards spirituality. Sadly, modern day pundits have made temples an easy way to earn money, promising people of their wishes being fulfilled, but a temple visit would not serve such a purpose. Go there for your betterment, not to trade your time for your wish.

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  1. Very informative and detailed logic behind building a temple and structure.

    Some questions in my mind if you can ...

    Any idea about directions of Temple door, placing an idol (N E W S) (or i missed out)

    Any reason behind fall out of Surya Temple in Konark ? (Heard because of moving the magnet from roof)

    Any Difference in Architect during different Era or kingdom ?

    I am loving it and I am addict to your blog now

    1. The temple should always face east, no matter whom it is built for.
      Then depending on the deities, the face of the idols are decided.
      Deity's vision is normally aligned to the North or the East directions, which are the sources of Jaivik Urja or positive energies.
      But, deities have their specific directions to face, like Yama facing south. But, I didnt cover it as I was not able to find any scienitific analogy related to it.

      Regarding difference in architecture under various kingdoms and eras, the Vastushastra mentions 3 different architectures of a temple, which are allowed as per Vedic rules. Theses basic attributes, the kings and people used to follow while building up a temple.
      However, they used to add certain element of local flavour, a custom or a specific attibute of that kingdom was added. Like the color of flags, or the color of rocks, or wearing dhotis(in south Indian temples). The pyramidal shapes used to differ in northern temples v/s southern temples. Similar for deities(Murugan in south v/s Kartikeya in North)

      Sun Temple is a very favourite topic and I though I would write up something on that too.
      The temple was peculiar because it just consists of large stones kept on one another. Now, thats not as easy as that sounds. The construction is still a feat with all the top class inscriptions and beautiful domes, not to forget accurate architectural excellence it provides.
      The stones were held together by a very strong magnet kept on the top of the temple. This magnet was so powerful, that ships passing through nearby waters started meeting with accidents because the anchors used to show incorrect readings. The Mughal rulers moved the magnet away and that led to the slow and gradual destruction of the temple.
      Apart from the above theory, as history has no mention of any such strong magnet in Orissa, hasty completion of the temple, which led to a number of engineering defects, and subsequent Mughal invasions, caused the temple to break down. The central arch was broken, which held the entire temple together, leading to a downfall

  2. have not read the entire article..... but got the crux (assuming) :)
    i read similar thing somewhere else too.. ( accusing you of copying is not the intent :D )
    and was happy to know the actual logical reason of so many of us going to temples answering the question.
    will read it later for sure.. keep up the good work :)

    1. Namaste Sir!!
      Thanks for liking whatever you read in the article.
      During some research for the blog, may have come across some source where a similar article would have been written.
      Thanks again for liking the article

  3. you may want to read this article and then comment on it:

    1. I wont have minded even if you would have posted this with your real identity and not being Anonymous.
      The problem with mythology and ancient knowledge is that there are lots of accusations of it being all buffoonery and the original takers have long gone and didnt leave much of a written material.
      To answer everything in the link you provided, would take another blog or maybe a comment there would do it.
      However, very smartly the link has negated certain theories, but provides their own version as to why certain things do happen

  4. Also...keep following the may get the answers in coming blog posts

  5. well thanQ so much for the information. however i would lie if you could do something on the geomagnetic fields in various Jyotirling in India n also the center of them all "ujjain's mahakaleshwara" as the city itself has been known as the center of the earth in Vedas..`

    1. Namaste,
      Thanks for the "food for blog". Rest assured, I will definitely try to include something about Jyotirlings in my future blogs.
      Thanks for liking this one!