My father came to the UK to study, as did his father before him. He subsequently got a job and took home here in the UK. He worked long hours and saved to put a deposit on his first house in East London, and started a family with my mum.
I was born and brought up in London as was my sister who came along 6 years later. I am bilingual as I picked up my mother tongue Hindi and English. However English is actually my first language and the majority of the vocabulary in my spoken Hindi has been learnt from the Bollywood film industry. The VHS video was the rave in the 80’s, with every household plugging chunky tapes the size of a novel into their briefcase sized machines to watch up to three Bollywood movies a weekend and at least one every evening.
Recently I was invited to be part of a group, exploring the idea of a Hindu Temple in Aylesbury as a place of peace and worship for existing and future generations as well as the wider community.
I asked my teenage children about their thoughts on the subject; “ if I felt the need to pray, I will do so wherever I am at that moment in time”, however celebrating festivals – much more fun to be with friends and family in such a place. I also asked them what is it that they recall from their visits to temples? “You take off your shoes because they are considered dirty, ring a bell to let god know you are here, the priest then paints your forehead ( ‘Tikka’ ; a dot for women and more of a line for men ), a spoonful of blessed water, and sometimes sweets, putting money in the donation box and the singing of devotional songs (in a ‘foreign’ language); the best bit was the sweets of course!”
9 Scientific Reasons to go to a Hindu temple
If you have been to India or anywhere in the world as a tourist, there will almost certainly be a place of worship to visit on the itinerary if only to appreciate the beauty and tranquillity. They will always be at the top of the list of Man’s creations to see, whether it be Delhi, Venice or Istanbul.
Having no family in the UK, a trip to India was the only holidays my parents could afford and while we were there we would also visit tourist attractions and temples, but it is imperative to observe ‘Temple etiquette’ (‘When in Rome…’).
I decided to look into the meaning behind these rituals and, there is indeed a method in their madness. Researching and to my astonishment found scientific reasons for the rituals of Hindu temples stemming from vedic scriptures and felt I had to share them with anyone reading this, or just to impart more reasons to my children as to why a visit is good practice.
Scientific reasons why we should go to a Temple
1. Location of a temple
Temples are found where electric waves moving between the North and South poles are strong, – my assumption is that worship, chanting, meditation amplifies this positive energy and can be absorbed by attendees to the space. So they leave feeling uplifted and positive
2. Removal of footwear before entering a temple
Our ancient temples were built where the vibrations contain strong magnetic and electric fields. By walking bare feet in the temple one allows the positive vibrations to pass through our feet to the body. Hence it is necessary to walk bare footed while you enter the core centre of the temple”
Once there the Activation of our five senses
If all five senses are activated, ie hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste visitors can absorb the positive energy in the temple and feel good leaving positively charged.
3. Sounding the bell on entry – Sense Hearing The ringing of the bell not only alerts ones arrival at the temple, but the echo resonates in such a way that the sound activates the seven chakras of our body. This action also dispels negative energies from our bodies and leaves them at the entrance, where one can absorb the abundant positive energy to make us feel uplifted and positively charged
4. The lighting of the Diya (a lit cotton wick in ghee) – Sense Sight You usually close your eyes to pray, when you open your eyes and see the diya in front of the idol, this light seen inside the dark activates your sight sense
5. Taking grace from the diya (arti) flame – Sense Touch The prayer rituals end with Arti. Visitors will in turn approach temples idol (usually placed at the core of the temple where the vibrations are most powerful), thus all have the opportunity to be able to be in close proximity and absorb these powerful positive energy. These energies are made more powerful through collective chanting and one comes away feeling uplifted (aka blessed). The flame that is passed around at a temple, ensures the activation of the touch sense, warning, one is not to immerse your hand in the flame, rather you are encouraged to hover your hands over the flame, palms down, allowing them to absorb the warmth and then transfer that warmth to your face by placing palms over eye
6. Offerings of flowers to the high almighty – Sense Smell Fragrant flowers such as rose, jasmine and marigold, and incense sticks keep your smell sense active and pleasant giving calmness to the mind. Flowers not only fragrant they look beautiful and are pleasing to the eyes inciting admiration, they feel so so soft too. A perfect and pleasing offering to whomever you worship.
7. Drinking the blessed water – Sense Taste This water would normally have a few leaves of holy basil (Tulsi) added to it and stored in a copper vessel for at least eight hours. Did you know drinking from copper vessels have many health benefits too?
8. The bindi/tilak – The bindi (a dot for females – placed with the ring finger) or Tilak (a vertical line in an upward motion applied using the thumb) by the priest. This is the nerve point of a persons forehead between the eyebrows, and is considered to be the habitat of our third eye, aka major nerve point and the application of the coloured paste helps retain the energy of this focal point.
9. Offer sweets/fruits to high almighty
Traditionally Banana and Coconut are the only two fruits that are considered sacred, or good and pure enough to be worthy of the high almighty. That really intrigued me as to why only Coconuts and bananas. Is because these are the only two fruit that doesn’t grow from a seed. For example to grow an apple tree, one has to eat the apple to get to the seed, and therefore the seed has already been tainted before it can bear more fruits. This is not the case with coconuts and bananas
My kids were half right, footwear will bring in many impurities like dirt, germs and a source of negative energies which would be preferred to be kept away from positive environments, this ritual of taking shoes off is often extended to homes as well, and not just for the reason of keeping carpets clean or damaging polished wooden floors
Please do leave a comment if any of these scientific reasons enlighten you? Share with your children, family and friends. I would love to know more if you have anymore views