[Advaita-l] Jagadguru Speaks: Visit Temples, Undertake Pilgrimages

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 2 18:42:37 EDT 2022

(Around the beginning of the month, a nugget of Wisdom from the Jagadguru may be posted
on the Chaturamnaya list : http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/chaturamnaya )
There are many aspects to be noted as priorities in a man's
life. Most important amongst them is worshipping God in
temples and undertaking pilgrimages. One can understand
the importance of this from the Sastras and our forefathers.
But some people, out of their lack of understanding,
consider pilgrimage and temple worship as an unnecessary
waste of time. They question thus, “When God is
omnipresent and eternal, why do we need temples at all.”
The understanding here must be as follows.
There is no doubt regarding the omnipresence of God. He is
all-knowing and His majesty is infinite. However, not all
people have the required competence to perceive Him
everywhere. Hence the need for temples and pilgrimages.
By visiting pilgrim centres like Kasi and Ramesvaram, one
feels connected to the moral values and special merits
mentioned in the scriptures. It is linking one's self with the
sacred place sanctified by the frequent yatra of saints. Mind
becomes pure, being away from the hustle and bustle of
daily routine, and a new life becomes highlighted in the
company of pious pilgrims.
In temples, God's murtis are consecrated in accordance
with the Sastras. God's special grace then becomes
manifest. Like a piece of iron acquiring magnetic properties
after remaining in the proximity of a magnet, the murti
sanctified by the divinity of the mantras used in the
consecration becomes divine.
A devotee can present all his problems to the all-knowing
by worshipping the murti. The Lord will bless him after
accepting all his prayers.
Thus, one should understand that God exists in temples as
well as everywhere else. His all-pervasiveness does not
become limited merely because we worship Him in
Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada lucidly explains this as
  yathA samastavasudhAdhipatirapi hi san.h
  ayodhyAdhipatiriti vyapadishyate .
The king ruling over the whole earth can be referred to as
the king of Ayodhya as well.
Hence, when a certain state of mind of a true devotee
catches a glimpse of Him in a temple, God though
omnipresent, becomes pleased with such worship and
showers His grace.
Until one acquires the competence to perceive God
everywhere, he is well advised to undertake pilgrimages
and visit temples and become the recipient of God's grace.
We bless everyone to understand this and lead a pious

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