If God is Everywhere, why do we need temples? By Vivekananda and Swami Mukunanda

One question may arise in your mind that if God is everywhere, why do we need temples? So here I am going to answer this question by a story. Now Let’s read it.

If God is Everywhere, why do we need temples? Swami Vivekananda’s Answer

One pleasant morning, out of curiosity, a visitor asked Swami Vivekananda, “Why do we go to temples and worship idols when God is everywhere? From water to light, human to an animal, if he is everywhere, is there a point of going to temple seeking for divine energy when it’s all around?”

Swami Ji smiled back and offered to answer his question in the evening. The person turned up later that evening but was late.

Must ReadPower of Bhakti (Devotion)

Swami Ji asked him that why was he late? The person said, “The air in my car tires seems to have reduced, and I couldn’t find any air pumps to refill them.”

Swami Ji instantly asked him why he didn’t open the tires’ valve and filled it with the limitless air around.

The person answered, “How can I do that? We need an air pump to push the air into the tires, so it goes inside.”

Swami Vivekananda said, “It seems the situation of your tires has answered your previous question.”

“Despite having limitless air around you, you need a pump to concentrate the air and push it into the tire. Similarly, temples are centers of concentrated positive energies, and the atmosphere within the temple influences the atmosphere within the person towards positivity and faith as well. Air is everywhere, but you do need a fan to feel it.”

So, my dear friends, God is everywhere; we need a pure mind and a pure place to worship, seek divine energy and positivity, and go to temples.  

Why we have so many temples when God is everywhere

Questioner– My question is, since childhood it has been inculcated in us to go to the temple on special occasions and events. We have a temple in our home, what is the importance of going to the temple when there is a temple at home?

Swamiji : There are certain spiritual practices and certain religious practices, cultural practices.

If we do away completely with religious tradition and culture, than what we have left is is only spirituality.

By the principles of spirituality you don’t even need a temple at home, because God is inside your heart, right?

But the problem is that if you say God is in my heart, I don’t need any temples that’s a very elevated principal.

And if you are really not there, if you are are not actually realizing the presence of God inside, then you will be left with nothing at all.

So, the religious traditions, the cultural practices, give us something simple. They give us a step to fall back on. And that is why going to the temple is one such tradition.

When you go to the temple, you first of all take off your shoes, you create the feeling that you are entering the house of God.

The devotional sentiments starts getting cultivated from there. And then when you go before the Lord, you bow down.

Now that bowing down, humbling of the ego is purifying to us. It’s nurturing our spiritual sentiments. And then, unless we are gross atheists, we try and see the presence of the Lord in that deity, right?

So for the little time we feel connected with the Lord and then we offer our prayers.

So, to some extent we have nourished our devotion. The temple serves as the center of a a god conscious Society.

In history great kings, they build they built their Kingdoms around the presiding deities of the kingdom. That was the tradition of land.

If you see the city of Jaipur, it is all all built around around Radha Govind ji temple. King Man Singh, he had built the temples such in the morning moment he would get out of his room, he could immediately have Darshan of Govind Ji.

So this feeling that the Lord is the center of our kingdom was nurtured in the people. It became a support system for the culture.

It became a place where everybody would congregate to strengthen their roots, their values.

So religious traditions, cultural practices are are extremely important in society. But should not restrict ourselves to that much.

When you go to a temple you try and connect with God. Try and make space for him in your heart, and then when you leave the temple, try and see the whole world has as the temple God.

Thank you for being with me.

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