Monday, April 9, 2018

Reclaim Temples – An initiative to reclaim and revive our Identity

Preface ...


Bhārata was once known as land of ancient civilization and a land of wisdom. Our saṃskriti was the best amongst all as it was the reflection of the eternal divinity, which is the truth, uncorrupted, untouched, bliss and peace itself.

Great mantra-dṛṣṭā ṛṣi-s (rishis) experienced truth as a flash in their heart and revealed them in a way that could be understood, digested and implemented by people of all walks of life. Our śāstra-s were revealed in this way. Since truth is eternal and was present at all times, even before the creation, during creation and will remain after destruction of creation, our śāstra-s too are reflection of this eternal truth. They teach us a way to reach and abide in the eternal truth which is sat-chit-ānanda. Our śāstra-s are collection of experience of innumerable ṛṣi-s (rishis) since time immemorial.

Veda-s are said to be the mother of all śāstra-s. They cover karma-kāṇḍa, upāsanā, bhakti and jñāna kāṇdā. They are multi coded to reflect many dimensions in one small sloka. There is also a yōgīka or tāntika interpretation of all śāstra-s. While Jñāna is the logic with the strong foundation of bhakti and karma, yōga is of meditative nature and is science behind everything. Our śāstra-s take into account all panchakośa-s (5 bodies) into account, think of nourishing all of them, and strengthening them. Any rules or regulations are out to be understood by taking into account all 5 bodies into account.

Not all are capable to live a purely spiritual life and only work to the extend that is just enough for survival. We all are born with some dis-satisfied desires and along with walking on the path to moksha, we must develop a strong dhārmika foundation, then earn fairly by staying within limits of dharma, then enjoy our life and fulfill our desires using fairly earned money. Last comes moksha which is freedom from cycle of birth and death. It is eternal freedom and abide in Self, to be truth.

Since most of us do not walk on the difficult path of sanyāsa (renunciation), ṛṣi-s (rishis) created a system which not only was practically applicable but would nourish all five bodies. They also saw our dependence on nature and natural forces. They taught us not to take them for granted by always use the natural resources with utmost gratitude. The result was a path that was in harmony with nature along with strengthening panchakośa-s.

Importance and need of Temples ...

Temple worship is relevant to masses. Temples are constructed in such a way that spiritual energy will be attracted at one place. The result will be that all those who worship with devotion at that place will receive boost in spiritual energy in proportion to their depth of devotion. In order to create reverence, gratitude and devotion towards any form of Īśvara, we have purāṇa-s and itihāsa-s (Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata) which teach the essence of veda-s in a friendly manner. Our mind is naturally attracted towards form and so they describe beautiful form of Īśvara, sing their stuti-s (glories) and have stotra-s (hynms) dedicated to any deity. Many glorious attribute of Īśvara can easily be imagined in a form of Īśvara than trying to visualize them in formless Īśvara. A form always has a name. It is easy to focus mind on form by chanting it's name, mantra and singing glories of Īśṭa devatā. Then we have devi- devatā-s (demi-gods) who are higher race than us, humans. They too are revered. Celestials and mortals help each other and maintain balance and harmony in this world. Temples and the nearby land is a place were masses can gather and perform rites and rituals for good of all. Praying in masses has great effect and the vibrations spread far and wide.

Our temples are integrated with our culture which originated from veda-s. Our śāstra-s, be it upaniṣad-s or itihāsa or purāṇa-s, they shape our thinking right from mother’s womb till the antyesṭhi saṃskāra-s i.e. post death procedure). In other words, they shape our thinking and so our character. They make us what we are today. They are the reason for our existence. Without them we would not be what we are. They are our identity. Abrahmic religions and so cultures do not have concept of jivan-mukti, moksha, guru and many other concepts that we see in dhārmika traditions. So their mind is not conditioned to think about these concepts. So their wasy of thinking and so their identity is culturally different. They have a concept of R.I.P. which is not there in our tradition but we pray for sadgati until a jīva gets moksha which is eternal peace itself.

Simply put, we owe our identity and our spiritual heritage and so the unique knowledge of panchakośa-s (5 bodies) to our śāstra-s. Temple worship is an integral part that is deeply rooted in our culture.

The current state ...

Our great ancient ṛṣi-s (rishis) foresaw many things and taught us and protected and passed on this glorious culture from generation to generation and it still exists today after thousands of years. But since last 1000 years there were too many attacks on our culture. The result was destruction of temples and the deities.

In independent India, we expect to reclaim our ancient heritage. However Britishers taught and passed on the divide and rule policy and the distorted history to make us feel inferior to their western culture. Nehruvian-communist Historians, in order to achieve their vested interest never wanted us to know our true culture. Sadly, we are taught wrong, distorted history even in independent India.

Time to Reclaim Our Heritage, Reclaim and Revive Temples ...

There are many things that need to be done like protecting our veda-s with pāṭha-bhedha (chanting method), our purāṇa-s and other śāstra-s. In order to revive the culture, history has to be re-written along with refuting false claims and anti-hindu narrative by communist historians.

On of the important aspect that needs to be reclaimed which will reinstate pride and self-respect amongst us is to reclaim our temples. #ReclaimTemples project is one such initiative started by Girish Bharadwaja and other Dharmik warriors in Karnataka. They took the lead and started organising the local Hindu community to revive the Hindu temples now lying abandoned and in ruins. The sincerity of their efforts saw people joining the project and leading from the front. #SundayForDharma campaign where every Hindu is asked to devote atleast one Sunday for Shramdāna and revival of ancestral temples in their locality is being embraced by people from all walks of life. The result is for all to see, as people started working for Dharma beyond the narrow confines of caste or organizational identities.

The revival of Hindu temples is happening
at never seen before pace, and two ancient Hindu temples were reclaimed and revived in less than 2 months.

This initiative is spreading to other parts of Bhārata. In Mallapuram, which is muslim dominated area, often controlled by radical Muslims, also saw some temples being reclaimed. Revival in Mallapuram is laudable effort by self-motivated groups.

Still there is a lot of work to be done. It is estimated that around 70,000 Hindu Heritage monuments exist in Karnataka alone. And needless to say the State Archeology Department and Archaeological Survey of India is ill equipped to preserve them, leave alone renovate them. It is estimated that around 2,00,000 (two lakh) Hindu Heritage sites remain abandoned across Bharat. Many of these sites don't exists in official records, and there is no clue in official records of its history.

Unfortunately, temples are Government controlled. All funds are diverted out of temples to fulfill vested interest of Govt Officials, politicians and Communo-Chrislamist lobbies.

Some blame is to be on Hindus who also mis-manage temple funds. Corruption is found in temple management commities, trusts and even ashrams. This needs to be corrected. However, corurpted is present in churches and Mosques too but Govt is not taking control of them. Hence it is humble request to donate less to temples and more to priests and support staff.

It is left to us to revive and reclaim our temples. In order to do so, there is a need to create local groups for better coordination. A committee of local Hindu society may be formed for upkeep and maintenance of the Heritage ruins. The main activity involves forming a team of committed individuals in your locality and leading the cleaning up and conservation efforts of Heritage Hindu temples. 

Spread the word ...

Secondly, awareness campains are needed so that like minded people can contribute to the initiative. It is always good to spread the word. As they say let us ‘Rebuild Bharatvarsha’

#ReclaimTemples has started fund-raiser to strengthen the #ReclaimTemples movement and actively intervene in various issues on ground. The objective is to create volunteers, capabilities in every district to protect and revive our Heritage sites.


contact [at] 

Those who are interested to know more about this initiative please visit following links and follow twitter handle @ReclaimTemples

Hari OM

Note: Excerpts taken with kind permission of admin of from Reclaim Temples website.

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