A news report in Times of India says that the sanctum sanctorum (garbha gruha) of Meenakshi
of temple is being air conditioned. It is learnt from reliable sources connected with the temple that no such installation is being done in the garbha gruha. Madurai
The Chairman of the Temple Trust Board informs us that
“The old exsisting aircondition system in the Mahamandapam (not even the Artha Mandapam ) is bring modernized with installation of a new plant, There is no work being done in the Graphagraham at all !!”
We thank the Chairman for correcting the information. This is good news for everyone who has been led to conclude that the installation is to take place in the garbha graham.
Some thoughts on temple ambiance are discussed below:-
The Vigraha installed inside the garbha graha of a temple is considered to be the 5th and the last form of God, the others being
Para, Vyuha, Antharyaamin and Avatara. with vigraha installation are a later development that came into being with the decline in ability of people to get into communion with God mentally and through yogas. Temples
Vigrahas are special forms which are consecrated as per specific rules so that, the benefits of a communion with God can be easily obtained like drawing water from a pipe in the kitchen. The other forms of God require some practice or saadhana on the part of the devotee to achieve such a communion.
It is for this reason the temple structure comes with specifications and attendant rules. The obvious specification is the small structure of the garbha graha made of a certain type of granite stone and the subsequent rooms leading to the garbha gruha, also done with specifications. The number of persons to be present near the garbha gruha is limited by these specifications.
The deity is ‘hot’ by its constitution. The mantras and the power contained in them make it hot. It has been noticed that at the time of Kumbhabhishekam to the kalash on the
, sweat drops appear on the image of the deity in the garbha graha. This shows that Kumbhabhishekam ensures a kind of saturation so that the deity is fully ‘charged’. temple gopuram
Ardent devotees must excuse me for writing like this as they may see the usage of these words as objectionable. But I am no less a devotee and am keen on bringing to the notice of the reader the supreme science behind this. Lord Himself is Vigyaana personified. This vigyana was also known to ancient rishis who devised the methods of construction of temples and consecration of deities.
The deity is a kind of high energy concentration that the environs are always maintained cool. But using an air conditioner was not a way to ‘cool’ the deity. According to Varahamihira, any temple must be raised only on the banks of a perennial river or a stream or a tank or on the hill or near the hill.
The temple must be surrounded by flower gardens. Only in such places the Devas come and play. Such an environment will keep the temple cool on whose vimana, devas and rishis settle down to be with the Deity at all times. The naturally cool environment has provided the needed cooling effect for the Deity whose consecration makes it hot.
In addition, the garbha graha is always kept wet and cool. The abhishekams and garlands accentuate this effect. No electric light is allowed inside the garbha graha as it would give out heat radiation. Only oil lamps are allowed. The awareness in these lines has increased nowadays as we find many temples doing away with electric lamps in the garbha graha. Whatever heating happens, happens by means aradhana with lamp or camphor. (Nowadays camphor is avoided as it is found to emanate some chemicals.)
A research done by a group of College students also confirmed this cooling effect. The natural surroundings help in maintaining the cool environs in the temple. At times water will be filled around the main sanctum in summer to reduce the heat.
There have been times when the deity’s energy level increases and becomes very ‘hot’. In such instances, they are immersed in water. The image of “Athigiri varadar” at Kancheepuram is kept under the water of the temple tank and taken out only once in 40 years to have darshan for one mandala. (It is due in the year 2019).
The research by the students also showed that the small and short walls of the garbha graha and the adjoining room resonates the chanting of the mantras and the chanting by the devotees. All these add to the power of the temple in helping the devotee come out free of his worries and troubled thoughts.
Thus we have two issues – one of maintaining the natural cool environs of the garbha graha and the other of having the optimum level of resonance through the chantings near the garbha graha. The heavy rush of people and allowing more number of people than the optimum number result in heating up of the environment on the one hand and a non-optimal level of resonance created by the chanting (if at all done) by the large gathering of people. The Chanting of Govinda is a most common one, but a chanting by a very large gathering, compressed near the garbha graha is undesirable.
The remedy lies in regulating the number of people present in the sanctum to the optimum level (that can be worked out by the dimension of the area). The crowd must be regulated and not sent inside in large groups. The devotees must be educated that we have to maintain these norms for their good and the good of other devotees and the community.
The phenomenal rush of people to temples nowadays is to do with a wrong and misplaced notion of a kind of ‘barter’ that people think is what bhakthi is about. This is a different and difficult issue, but strict rules on movement of people within the sanctum must be followed to avoid heating and also unnatural ways of cooling.
A research on what happens inside a temple.
The following report is from ‘Indian Express’ published on
This is about the HR and CE stall at the Tourist Trade Fair held at Chennai then.
‘Teachers and students of Parasakthi College, Courtallam, through a set of experiments using laboratory gadgets, make a scientific interpretation of the chanting of slokas, abhisheka of the idol and offering of fruits and leaves. "
First it is explained how there is a proportionate configuration to the sanctum sanctorum and the idol it houses – the sanctorum is structured in such a way that the idol in it reflects any sound wave to the maximum effect.
A tuning fork is vibrated in the hall with little sound reproduction, but when it is struck and placed before the entrance of a small model sanctorum, a loud hum is heard. The forks invariably produce a sound resembling the chant "
The lecturer explained that among the various chants, "
Next it is explained how the presence of negative ions increases in moist condition rather in dry condition using a condenser to infer why the sanctum sanctorum is always kept moist by pouring water over the idol and washing it with water continuously. Similarly the conduction of the stone idol also increases when it is moist – this is demonstrated by comparing the conductivity of dry granite and that of a wet idol.
The materials used for the abhisheka of the idol increases the conductivity of the stone through their own pH values. pH value of a substance is the negative concentration of the ion it possesses. Most of the materials used for abhisheka – milk, curd, sandalpaste, turmeric powder, vermilion powder, vibuthi have high pH values, a simple chemical experiment shows. And when they are poured over the idol they increase the conductivity of the idol, also ionizing it.
A resistance reading on the ohmmeter of the idol after these elements have been poured shows the increased conductivity of the idol. The chanting of the mantras and the more frequent "
The lighting of camphor during the deeparadhna displaces the air, which is partially charged with ions, and the devotees inside the sanctum inhale these ions. These negative ions have the physiological function of fixing oxygen with hemoglobin in the blood, the lecturer explained. They are concentrated on beach shores and mountaintops in the early morning, which explains doctor’s advice to heart patients for early morning beach walks.
In the final inference, it is explained, a devotee’s presence in the sanctum during abhisheka helps his system induct more negative ions than he usually inhales. A visit to the temple is a good substitute for morning walk, the lecturer explained, and a tonic for good health.
But with temples becoming overcrowded, it would not be a wonder if these negative ions are submerged by the excessive carbon dioxide exhaled in the packed sanctum which is meant to house only ten people at a time. Similarly the chanting of "
(end of the news report)