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.
: ँ :
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 road, before you coarse on your own 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To visit other long-term photographic works, you can visit here.