As we set out on our first walk around the outer prakaram Sashi invited us to open our senses to all that is around, to the sensation of stone on our feet and hands, to the chants, bells and other sounds resonating in the stone, to the visual beauty of the forms, the taste of the abhisheka waters and the smells of the puja items. So we did. The sculptures on each of the pillars were a delight; some depicting deities in recognisable scenes — Kothandarama, Kalinga narthana Krishna, and many others. Many were evocative of a feeling without my knowing context — bhakti, veeram, sringaram, vatsalyam, karunyam…. We walked around and there were beautiful altars for Murugan with his vEl, a tall and energising Hanuman reminding me of the “asAthya sAdaka swamin” shloka my grandmother used to teach us… the consort of Patteeswarar, the stunning bejewelled utsava moorthi’s. As these evocations and timeless stories played through my mind, there was a stopping of my own story that is usually with me. That everything is just that, a story. Among millions of others, repeated and whirling through life — the struggles, pain, joys, beauty get dissolved in the natural order of things but we are here because we are meant to be. I found the silencing of my own story via these to be the key to why I go to the temple.
This is my first temple walk with a group. I have enquired about the experience of such other temple walks with some of my friends who have been on such walks.The reviews were more like they got to know a little extra about the temple history etc. But our's was very meditative and a kind of fulfilling experience. I loved the fact that my kids were feeling involved and not left alone.
The whole experience left me feeling that the key for me is to learn how to transition between the inner and outer praharams of my life, without getting stuck in one, without holding on to one, but allow the beauty of the outside permeate inside and allowing the quietitude of the inside permeate outside. The whole process made me experience the potential of the temple as a space for many many possibilities. And I am looking forward to continue this exploration with temples in my life.
The temple walk was experiential. The way you all have designed the walk along with a light dose of wisdom from Sashi Maam gave me a divine experience. The way of connecting within by first walking around the temple and then approaching the garbhagriha was like taking a guided meditation. The peace, calmness and the energy I gained on that day prevailed for the next 2 days and I am hoping to make such visits periodically. I draw this motivation from your temple walk. Thank you very much for enabling me experience divinity.