The Great Lord Dhanvantari Temple : A Living University : To India’s Scientific
Approach Behind Its Spiritual Traditions of Worship
How Can Statutes of Gods Give Us Blessings ?
I read this below story on a whatsapp chat and although it made some sense intellectually, sadly it uses occidental sense of logic to undermine the great Indian sacred heritage and traditions of worship. Most well educated, westernized Indian’s tend to degrade our great India’s core culture and traditions of worship because of the successful brainwash done by western intellectualism. We cannot think beyond logic or don’t even attempt to try and understand this great sacred heritage of India.
The Insensitive Whatsapp Paragraph : Father and daughter went to a temple. Suddenly daughter shouted after seeing the lions at the entrance of the temple : Run dad or those lions will eat us. Dad consoled her saying “they are just statues and won’t harm us. Daughter replied if those lion statues won’t harms us how could statues of God’s gives us blessings ? The father wrote in his diary I am still speechless of my child’s answer and have started searching for God in humans instead of statues. I did’t find God but I found humanity!
This is the way most global, secular, well-educated, intellectual Indians think. That India’s culture and tradition of idol worhsip is silly and lacks intelligence.
To clarify to all these fans of the occident, we find God’s in our statues, because these idols, (we call them idols and not statues) are ignited, consecrated through a very scientific process involving all the elements. Through this consecration process, the idol enlivens to radiate a specific energy field which is kept strengthened by a series of repeated scientific process which to the untrained, ignorant eye merely seems as basic rituals reflecting a certain religious context. How far away from truth can the anglicized intellect get, I wondered. In this sailor’s opinion, it is more of this God charge or shakti that pulls millions to a certain temple not a crazy immature mind belief that some statue will solve an Indian’s life problems. If a soul is tuned, it will be drawn to the shakti peeths its tuned to ! And depending on the openness of the soul to receive, that level of transformation begins. In India we tune in to shakti peeths, in the west as they tune in to nature, dance, beer filled happy hours, and so much else perhaps. One is what one tunes to.
I thank God that I chose to return to India from San Francisco because in India, I found both God and Guru. I found God in India’s temple idol of Lord Dhanvantari Temple in Coimbatore as also Chidambaram Temple in Tamil Nadu and Tirupathi Temple in Andhra Pradesh and i found God in human beings in form of “Gurus”s like my Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, my Mother and so many other spiritual realised souls.
Lord Dhanvantari : The Journey From An Idol, To A Nice Stranger, To A Friend, To A God
Over the last 10+ years, my family has been visiting an ayurvedic centre called Arya Vaidya Chikitsalyam in Tamil Nadu and the the Lord Dhanvantari Temple is a part of the ayurvedic center. Thus began a relationship that began superficially but evolved in many ways to become a big part of the heartbeat of this sailor’s life for last 10 years. This heartbeat began out of cordiality. My mother would make us sit with her in the temple complex as she performed various yagnas and we would feel holy and sacred. At the end of the yagna we would go into a main temple Lord Dhanvantari Temple for our customary darshan, do the same quick nod, sometimes a namaste depending on the degree of devotion and then move on. Lord Dhanvantari is the Indian God of Health.
Slowly but surely over the years my relationship with The Lord Dhanvantari grew from a stranger to an acquaintance, to a friend, to a best friend to a God Energy. As I continued my daily Sadhana (spiritual practices), I began to pick up the vibration of temples, which over time became increasingly palpable as also powerful. I started experiencing temples as powerful, holistic healing eco systems. When I walk into temples during my lowest moments, healing occurs automatically probably due to the scientific combination of all the 5 elements earth, fire, water, air and space enhanced beautifully by the fragrance of diyas (oil lamps), burning of camphor, vibrant colours of chandan, kumkum, adoration of the Gods by beautiful flowers and the air thick with reverberations of Sanskrit chanting.
How uplifting are the environments of our temples (those that are scientifically run) to a burdened mind and heart. This is the greatness of South Indian temples as these are the temples this sailor knows. If administered with a pure heart, scientific temperament along with the precision that they do here, at this great Dhanvantari shakti peeth, temples can create a vibratory field that not only heals but potentially can also accelerate evolution of consciousness.
Sometimes There is No Such Thing As A Coincidence
The testimony to my experience which added so much credibility to what I was going through happened in the year 2013. It appeared as though my body and soul had completely connected with this great reverberation of the main temple. I understood and began to see this temple as a massive shakti right at the center of the complex filled with doctors and patients moving around its circumference. The doctors were giving the treatments and the patients were receiving the healing as per their karmic situations. All this was fairly automated by the temple it seemed. The whole place exuded a great void like atmosphere, showing me the illusory, dreamlike nature of life and living. Life was just a place where we burnt our respective karmas nothing more.
2013 : An Unbelievable Lord Dhanvantari Miracle
As the kinship with Lord Dhanvantari built, an amazing coincidence beyond my wildest imagination occurred. As I was completing a Maha Mrityunjaya Yagna in the temple complex, I noticed my phone ringing. It was the Art of Living Teacher Coordinator from Mumbai. I could’nt take her call as I was in the temple. But she kept calling incessantly, so I finished my prayers and stepped out to call her back. Now is the great miracle : The coordinator asked if I would like to help lead the organization of the first Lord Dhanvantari Homa in Mumbai as an Art of Living teacher. I was taken aback and nearly fainted. When asked why was I picked over a 1000 other AOL teachers in Mumbai, she replied saying she didn’t know the reason and said maybe it was because she knew I liked doing homas and pujas.
Therein began the strengthening of my faith, respect and love for Lord Dhanvantari. Over the last 3 years we have had the privilege to work for the puja desk of the Art of Living, ‘Vaidic Dharma Sansthan’ for leading the Dhanvantari Homa in Mumbai at the Nath Gagangiri Ashram at Malabar Hill for 3 consecutive years.
Year 2017 : The Magic Continues
Like in my previous visits, 2017 saw me walk in to meet the God who had become my friend, the shoulder which I lean on during occasionally challenging times. Lord Dhanavantari of Coimbatore has become the focus of my devotion and in many ways my ‘isht devata’(Cherished Divinity). The meeting, as it sometimes happens when you meet someone deeply connected to you tends to have a particular anticipation to it. I was wondering of the various possibilities to how I might feel : normal, elated, slightly elated or even nothing at all and lo and behold within 5 minutes of walking in, I felt a cannonball of positive energy hit me.
My head started buzzing with this great trickle of energy, the nectar, the amrit (nectar) flowing from heavens along the various grooves of my brain. Standing in front of my beloved Lord Dhanvantari I felt a potent charge as if being surrounded by waves emitting out of potent ghee present all around. Slowly but surely it started enveloping me in its ecstasy and all the cells of my body started receiving this great, great charge.
19th July 2017 : Our Temples Are Great Protectors Against Malefic Planetary Movements
On this July morning I woke up in our cottage in the Dhanvantari Temple complex and I found that there was a slight tinge of aggression in my system which the morning sadhna of yoga, pranayama, kriya, dhyana, could not succeed entirely in cleansing. I wondered about it and quickly dropped it as I was in a hurry to leave for Chidambaram temple, which was nearly a 7 hour journey from the Lord Dhanvantari Temple. Before leaving I proceeded to the Lord Dhanvantari Temple to take the Lord’s blessings.
Whilst walking down the steps of our cottage, I felt the subtle body around my head and body were becoming increasingly totally mis-aligned with the subtle energy around my head moving to the right and the subtle energy around my body moving to the left hereby making walking a bit difficult. It seemed as if all planets, were beginning to ignite with some turbo charge and starting to move in a way seemingly threatening to clash with each other. As a meditator I have had this experience a few times where one actually feels that one’s planetary chart has got activated and all planets are highly energised and have started moving in a fairly chaotic manner, sometimes the planets seem to be in some kind of a crazy frenzy, and it feels and seems there will be a malefic collision. As a seasoned meditator, I continued my walk hurriedly towards the temple as I was really behind time and needed to leave for Chidambaram Temple as soon as possible. So I kept walking and just watched, and remained in the space consciousness tattva (field) watching the hailstorm of planets in my consciousness enrage, remaining super calm as experience had taught me to stay present, watchful and patient…all things move and change one merely has to wait it out, patience being a hallmark of a good sailor and a meditator. I also knew that July-August was a potent month with the shadow planets Rahu-Ketu transiting from July 27th till August 18th. I thought to myself maybe that’s causing this great churn.
I stood at the Lord Dhanvantari Temple first in line of darshan, with nobody in front of me other than the Lord, continuing to experience this planetary collision in my head and body. I stayed in front of the God and waited trying to open up to the grace of the reverberation of this great temple. I was feeling uneasy in the head, as if planets were going to start colliding and suddenly I found a great wash, I repeat I felt a great wash and suddenly all those planets melted away and I was left feeling serene and calm and crystal clear like a lake. It was unbelievable and I knew I had hooked on to the great Lord Dhanvantari reverberation and was full of gratitude to the temple priests and administrators who provided this eco system with their rituals and prayers for us citizens who visit these temples and if citizen’s are appropriately receptive and aligned through these temples can get cleansed of planetary doshas of past life karma’s.
I took my systematic pradakshina around the main temple and as customary I stopped at the photograph of Lord Dhanvantari and His consort at the back wall of the temple, a space which overlooks a beautiful blue clear sky and bamboo trees. I have always found the energy there pleasing and different and on this day to my utter amazement all sound stopped. Silence began. The void came forward and very gently swallowed me up. I had become a spaceball. A loud message rang in my ears which I cannot share but I was also told 3 times…. go spread love and peace. Go spread love and peace, go spread love and peace. I know it sounds all a fair bit of baloney but I felt this in every cell in my body. It was a cellular experience and not a mental thought form.
That’s when I had this great crystallisation that the temple provides the safety umbrella to deflect all planetary doshas and protect one’s body, mind and soul if one is open and aligned to it. It is perhaps no coincidence that during July of 2017 the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu will transit. The important Rahu-Ketu axis, by their transit and retrograde motion, affect all with their transits and elicit changes within the human person. During this period all is change in the body of time and space.
On searching the internet about the Rahu-Ketu transit I found this on the Sathya Sai related website,
The Atharva Veda gives the following mantra:
May we get welfare from the planets and Moon. May we get welfare from the Sun as well as Rahu
This sacred narrative helps us understand that the actions of shadow planets Rahu and Ketu are in fact loka sevanam, actions taken for our welfare on this our home planet, Bhumi Devi (Mother Earth). This action of the two shadow planets, causing eclipses, is in fact for our spiritual progress: what is dark must be brought out into the light. What is in our birth chart must be experience, we must do the seva indicated by the 6th house and serve with selfless love, nishkama karma; thus do we multiply love on the Earth as our service reaches the heart of the other, wherein resides as hrudaya vasi, Easwara in the form of God. Reading this I recalled the words I heard in my head at the Dhanvantari Temple - spread love and peace, spread love and peace, spread love and peace, the same message being reiterated a million times by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and I thought to myself seva saves all and even this Lord Dhanvantari Temple is driving home the same message.
It is This Sacred India Heritage Which Makes India the Mother Nation of Peace
It is this great scientific heritage of worship which keeps, India the mother nation of peace. It is these temples and traditions of India that keep this great land reverberating with peace thereby making India the rare nation of never having invaded or shown aggression to any living thing. India is a non-aggressive culture, being essentially a vegetarian culture and non-invasive. A culture with no self-aggrandizement proclaiming ‘this way is the only way’. There is no “way” in India. All ways are ways to God vibration. God is worshipped everywhere. In trees, homes, temples, animals, even cars and bullock carts are worshipped. Everything is worshipped. From parents to little girls, we honor, respect and show reverence everywhere. So what if there is chaos, long lines, and a bit of dirt and dust. This is Shiva country, not a country where spit and polish is needed to look good or feel good. Goodness is everywhere even in the dirt and chaos, in the fire and the ether.
The Guru Principle : India’s Ultimate Reverberation
My Mother Santosh Maa an embodiment of Shiva tattva and my Guru Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ignited this overly americanised sailor’s interest in Indian spiritual traditions of yagnas and worship. This great Lord Dhanvantari Temple has further strengthened this experience, and made me realise and respect and revere India’s great heritage and tradition. My beloved India and its sacred India heritage of temples, prayers, pujas, yoga, pranayama and meditation have made this sailor’s life sacred.
Of course the ultimate way to God realization is complete surrender to the Guru Tattva- the Guru Principle. As in India the Guru is above all. Above all temples. Above even God. I pray I can be of service to this great Guru Parampara tradition and the God vibration that the Lord Dhanvantari, India, my Mother and all my family’s Guru’s and my Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar represent.
Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya Dhanvantaraye |
Amrutakalsha Hastaye Sarva Maya Vinashanaya |
Trailokaya Naathaya Sri Maha Vishnave Namaha ||
If the reader wishes to visit The Lord Dhanvantari Temple, you need to reach Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India and reach the ayurvedic center The Arya Vidya Chikitsalayam.
With special thanks to :
Mr. Krishna Kumar JI, MD, Arya Vidya Chikitsalayam Trust,
The Trustees, administrators and priests of Lord Dhanvantari Temple,
The Eminent Doctor Raveendran of Arya Vidya Chikitsalayam Trust
Macrobiotic Nutritionist Shonali Sabherwal for introducing my family to this great Shakti Peeth.