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Temple in Cambodia Raises Sacred Baha’i Symbol which Represents the Relationship between the God and Man

The Baha'i community witnessed this installation of the sacred symbol and offered prayers and devotions during the ceremony

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Baha'i Temple
Sacred Baha'i Symbol called Greatest Name. Wikimedia
  • A temple in Battambang, Cambodia has raised a sacred Baha’i symbol to the apex of its dome
  • The symbol is a representation of the relationship that exists between the God, its various manifestations as well as humans 
  • A prayer ceremony took place recently where the Baha’i community of Cambodia gathered to witness their first House of Worship/ Baha’i Temple in the local area

Battambang, August 23, 2017: A small community of Baha’i people gathered in a local temple in Battambang city of Cambodia. The community had gathered to celebrate their first local temple with a holy Baha’i symbol.

On August 20, the Baha’i temple in Battambang had installed a sacred Baha’i symbol on the apex of its dome. The symbol, known as the Greatest Name, was raised as high as 11.8 meters from the ground.

ALSO READ: Fragments of a shattered Faith: Bahá’í Community of Iran

The Greatest Name was drawn by Mishkin Qalam. It symbolizes the relationship between the God and fellow humans. An important milestone was marked as the symbol was installed in the temple.

From the Arabian Caligraphy comes the Greatest Name which comes from “Baha” or glory. The two identical stars in the symbol represent Baha’u’llah and Bab while the vertical line is a symbol of God diverging into various manifestations including human.

The Baha’i community witnessed this installation of the sacred symbol and offered prayers and devotions during the ceremony.

From the Shrine of Baha’u’llah’s sanctuary, the holy dust has been collected and stored in an ornamental box which Shoghi Effendi originally purchased. This box will reside within the campus of the House of Worship and will denote the pure bond between the Centre of Baha’i faith and the local temple.

The Baha’i Temple is also called the House of Worship. The Battambang House of Worship is planned to be inaugurated on the 1st September of this year. This House of Worship, which is the first in the local area, implies a new era of recognition and development for the Baha’i community.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Rituals Exist in All Cultures and they are Important

Rituals play a prominent role in every culture

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Religion
Ancient Indian Religion.

Hinduism is a practice, which is known for its rich rituals. From the Vedic ages, Hindus perform certain activities right from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they sleep. These activities may include, Pooja (worshipping lord) and Karya (Working), which integrate their culture. The events manifest a certain beauty, without which Hinduism is incomplete.

Different sects of Hindus worship different deities. Various Poojas are held for different festivities and occasions called the ‘Utsavas’. People during different festivals not just gather to worship the god, but also come together to celebrate life, with beautiful colours, clothes and delicious food. This itself proves that rituals manifest the beauty and celebration of life in Hinduism.

Meaning Of Rituals:

However, certain sections of the society have a preconceived notion about the rituals Hindus perform, which leads to them being called ‘superstitious’ or ‘overtly religious’. But is it fair to tag them? What is the meaning of the ritual? Ritual can be any activity which you perform. It is a way of communication. A teacher teaching his or her students can be a ritual. A mother feeding her baby is a ritual. Ritual is a generic term, which must not be linked with traditions, religion and beliefs? And, even if it is associated with these customs, then Hinduism should not be the only target. Every religion follows some beliefs. For example, a Muslim reading Namaz is a ritual; Christians visiting church on every Sunday is a ritual or Thanksgivings, when people have dinners with their friends and families. Hindus may have more rituals to act on than Muslims or Christians, but this gives no one the right to invalidate their belief. The rituals which Hindus perform don’t just have a connection with God, but also scientific reasons behind them. For example, Surya Namaskar is good for health as facing the light at that time of the day is good for your eyes, and makes you a morning person.

Also Read: Navratri 5th Day, The Tales That Speaks About Mother-Son Relationship

The reason why people not like rituals is due to their stifling and obligatory nature. Since our childhood, we have been asked to adhere to certain activities, and never taught the reason behind them. This develops disconnection towards them.

Benefits Of Rituals:

Rituals should be seen as art. We must not do it for the sake of doing it. We must sense its meaning like we sense the meaning of art. There is a side of these customs which we don’t want as well, but at the end of the day, they generate a sense of unity and belongingness. They bind you as a community. As long as we live as humans, these practices will have an integral role to play in our life, which can not be neglected.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.      Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya.

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Angkor Wat: History behind Cambodian Hindu temple

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Angkor Wat: World’s Largest Hindu Temple


In this article, we will discuss about the “History behind Angkor Wat Hindu Temple“, which is the world’s largest Hindu temple located in “Cambodia” – southeast asian nation.


 

Angkor Wat: Lost in the woods for over 400 years, the discovery of Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu monument literally shocked the world. Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s famous temple is a place full of still unexplored history, myth and legend.

Discovery & History of Angkor Wat – World’s Largest Hindu Temple

  • Angkor wat denotes Cambodia’s unwrapped mystery of civilization that for centuries looked like it never existed. The hidden temple was a stuff of legend until 1860 when a French naturalist, “Henri Mohout”  accidently came to that place during his expedition. He saw the ruins of Angkor Wat. But why did the civilization collapse? How did they make this sophisticated temple with no modern technologies? What must have happened?  It’s the high time to uncover these hidden secrets.
  • Angkor, the capital of last Cambodian empire was home to millions of people over 800 years ago. The powerful empire covered South East Asia including Vietnam, Bay of Bengal and North West China. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is among the wonders of the world. Even today, this world’s largest hundu temple or religious monument has a huge complex stretched at about 200 hectares of land. While entering the main temple a vast gate gives an impression that you have reached the temple, however, you realize that the main temple still is 400 yards away. The expansive nature of temple is seen to be believed.
  • Angkor Wat is also known as the city temple as it was surrounded by urban areas (long back before disappearing). When built,  it was dedicated to representing Hindu god, “Lord Vishnu”. There is a 213 feet high central tower(temple) encircled by 4 small towers representing Mount Meru, a celestial home of god based on Hindu mythology. It took 50,000 workers to build this extraordinary temple, that was completed in the year 1145.
  • This huge temple can be compared to Egyptian pyramids in the context of the strength. Compared to the construction of modern European temples which require almost 300 to 400 years, Angkor Wat was completed in only 32 years. How did they do? The answer to this question lies inside the temple. There is a carving in the main temple which gives clues to the mystery of building this huge temple without any modern technology. The story carved in the stones speaks: a lever used to push big stone blocks one over another to assemble it perfectly. This shows Angkor Wat was planned, assembled and then carved.
  • The surface of this masterpiece is covered with carvings that display the Hindu mythological stories originated in India. But how did the stories from India arrive in Cambodia? The answer is “Indian Traders”. The Indian traders travelling towards south-east Asia passed their religion, art and architecture to the local people of Cambodia. This way the traders were an important part of spreading Hindu culture in Cambodian Empire.
  • Archaeologists have used sophisticated aerial imaging techniques to look into the past of Cambodia. In 1994, NASA took the first image which shows Angkor Wat was huge and another recent satellite image show collection of hundreds of temples in the area. The modern technology has also thrown light on the extensive water management system of the Cambodian empire which existed those times. This shows the engineering marvels of Cambodians. They constructed rectangular reservoirs and water systems in such a way that the water from Kulen Mountain irrigates the farms resulting in a good harvest. It could have been the work of only advanced and skilled people.

History behind Cambodian Hindu temple
Wikimedia

How did the civilization collapse? Hard evidence points towards the failure of Water management system. But the debate is still going on. Surprisingly the temple was never abandoned, a group of Buddhist monks stayed there and aggressively worked to save the religious place for over centuries. This also gradually resulted in the transformation of a Hindu Temple into a Buddhist temple.

In 1992, Angkor Wat was listed as World Heritage site in danger. Subsequently, it was removed from the endangered list, to be included as a World Heritage site. France, Japan and China have helped  in temple restoration project. India’s archaeological department had also chipped in the 1980s. Currently,  German Apsara Conservation project is in place to save the sculptures carved on the stones. Due to the continuous efforts of UNESCO and other nations Angkor Wat has become a major tourist spot with over 2 million people visiting this place every year. (Inputs from Aakash Sinha)(image-Unesco)

Don’t miss articles:

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  2. Mahalakshmi Temple: Know the Story behind the 300-Year-Old Ancient Shrine.
  3. 13 Beautiful Ancient Temples in India showcase Architectural Brilliance.
  4. Ancient Hindu Temple Changu Narayan in Nepal Possesses Historical Significance.
  5. These 5 Ancient Temples are Believed to be the Oldest in India.

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Three reasons explaining the science behind temple visits

Various reasons explaining temple visits by Hindus. The coming generations are however not aware of them, unlike our ancestors.

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why we should visit temple
why we should visit temple
  • There are Scientific reasons behind visiting Temple.
  • These scientific reasons go beyond the limits of  ‘belief in God’.

Have You Ever Thought? Why do We Visit Temple?

Visiting Temple is a popular culture in the Hindu religion. However, the worshipers themselves are unaware of the real science & the benefits of behind the visiting temple, as they believe what is continuously being ingrained in their minds, the belief of taking blessings from the God. Their belief is not fallacious, but it tries to negate the scientific discipline behind it. This belief is more popular in the present generation, unlike our ancestors who were well versed with these explanations.

Scientific Reasons Why we should Visit Temple:

Paying visit to the temples are not only to get blessing but to get a calm and better mind set. The following 3 scientific reasons are the actual purpose of visiting the temple according to the Hindu script & you will understand, why we should visit temple often

  1. Moolasthanam

Idol
Moolasthanam

Many Hindu religion practitioners visiting a temple in the morning say that “prayer to God” gives them peace. Their statements have been proven true, as religious shrines are places known for attaining mental peace.  The structure of the temple is built after the idol is placed, which is at the pivotal point, known as the “Moolasthan” or the inner part of the temple. This is the point where Earth’s magnetic waves are extreme, which creates positive energy and builds a peaceful atmosphere. This one of the main scientific reasons why we should visit temple.

 

  1. Parikrama:

Parikrama
Devotee taking parikrama

Definition of Parikrama: Once we done praying, circling the inner sanctum of the temple where the deity resides is a a very common ritual in Hindu temples .This is called Parikrama or Pradakshina or Pradakshinam.

Science states that the parikrama we take while as part of our prayer to the God, helps us absorb all the positive energy present there. The parikrama should be taken in the clockwise direction. This one of the important reasons why we should visit temple.

Also Read:  Shradh Puja: Five Facts you should Know about Death Anniversary Ritual In Hinduism.

3. Visiting Temple Activates your sense organs

One can absorb the positive energy only when the five senses are activated. So, we should visit temple in order to activate our sense organs to absorb positive energy.

The Sense of Touch:

aarti
Taking Aarti

After the aarti, we move our hands over the camphor or diya and touch our eyes with it. The warmth activates the sense of touch.

The Sense of Smell:

The items kept around the worshiping area like the flowers, camphor incense sticks, create a strong essence and activate the sense of smell. Flowers like marigold and rose petals offered the most have a strong fragrance.

Pooja material
Pooja ingredients

The Sense of Sight:

Worshippers close their eyes while praying and once they open them, they see the camphor lit in the Moolsthan, the only light seen in dark, which activates their sense of sight. The Moolsthan is a dark place.

Prayers
People worshipping

The Sense of Hearing:

Bells
Worshiper ringing temple bell

The bells emit a sound creating unity in the right and left portions of the brain; the sound emitted lasts for at least 7 seconds in the form of an echo. These 7 seconds are enough to activate the seven healing chakras in the body.

The Sense of Taste:

copper vessel
copper vessel

Ayurveda states that Charnamrut given to us helps in balancing the three doshas- Vata, Pitta, Kapha, as it is kept in a copper vessel. Charnamrut is a liquid prasad made of curd, milk and ghee. It also activates the sense of taste.

Three reasons explaining the scientific reasons as why we should visit temple Click To Tweet

The people living in the ancient times were well aware of these reasons, and that is how they lead their lives. However, the strict impositions of ‘belief in God’ put on people to worship have kept them away from these scientific disciplines.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  Twitter @ImMeghaacharya


Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.

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