Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Temples - A perspective

Temples come in different shapes and sizes. There are the famous and the remote, the big and small, common and unique. Each temple has its own personality.

As the car turned left, I could see the Gopuram (Main Entrance) of the Chidambaram temple. A thrill shot down my spine. It is not a religion oriented feeling. I have felt the same at a church in Ahmedabad/Velankanni, mosque in Chennai and temples all over India.

I will type what I feel about a place of worship - called Temple in general.A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites (as in masonry). It is a general term for a house of worship. - Thanks, Wikipedia.

As I enter the temple, I see a huge courtyard. I sit down and think about why am I mad about temples.Religions have been found temples as an attempt to bring discipline into the lives of its followers. Temples help us cultivate and maintain the discipline.

Temples bring about a sense of awe about the glory of God who is present within each one of us.Let us take a famous temple like the Brihadeeshwara temple at Tanjore: After roughly 1000 years since completion this temple still inspires awe about how man can create such an architectural marvel. After one starts admiring the building, there is a feeling of awe about how God who is housed in the temple must be bigger.

If they were not getting satisfaction why must people sacrifice their joy to construct such a monumental edifice as an offering to God. What does life contain - a feeling of loneliness, a place to fill up pent up emotions, joy of living and a sense of achievement. All these feelings are reflected in temples through various art forms.

As people of different kinds walked by, I got a feeling of amazement - how many people would have visited this temple and prayed for success, land, wives and what not. All of them would have carried out prayers, felt happy when their prayers were answered, felt sad in case of misfortune. In all these years, the chidambaram temple would have seen so much of human emotion.The temple is a standing image of human successes/failures and excesses/shortages. Prayers definitely have theraupatic value as one thinks about his own life in this environnment, he comes up with plans to succeed and ways to improve.

Finally there is a feeling of emptiness, a kind of satisfaction and responsibility.The loneliness which characterises one's life is temporarily lost. When a human mind concentrates on anything, he becomes successful in it. Temples helps one to concentrate on one's own life and carve out paths of success.This is the success of a temple as, one feels happy at the end of the visit.

A kind of realisation sinks in...that after all the dance is done, what is left is plain emotion. Temples help in understanding life better


Blogger Parvati said...

You have caught in a simple and sincere language, what all of us have felt in a Temple, but had not the words to express. Thank you.

12:57 AM  
Blogger mysorean said...

Agree with Parvati! Simple and in-depth at the same time!

11:00 PM  

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