We are aware of screen savers and wall papers on smart phones or computer screens. Some common ones include pictures of: loving family, beautiful nature, man-made wonders, motivational quotes, inspirational leaders or sportsmen etc. We also use beautiful paintings of God, or photos of Deities from authentic temples. Not only on electronic screens, but also as wall décor in our homes and offices.

Why do we use these? Because they are beautiful in appearance, have unique and superior characteristics. They keep us motivated, happy and energetic.

Among these sources of inspiration, what is the best one?

Well, we may have different taste. But, the root cause of the entire existence has all the characteristics that the nature and the millions of species (including human beings) possess. That is why, the root cause of the existence, whom we refer to as God is the best inspiration and permanent source of happiness. All other sources of inspiration are also good when we understand that the source of all beauty, wisdom or adept abilities is God.

Temples teach us THIS great truth in various ways. That is why our sages and acharyas have recommended a God-centric society, a society that looks up to God and leads life accordingly!

1000 years ago, Ramanujacharya re-established this system of raising above the differences in society (religion, caste, creed, colour, gender etc) and making temple the one place where everyone is taught to be seen as equals. No matter if it is the President of a nation or a pauper on a street, both bow down to the lotus feet of God, right?! Temples remind us everyday that all are equal in the eyes of God and we all hail from a common source. This enables one to support each other just like family members do!

During an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji in 2016, He asked Swamiji: ‘If Ramanujacharya has taken such a great initiative, why are we still suffering from fights over communal differences?’

Swamiji’s response: It was 1000 years ago that Ramanujacharya worked on re-establishing such system. The system worked great for about 750 years! After that, the British invasion and most importantly the introduction of education system by Macaulay has changed the way people thought. It made our older generations believe that whatever came from the west is better. That was also the intent of their system of  education (after all, they needed us to work for their benefit). The focus on luxurious life style (which gave more importance to money, pride and beauty OVER values) has crept into our society. Unfortunately, this thinned down the command on our Vedic wisdom for many generations. It is high time that we understand the greatness of ancient wisdom and play our role in reviving it.

A temple keeps the society alive focusing on the goal of life, source of existence,playing dramas depicting history, importance of ethical values, and more. In olden days: dance, music, pottery, painting, sculpting etc were taught in temples and were presented to the society, glorifying the greatness of God and our role. Our scriptures taught us about the self, nature and God very vividly. This preserved the joy of togetherness. Remember, the differences in caste and creed etc existed even then – just like the differences between each family member, but they all collectively worked for a higher purpose!

The Venkateswara Swami temple, (అపురూప వేంకటేశ్వర స్వామి ఆలయం) at Nizamabad today is beautifully bringing this tradition back into reality. Through a team called, ‘celebrations of temple (గుడి సంబరాలు)’ the temple has become the centre of performing arts depicting the history and culture as recorded in historical Vedic scriptures! It’s been 7 years since the Deity has been consecrated in this space. It has nicely evolved since then with a designated space for serving free sattvic food and many other services to the society.

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– 21st Feb 2019, Nizamabad