Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A possibility ...

This weekend, we went to Sri Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in Singapore to witness the Navarathri celebrations. We reached there at about 7.20 pm, just in time for aarthi, and sat through the bhajans till about 8.30 pm. The meditation hall in RKM is simply awesome, so full of energy. As the bhajans were going on, we could enter into the no-thought zone very easily. The life size idol of Sri Ramakrishna, clad in white and surrounded by red flowers, was radiating the innocence, devotion and divine energy in the hall.

Everyone was participating in the bhajans; some of them were meditating; some were singing. As soon as the bhajans ended, it was a different scene altogether. Some ladies started discussing about their childrens' school, some finding out more about their friends' saree; some guys were back in their office or rather they got their office to RKM; and many were of course talking about the menu for dinner that was waiting downstairs.

If we think about it, this is a very common sight in a temple. We see people discussing all their work, daily activities etc. in a temple. While waiting for the darshan, all we do is to talk about our worries, stresses etc. In fact we see people complaining if the queue is too long in temples like Tirupati etc.

A temple is an energy hub. The main deities of the most prominent Indian temples were installed by enlightened masters. Swamiji says, 'the deities in temples in Rameswaram, Kedarnath, Palani, Tirupati etc. were all installed by enlightened masters. So these temples are a storehouse of energy. This is the reason why we feel calmness and peace when we enter these temples. The energy of the Master or the Cosmic energy still reverberates in the garbha gruha, sanctum sanctorum.'

Swami Nithyananda says, 'when we enter a temple, our thoughts per second (TPS) decreases.' But what do we do? We don't even allow this to happen. Instead of immersing in the silence and energy of the temple, all we try to do is pollute the temple also with our thoughts.

The whole purpose of going to a temple is to allow our Being to connect with the Cosmic Consciousness or the Divine Energy. It is probably one of the easiest possible ways to do so...

But only if we allow it to happen.

But no! We do not want to leave our identities. We take our identities, our name, our designation, our status, our money, our job, everything to the temple. We take our EGO along with us to the temple. We just cannot let go of these even for a few minutes.

Sometimes in places like Tirupati, we see people showing off their so-called high status right inside the sanctum sanctorum for a longer darshan. Whats the point of the longer darshan if we still are holding to our ego? How much ever we stay inside right in front of the statue, we go nowhere because our ego is still as solid as a rock.

Swamiji has been building temples all over the world, installing the deities with life energy. One devotee asked Him, 'Swamiji, what is the point of doing all this? Why so many temples and ashrams?'

Swamiji replied, 'One six-foot Kali idol gave one Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. One Ramakrishna again gave us so many enlightened beings. So there is nothing wrong if I spend time and money on temples. It is worth it. There is a possibility. Thats all.'

Each one of us have a possibility to taste the Divine Energy whenever we enter a temple or an ashram. Going one step further, we even have the possibility of becoming a Ramakrishna. Enlightened masters have created so many possibilities for us.

Now the ball is in our court.


Phalgun said...

I am afraid but I have to rebutt this.
1. If the common man could drop their EGOs and identity so easily, the common man would not need to go to a temple.
2. How do u 'immerse in the silence and energy of the temple' when everyone is chanting the infamous 'jargandi jargandi' next to you? People assert their status in tirupati to circumvent this problem. So, u loose ego, u need to move _fast_. ur shoved and pushed. how am i supposed to feel the peace and energy in that?

if i sound irritated, its coz this post touched a nerve. in my experience, going to temple is something enforced by society as 'good'.

agreed, amidst all the noise and fanfare Ramakrishna Paramahansa got enlightened. but this post will not help the common man with much less spiritual aspirations.

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Hi Phalgun

I am not saying just by going to the temple, you can drop your ego. If it were so easy, there would have been many more enlightened beings :) Temples are one place where one can connect to the Divine, like I said, 'only if we allow it to happen.' The thing is we don't even allow that to happen. Sometimes, like you said, the people in the temple themselves create some difficult circumstances :) but the divine energy is not limited to just the sanctum sanctorum. The whole place is an energy hub. There is nothing wrong in keeping our worries, our stresses etc. out of us for a little while till we are in the temple. You will not lose your job by not thinking about it for a few hours, will you?

The post is titled - a possibility.. A temple is just a possibility. There have been many common men who got enlightened just by the path of devotion. If it does not click you, you are obviously free to look at other paths but you cannot generalize your personal experience to all common men :)

One more thing, there has been a lot of commercialization of the temples. It is upto you how you see it. If you have the awareness of what a temple is, what a pooja is etc., you will take what you need to take and leave the rest. You are free common man after all :)