Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
I watched the movie Payanam again yesterday. There was a dialogue in that in which a person who is a believer asks one who is not: “What would people have done if not for God and temples?” Pat comes the reply, “They would have improved by thinking on their own and standing on their own legs.”
I disagree with this.
No one who said build a temple or worship God said don’t think on your own or not to stand on your own legs.
For one thing, temples have loads of science in them. They infuse cleanliness into people. It is a desperate need for today’s society. The medicinal effect of many idols, tulsi leaves, turmeric, vibhuthi etc are now well known.
Second, temples are great sources of energy for humans. Indian temples were not essentially built for worship and prayer, although now that seems to be the only purpose. Temples in ancient India were constructed based on a science called Aagama Shastra. Each part of the temple and the idols in it are constructed based on certain rules. When constructed in such fashion, they exude energy. Each temple has been constructed for a specific purpose – health, wealth, marriage, well- being, etc. The energy of the air flowing within the temples, the energy of the sun, the energy percolating through the walls and the floor, the sound energy emanating from the mantras are all harnessed and spread. Ideally, you are only supposed to go and sit in a temple and absorb that energy. If you are properly qualified, you may also contribute to the energy process by saying the right mantras in the right way. It is the best way of building positivity and remaining calm. This again is a frantic need of today’s society.
For more details, watch Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev explaining the same concept – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCatYnhgFko.
Let alone belief, science and other things. The temples of India are self-sustaining business models. There is a saying in Tamil – “Naadu ketta kovil kattu” which means, build a temple when your land is destroyed. How is going to help? In fact kings of yore including Rajaraja Chola I and Akbar have built temples to revive completely downtrodden economies. Not just in our country – everywhere in the world from Egypt to Sri Lanka to China to Greece, this has been the case.
The reason behind this is very simple.
When you build a temple, it provides work for many people. The masons, architects, sculptors, goldsmiths, those who make floors, sell granite, break rocks, everyone gets work. It basically gives hope to people that something is happening in the world and that we can be part of it. Once the construction is complete, the demand for flowers, fruits, coconuts, rice, vegetables, etc increases. Singers and artists get a chance to perform. The rich who come to the temple donate to causes like anna dhaanam, etc. Money in flow into the society increases. Trade flourishes. Society improves.
Because of belief, in order to be a beneficiary of the science, to be a part of the energy cycle, people keep coming to the temple. The revenue from the temple is used to maintain itself and the towns around it. It is the cleanest and purest possible a means of livelihood.
Destroying an existing temple is the same as destroying many livelihoods and by extension, many lives. This is why any invading army destroys the temples and libraries first. Examples range from Malik Kafur to The Taliban.
Not having temples in a society is akin to not having a means of livelihood and enrichment. Why all this? If not for Deepavali and Pongal, entire TNagar will see a shutdown. The Corporation of Chennai will have to stop all activities for lack of revenue. The poor will not be fed. Many small scale and unorganized sector workers will go jobless. Chaos and thievery will reign. Society will be destroyed.
Many people stupidly ask, “Isn’t thievery and chaos reigning with the temples?” Can one argue like this, “Indian Penal Code exists, Government exists, but still crime prevails. So why not do away with all Governments, IPC and all of that?” Some people act the way they want to regardless of the existence of temples or IPCs. Destroying the temples or doing away with IPC is not a solution to the problem. We all know what needs to be done; only we don’t do it.
Anyways, doing away with temples is certainly not a way to improvement. In fact, I feel that the temples of India and the lost science of India hold the key to betterment.