Many people have asked me the need and purpose to build temples. Why temples are constructed and what is the idea behind it? If you ask me, a temple is a hole which lets you enter into space which is beyond the physical world. The five sense organs enable us to see what is physically present around us. Life, as we know it, is the physicality of the body, mind, emotions and life energies. We all see the physical existence of things, but if we look up, there seems to be a vast emptiness although even there the physical aspects like stars, moon and sun can be seen. A temple lets you create a space where the physical thins down and something which lies beyond it becomes visible to you. This is what we call the science of consecration which makes the physical less manifested and what lies beyond apparently becomes more clear and visible to you. Hence, we can put it like this that a temple is like a hole in the fabric of the physical where one could fall through easily and go beyond it.
In today’s modern day world, temples are constructed like shopping malls, using concrete and steel, because they have now become commercialized to attract visitors and earn money. But if we talk about ancient temples, they were created only for Shiva. It was only when people began focusing on immediate well being that other temples came up. Various other forms were thus created using this science, which were then used for overall benefit of the people in terms of health, wealth and well being. Different kinds of energies and different kinds of deities were created. For raising money, a particular form was used while for creating fear another form was built. All these temples have come up in the last 1100 to 1200 years but before that the country had no other temples apart from temples of Lord Shiva.
Shiva, which literally means ‘something which is not,’ the temples were therefore built for ‘that which is not.’ By ‘that which is’ we refer to physical manifestation of a thing. On the contrary, by ‘that which is not’ we refer to something which is beyond the physical. Hence, it can be rightly said that a temple is a hole through which we can enter into a space ‘which, physically, is not.’