Experience of Indian temples is difficult to explain and describe- they need to be seen and felt. The richness of the culture and spiritual life and the symbolism of the rituals evoke a unique mix of peace and fascination. For me it started as a sort of a fairytale-ish experience and with time evolved into something that goes beyond words- a special feeling of going back home, feeling safe and becoming very very still.
There are different types of temples and deities that are being honored and with time I discovered the ones closest to my heart. Without a doubt, these are the temples in remote villages in Kerala.
They are small, intimate and strikingly different than the mega-temples in the big cities. Very often they are not located in the heart of the village, but in outskirts, where you feel inexplicably united with nature.
The rituals (pujas) take place early in the morning or in the evening. The evenings are special for me. First it’s the preparation- the temple rules are that you are clean, presentable and decently dressed. Then it`s the ritual- the candles, bells, music, the richly decorated deities.. it`s a symphony for the senses, a story told without words, rich food for your imagination.
At one point it comes to an end- and only the silence is left. You`ve just participated in the ritual and paid your respects to the deity – not just to the idol – Ganesa, Krishna, Shiva, Karthikeyan or whichever it is but most importantly – to the deity in yourself. You`ve felt the connection with the light, sound and nature. And you know that everything will be just fine.
It`s not just a temple that you`ve visited. It is a visit to your soul.