Sadhguru explains how a temple is a tool to make the divine more manifestly experience-able. He looks at how one can use this tool appropriately and talks of some of the phenomenal temples that have been built in the Indian subcontinent.
Sadhguru: What is a temple? Let’s understand this. Generally when we utter the word temple, immediately people are thinking of which religion? Now, if temple belongs to you or me or to a particular group, you cannot call it a temple. Temple is an invitation to the divine. If we can setup a space and the necessary tools, where divine is more manifest – not that it is not there everywhere – it’s just that more experiential. Right now, there are sound waves all over. There is sound waves everywhere, you…but you cannot hear it. You need a cellphone to catch the transmission, otherwise you can’t catch it. So we can say ‘A temple is a larger cell phone.’ You can’t talk, just to listen – one way cell phone. Is that okay? I always set it up… set up the temple in such a way that you can’t yap. (Laughter) Is that okay or you want to talk? If you want to listen to a dimension beyond, if you want to be receptive to that possibility, we can create a space like that – we can create a device or a tool like that. When I use the word ‘Tool’, there seems to be a certain sense of lack of reverence in me, but I particularly use the word ‘Tool.’ When I refer to the Dhyanalinga as a tool, people feel offended, “Sadhguru, don’t say that. In our experience, it’s everything. Don’t call it a tool.” I say, “It’s a tool” because the word tool means that which works. It is not a piece of art that you can just appreciate. It’s a tool because it works. If I… see, this just one screw in the door, if I ask you to unscrew it with your hands, can you do it? But if I give you a screwdriver, you can do that, isn’t it? Similarly, to open the doors of the beyond, there is a tool. With your own hands if you try to unscrew that simple screw in the… in the door, all your ten nails will go but still it’ll not come. Yes? You can try with your teeth. (Laughter) You know, people do. When they have no tools, they’ll try their hands. If it doesn’t work (Gestures), don’t you do? You may lose your teeth, still it may not come, but if you had a simple tool, how easily you could do it? So, this is a tool to open the doors to the beyond and I don’t think a tool is irreverential nor do I think a tool is insulting. A tool is a tremendous possibility, isn’t it? The significant development in human society has happened only when we started making tools, isn’t it? No?
Sadhguru: Why is it offensive if I say a temple is a tool? A temple is a tool. There’re different ways of using different tools. For this tool, you have to be in a certain mood because this is not a physical tool, you have to approach it in a certain way. So, that certain way may also include a certain level of reverence because that attitude is needed to be able to use that tool. So, it’s very important that it is understood and used as a tool – not as a destination, but just as a possibility. A temple is not a destination. A temple is only a doorway. A doorway is not a destination. A doorway is just a doorway – opens up something.