“The living god is in me, so why should I go to a temple of brick and mud”? That was my response to my tantric teacher’s advice, over thirty five years ago, that I should regularly visit different temples. And he said, “So, the living god is in you then why you harm small and weak creatures (I used to be afraid of spiders as child) and why are you angry at your brother? Look around, read the paper, people are killing animals, people are killing people, abusing weak and poor – do you think these are signs of compassionate, kind and merciful ‘living’ god in us?” Yes, the One is present in all beings but we have not been touched by that oneness, and we have forgotten the journey we have to go through, so we can be touched by “living god” in our heart. The temples and all sacred places are reminder of that journey. All traditional temples or sacred places are built on same metaphorical image of living human being. We have physical, subtle and very subtle bodies that cover the deep sacred oneness in us. Traditional temples and holy houses have three gates and a passage that leads through those gates to the inner sanctum where a sacred image is lit by beautiful light and sound. Within us is a passage that leads from physical to subtle and very subtle body to the deepest core of our heart. We go to various sacred place and holy houses to remind us of the ‘living presence’ within us and to a take step forward in our journey within. The temple of brick and mud are not sacred in themselves but they remind us of sacredness within all of us. We go to temples, holy houses and sacred places to break away from our mundane and ordinary life and to find the way and to ascend towards the higher ground within ourselves so that we can be touched by the sacred luminous Oneness residing in deep core of our heart.
“There is a way between voice and presence, where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens; with wandering talk it closes.” ― Rumi