We look up at the soaring pyramid ceiling overhead. But we have to suppress our exclamations of amazement. After all, there are several people seated around us, deep in meditation, silent and motionless. But the sense of awe is difficult to subdue. After all, this is the world’s largest pyramid for meditation. And it is Asia’s largest pyramid for any purpose.
With a height of 101 ft and dimensions of 160 by 160 ft at the base, this imposing, slate-grey structure is at Pyramid Valley International, a spiritual centre on Kanakapura Road, reached after a 30 km-drive from Bangalore. We tiptoe out to see enormous sculptures and murals of the Buddha in reclining and seated positions and other motifs representing the five elements embellish the pillars and walls of this mammoth pyramid which can seat 5,000 people.
Called Maitreya Buddha Pyramid, it was conceived of as a centre for the practice and preaching of Anapanasati meditation and vegetarianism, we are told. The artwork influenced by the Ajanta-Ellora paintings and the Konark Sun Temple architecture, specifically its wheels. The centre is a team-effort by artist Chandra Nagi and sculptor B N Mishra, with architects and interior designers Neelesh Chopda of Pune and Bangalore’s Bharati Prem, besides landscaping artiste Veni Madhavi.
Every element of the architecture, interiors and landscape is carefully chosen to be thematic. So, even the gardens around and the colours used for the landscaping are all specially chosen for their spiritual compatibility and for enhancing inner harmony and peace, we are informed. Set up by the Pyramid Spiritual Trust (India) founded by Brahmarishi Patriji, this pyramid is the focal point in a 26-acre campus. There is also a 10,000-capacity amphitheatre, large dormitory and air-conditioned deluxe rooms for accommodation, 150-seater conference hall, semi-open dining room, and office rooms.
Trustee and Secretary-General, Indian Federation of Spiritual Scientists I V Reddy tells us Pyramid Valley was conceived as an international meditation centre for spiritual aspirants of any religion who are on a quest for self-development and the unlocking of their inner potential. “It is a non-cult, non-religion place. Anyone seeking inner peace and calm is welcome. We hope this will not only contribute to individual betterment but also to world harmony on a larger level.”
But why a pyramid for spiritual purposes? After all, one can meditate anywhere, at home, in a yoga class, aboard a plane or train, even under a tree! Reddy explains that a pyramid is a storehouse of cosmic energy. From ancient times, it has been recognised for its ability to preserve power and arrest/slow-down decay.
Anything perishable kept within a pyramid tends to stay unspoilt for long thanks to the preservation of its energy. Thus, decay or degradation is slowed down. This is the why ancient Egyptians built those famed pyramids to store the bodies or mummies of their rulers along with food, jewels and other belongings of the dead royalty.
To qualify as a pyramid, a structure needs certain specifications, explains Trustee, Director of Programmes, and the project engineer P S R K Prasad.
A perfect pyramid has a base which is a perfect square and whose sides are in perfect alignment with North, South, West and East directions. The angle of the four triangles (four sides), is 51 degrees and 51 minutes from the base. And this Maitreyi Buddha Pyramid meets all specifications, he adds.
Inspired by the Giza
The design is influenced by the famous Giza pyramid at Egypt and is built on the same design principles with a north-south orientation. We go inside the pyramid again to see the King’s Chamber located at the centre and at exactly one-third the height of the pyramid ie 34 ft tall. We ascend a spiral staircase with 60 steps which leads up to this circular spot, considered to be the site where the energies have the highest concentration, we are told. Here, 40 people can meditate at a time.
This enormous pyramid has a foundation of cement concrete and is a space-frame made of iron while 640 Himalayan quartz crystals are placed in all joints since quartz absorbs energy from the surroundings and distributes it.
Thus, the quartz amplifies the pyramid energy. Iron was chosen because it helps a structure of this kind to be executed quickly and with precision. Into the pyramid frame are fitted 44,000 cement tiles to form a beautiful mural depicting the five elements.
The north face of the pyramid has murals depicting air, the south depicts fire, the west represents the earth and the east, the element of water. The vast space inside the pyramid represents space, the fifth element.
Other aspects of Pyramid Valley are designed to enhance the look and feel of a tranquil spiritual centre.
Especially the water bodies---there is a large lake and several streams. There is a green cover of about 50 percent of the site area. All of which help keep the atmosphere as natural and green as possible to enhance the sense of serenity and closeness with nature, which are conducive to spirituality.