Symbolism behind a temple

Symbolism behind a temple

In a remarkable discourse delivered recently in London, Sadguru Murali Krishna, (now widely recognised as Sadguru Sri Sharavana Baba) provided a refreshingly different perspective on the meaning of a temple. Such a definition is not to be encountered in any of our scriptures or in the writings of any spiritual master and yet it is an astonishingly original interpretation of the symbolism behind a temple in Sanatana Dharma or the eternal religion.

“A temple,” said Sadguru Murali Krishna, “is a living personification of respect. If you give respect to the temple, all those present in the temple will respect you. Even if a robber comes to the temple with a genuine desire in his heart to change or mend his ways, it is your duty to help him. This is indeed the purpose of the temple: to create, nurture and sustain respect.”

“The distinguishing characteristic of the relationship between Lord Krishna and Sudama,” said Swamiji, “was their mutual respect for each other. Their relationship was a temple that cemented the respect they had for each other. To go from the bottom to the top is courage. To go from the top to the bottom is degrading.

Selfless service to spiritual masters is invaluable and precious. Consume the Vedas! They are the best medicine!”

Respect for the other is at the heart of all spirituality. We go to the temple to pray to our inner Self. The body is the temple. There is no place where the Self is not. It therefore follows that we must treat the entire universe as we treat a temple.

Training is an essential pre-requisite: “This world can be successfully negotiated only through training. Training is essential. In the times we live in, the ego rules the world. We are obsessed by feelings like I am big and it is my will that counts.

However, what is needed is meditation, penance, prayer and worship. It is through the pursuit of these four activities that we can develop the strength to engage the world. Know this to be the truth.”

“We must continuously create good. Unfortunately today the world does not know how to recognize the full stop. Let there be a lot of good in the universe. We must first gather the ingredients and then mix it in the proper proportion. We must then cook them and only then can the payasam or sweet porridge be made. If you have mastered the art of cooking, then you can master the way you can lead your life.”