Path to Siva: A Catechism for Youth

60 What Is the Purpose of the Temple?§


Pilgrims have reached a remote all-granite siva temple in India. They look upon this as the home of God Siva, and they are able to draw nearer to His divine love & light in such a holy place.§


The temple is where we worship and commune with God and the Gods. Here, devotees are uplifted and receive the inner help they need to live a positive, fulfilling life. Temples are sacred for three reasons: they are constructed in a mystical manner, they are consecrated with special, complex rites, and thereafter continuous daily worship builds a holy force field. Our grand Saiva temples are like no other place on Earth. Some are more than 1,000 years old. Strict rules from the Agamas are followed to create such holy spaces where holiness, God, can reside. Devas, Gods and people work together to establish the temple and assure it will be used only for worship. Over the years, the power becomes strong, forming an invisible, glass-like bubble or shield around the temple. This keeps out gross vibrations and allows the heaven worlds to be strongly present. As you approach God’s home, you can feel the spiritual energy, and as you go inside you are engulfed in peace. Here the devas and Gods can easily hear your prayers. Here the ancient scriptures are chanted, the traditional rites knowingly performed. Here joyous festivals are celebrated and arduous pilgrimages concluded. At the high point of puja, as bells ring loudly and conches blow, the Deity sends rays of blessings through the enshrined image, or murti. Flooding your aura, this energy can erase worries, clear confusion and relieve sadness. Devotees leaving the temple feel inspired and lightened of burdens. Gurudeva explained that the stone or metal images are not mere symbols of the Gods. The image is the physical-plane form through which the God’s love, power and blessings flood forth into this world. The image is like a temporary physical body the God uses during temple ceremonies. The temple, God’s home, becomes a truly sacred place for us when we know that the Gods are real beings and the purpose of going to the temple is to experience their blessings.§


GURUDEVA: A Siva temple marks an agreement between God Siva and the people on the Earth as a meeting place where the three worlds can consciously commune.§