Turiya and Ramakrishna: Conversations around self- A Photo Book, Yogic Studies
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A Brief History of Ancient Temples in India: The Secrets are in the conversation- ३

I had just arrived from visiting a temple in Uttarkashi with my Guruji in Uttarakhand. He is from the state and well versed in the ways of temple building and understanding the energy that a lingam or an idol holds.

He wanted to meet an old friend of his and asked me to come along, just like that and we went. It was a day’s journey, quiet long. He did not enter the temple, not even once but asked me to be here at the complex till he comes back. I do not know how long it must have taken him to come back but there, in that sphere of Uttarkashi temple, this lingam as I entered just wrapped and bounded me to sit. It was bursting with energy. 3000 years old, and it is like it was done yesterday, exuberating with such intensity that you don’t want to do anything but just straighten your spine and sit. It was something I had never forgotten. And travelling to Uttarakhand last month brought back this memory with Guruji.

When he came back and saw me stunned. He smiled, he understood or may be it was the plan. Without making any sound he told me to come, its time to go back home. On the way back, looking outside the window of Uttarakhand State Transport Corporation’s bus he started speaking in a language that aboriginals spoke. “The Ancient temples in India were Yantras i.e tool to reach a higher state, a different dimension. If your body and your mind is fit and are able, it will help. Else you might even flip. Many have, because this needs tuned structures to pass energy through. These temples and this Uttarkashi one was built towards a certain aspect of science. And it later got to be known as Agamas. A tradition that includes many yogic and other philosophies ranging from Dvaita and Advaita.

Also read : Bateshwar Temples from the eyes of the legendary Archaeologist KK Muhammad: A Photo Essay and FILM

Also Read: Yogmaya – १

There used to be five basic parameters with which old temples were built, and if the temple gets built according to that perfect size and the shape of the temple, the size and the shape of the parikrama i.e periphery, the size and the shape of the garbhagraha i.e the sanctum, the size and the shape of the idol, the mudra that the idol holds, the mantras that are used to consecrate this idol; and if all these things are properly matched it will create a tremendous field of energy.

It must be understood that the Indian temples are not a place to pray. There is nobody leading a prayer in the Indian or the Hindu temples. You go there and do what you want. No one will tell you to do this or that, nobody will tell you to hold your breath or close your eyes, or to stand either sit in a certain way or position. Though now we have started to do certain things, to even paying money to the priest or somebody to allow us to stand in front and pray but otherwise the oral traditions of this culture told us that if you go to the temple that you must at least sit there for sometime. No one out of the blue used to tell you that, “you must pray”, just that they told you to quietly sit. It did not matter there if you talked about your friends or movies, or anything else. The idea was that if that temple has a strong field of energy, you were bound to imbibe that within you.

In pre digital times, ‘first thing in the morning we used to take shower, and used to go sit in the temple and then go out and used to do our business”. Because once you step into the world, whatever kind of transaction you do in this material world, it gets all based on profit and loss. And when work starts happening around profit and loss; overtime we tend to become worked up because somewhere we will gain and many where we will lose too. One day many gains, and the other infinite losses. And then it does not just rest with money, but slowly it catches up with our relationships.

At the same time ancient rishis had no temples as such to go to. They used to get up and simply go to the river to bath, come back and sit under a peepal or any Kalpavriksha tree available in their region. Hence, people on the spiritual path need not go to the temple. They almost never went. I do not go to the temple anymore, I don’t need it, Guruji said. The Indian temple does not look forward to the people on spiritual path because they have their own self-charging methods. Temples were or are like public charging places. Public battery charging place is what a temple is as you see and get motivated to give money or to sit, close your hands and join your palms. It becomes a collective performing one kind of ritual. And if you are already on a spiritual path, one does not need to go to the public charging places. It is like in early days here in Delhi, we used to get water from a public tap after waiting in a queue for a long time, but ever since we got our own tap at home we don’t need to go and stand in the queue and that is all the difference is.

But today we have started building our temples just the way we build our shopping complexes, probably for the same purpose”.

Later in life when I was initiated into Yoga and started leading my own way of explorations it made all the sense to me slowly. Beacuse it is not about the temples, it is all about nature.

And I would wish if we could understand the way this culture came together, it is not held by humans but is webbed by nature, because in these times nature is what we need. With at least this time that we have got, we must learn to live with humility and gratitude with it and all what we have still got.

: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

Turiya and Ramakrishna are a compilation of conversation held between a Guru and Disciple. An ongoing Photobook Project journeying through the Indian Subcontinent through Images, symbols and conversations.

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, taking you through the Ten Lessons I learnt from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

: ँ :

If you are still here, you might like to know about My Little School. If you wish to come over for a visit, to share your stories or one of your magic tricks with children, you are heartily welcome.

If you would like to contribute to this project by funding a student to plant a tree or towards his education, you can please do so here

: ँ :

Above all, If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, you can visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
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Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.


  1. I like this perspective that you do not need to visit a specific building if you are on the right path. I’m not a religious person and having to go to a specific building on a certain day at a cet6time never made sense tome

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry I hit send too early, should have said certain time never made sense to me. .Anyway we do like to visit temples because we feel like it teaches us about another country’s culture. We did visit Uttarakeshi and wish we had heard of this temple. We hiked to Tapovan but didn’t do much in the town. Maggie

      Liked by 1 person

      • Completely true maggie, not just there is no need to go in fact the ones who feel already connected are themselves the tools, that they need to go within to evolve more and more.

        Here, in our culture even sleep can be a way to yog, to be aware at all times and it can be done.

        Of course, even for me if a temple is of some architectural brilliance or is known for its geometrical positioning, then i spend all my time walking, sitting, singing quietly.

        This is so wonderful, you travelled like travellers Maggie, so wonderful. I hope you took a dip in the Ganges then somewhere in Gangotri or Rishikesh! Of course, i would love to go to most churches of importance while travelling outside as well.


        • We didn’t swim, but did dip our hand in the water. Gangotri was too cold and Rishikesh, Haridwar and Varnasi seemed too spiritual since we’re not Hindu we thought it would be intruding. Although we did put a diya in the river at an Aarti in Rishikesh. Maggie


          • haha, maggie ! How can you think of feeling like an intruder. It might be a possibility in Varanasi Ganges becomes polluted due to overly human interaction but you would have loved a dip or two in Rishikesh at least. But still you carry a memory. A diya by the evening time.

            Delighted to read this from you.


  2. This series about Indian temples and the culture of Baharat is very apt being posted on the very day the 200 world’s leaders, including PM of India, gather in Glasgow to discuss how to save Earth from disastrous consequences of climate changes. The author’s influence by nature and his love for nature is very much linked with the Summit’s discussions and decisions.
    I think that author’s vivid style of writing added by his own films and photos will be popular all over the world, once in a book form.
    I do very much hope that the Summit provides the ways to save the problems we are facing, but also because the beautifully described the ancient temples and sides described by the author
    would be preserved not only for future generations but even for those ” yet to be born”.


    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Joanna. Yes, this meeting though shows some assertion, and thinking for the way ahead. You are right in saying this as this was certainly at the back of my mind. Even though i am highly sceptical for at least my country, as we are almost on the verge of war with China and a rouge nation like Pakistan on our East. Economically, Digitally and almost on field. We cannot let our guard down and this is what the west needs to understand. Its an uneven world. But i will only talk on my own behalf and i am certain to walk on the path that i have chosen or it has chosen me, i am yet to see.

      At the same time, i believe that it is Dharma that can carry all people’s baggage, fears, vulnerabilities. And it is this that can only lead human nature to one universal nature.


  3. I am not religious, but have visited quite a few very special places, such as the temple you mention and I always felt awe. Those places are deeply moving, most particularly the really ancient ones. Our species needs badly to get back to Nature. But I fear there are too many who are bewitched by money and “success”. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I am so lucky to be living in the country, but it wasn’t easy to make the move happen. I just knew I had to do it or lose my sanity. Sadly most of my friends thought I was mad and most of them would be bored stiff out here. Technology has taken possession of everything. Sometimes I despair, which is why blog like yours are so important.


  4. Fascinating, Narayan! I had no knowledge that the ancient Indian temples were not intended for prayer, but rather “like public charging places” for receiving the “strong field of energy” contained within the temple. I’ve always preferred praying outdoors among Nature than in a church or chapel. When I was a young Catholic nun, my former religious superiors did not approve of my spiritual preference.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And not just the then ancient temples Rosa, it is prevalent even today. Most of the families still come to only walk around and leave, may be their way of getting charged even today, infact most urban families do that.

      One thing that i can say dear Rosa between the faiths that developed in the East than the west was that here, the answers are only provided in the way of the means, we still have to work hard to attain it. Like finding answers within us, staying patient, silent, working mostly with the breath, and things around us. Nothing is given, well at least not the commandments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on My Poems and commented:
    I feel this post is very much relevant to revise our thoughts back for our spiritual wellbeing and healthy and energetic life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. KK says

    This paragraph stood out fro me…
    “But today we have started building our temples just the way we build our shopping complexes, probably for the same purpose”.
    So true. Such show-off defeats the very purpose of making a temple.


  7. Michael Graeme says

    Thank you, Narayan. I found this deeply interesting on many levels. The attention to the dimensions of the Hindu temples is something I was unaware of, that the aim is to amplify universal energies. The age of the most venerable of the temples is also quite humbling.

    I too have found that just to sit quietly, alone, in an ancient holy place can have a regenerative effect on the mind. I’ve also found that to attend a long religious service in the same place can have the opposite effect, and be mentally draining – perhaps because I don’t follow a particular tradition. I also draw a distinction between the religious and the spiritual life, and have found many superficially religious people strangely lacking in spiritual development. It’s very true that the material way of living isolates the mind from developing a more spiritual and connected life, and that it’s important a spiritual practice is adopted as a way of life in order to keep the worst influences of the material world at bay. From what I have read the Hindu tradition seems to achieve this very well.

    It sounds like a sign of the times though that modern temples are now, as you say, constructed in the same way as shopping malls. Hopefully enough people will stay connected to the traditional ideas though. Many of the malls in England are now struggling as temples to commerce, as shopping moves online.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael, such a beautiful comment, made me so happy.

      One cannot be more right as you very ably put it so well about many superficially religious people strangely lacking in spritual development.

      Yes there are still few people, who are coming up, voicing, doing some wrongs right.

      I cannot thank you enough for your words and your plane of understanding is much deeper dear Michael.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello
    What happened?Until this morning ,you were my follower and now you are not anymore.
    This thing makes me very sorry because i m your follower and i follow you with pleasure.
    Did you accidently click the follow button 2 times?
    let me know,please!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Informative, but as a traveler I am sorry that India and other nations did not get their history correct in the way The God Who Is has revealed Himself in Jesus. Christ-followers are now being persecuted in “peaceful” countries because they refuse to believe the “religions” of their home countries. Very sad.
    Pray for the great nation of India, so many people with so many resources and so much hope for better lives. c.a.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Narayan Ji,
    Thank you so much for an excellent description of your experience at the Temple of 3000 years old. How much lucky you are, that is what I am thinking. At least I feel lucky and happy for knowing that you have gained knowledge and divine feelings that you have in those places, Temples with your Guruji. I am trying to send my mind over there with your description to see a glimpse of Deities.
    Such posts will create Awareness, true Awareness.
    Wish you and your family a very Happy Deepawali.
    My best regards to you.🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arun Ji, you yourself are a source of inspiration for all of us. It is just grace that is letting me visit these most important temples, because even though we call them temples in English but they only are truly ‘mandir’ i.e which is inside our mann, within.


      • It makes me so happy and makes me feel strong that i have support of people such as you. It is only a start for a long journey to revive the sleeping dharma, and in a way like it was never.

        Thank you again so much.
        Narayan x


      • Ekdom sahi kaha aapne 🙏😊
        Truly mandir is within.
        Now I am writing an essay on *Jivan Mukti* a great work by Vidyaranya Swami.
        Will share in few days.
        You will be very happy Narayan Ji.
        This concept is very unique.
        Best regards 😊🙏


  11. A very beautiful temple and a fascinating post, Naryan. I am awed by the beautiful architechture and ancient cultures of India. In the US, we have a few historic buildings, but most of them are still new by Indian standards.

    I am sorry that relations with India’s neighboring countries are so negative and threatening. I hope tensions ease, and the dust settles. We have warring factions here too, and it makes me very sad. A lot of it makes me angry as well, but I try not to dwell on angry thoughts.

    I look forward to future posts in this series. All the best! ❤


    • Dear Cheryl, i am kind of delighted to have you back here on Road to Nara again, also because you were the first of the people who supported me in my first months, hence your views are more valuable to me. Thank you.


    • O yes, the relations with Pak and China, well, no dear it is a never ending sad story for these two people than us as their mind is not just corrupted but cursed to not ever see in line. They will make sure things go for us and they will keep poking as they ever have since the partition and ever since H.H Dalai Lama took refuge here. There is no way but War to Peace.

      Let see. Yes, this series will be developed over next couple of years in a book form.
      Thank you once again Cheryl
      Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Delighted to read your fabulous expression. I’m amazed at how deeply you have thought about our temple. Nice penned. I have been enriched with the story you described. Thanks a lot for that and also for reading my post.


  13. Most divine feelings by reading your travel to Uttarakhand’s Temple and Batukashwer Temples.Most thrilled stories of decoits of Chambal but most having the divine feeling for Batukeshewer templs.those ruined temples were crying from many years but now they all are standing with fully glorified.🙏🙏🙏🙏 thanks for you sharing those all stories of ancient temples which are our important parts of our culture.Weldon,dear!!


  14. This is a most interesting post ,Narayan. I enjoyed getting an understanding of the purpose of your temples. The concept of the temple being an energy charging source makes sense. It is like walking into a giant Cathedral in Europe and feeling the energy it exudes. In the Christian faith some have stripped away all this as being a distraction and chose to focus primarily on God. In doing so they have lost the energy connections that an ornate building brings to their experience of worship.


    • These were earliest times. Even though there still are around some temples which are brimming, exuding tremendous energy but mostly like everywhere much of it is business. Like ofcourse anywhere in the world.
      Thanks Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

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