Temples have always had an important position in Hindu Dharma. Be it acharyas (teachers) gaining wisdom, Hindu kings worshiping the Lord to gain his blessing in order to counter enemy forces or invaders, or civilians turning into valiant soldiers to defend their temples and Dharma, most of the important incidents in the history of Hindu Dharma have occurred in temples. Our temples were not just places of worship but were also social centers where people united during festivals and rituals. Many welfare schemes were also present in our temples like free schools, hospitals, annadhana etc.
When the nation faced the danger of losing its cultural identity during invasions, temples ensured the preservation of the culture of Hindu Dharma. Temples even made Hindus unite under a single umbrella in order to protect them from invaders. Thus even when Hindus didn’t have any kingdoms or patronage of their own, they had temples to preserve their Dharma.
But ever since the advent of Europeans in this land, Hindus have adopted a western lifestyle. This has reduced the importance of temples in the lives of Hindus, thus reducing the number of Hindus visiting the temples. As a result, most of the temples now a days are under the control of government. This has not only reduced the welfare schemes which were earlier provided by the temples but has also messed up certain rituals which has resulted Hindus getting cut off from their Dharma.
For example, the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple has seen its Ayurvedic hospital being closed and many festivals and rituals being stopped citing the lack of visitors and funds as the reason. Most people today see temples as mere buildings instead of seeing them sacred places of worship or the abode of gods. Certain people even feel that there is a danger of temples being razed down citing the lack of participation of people, as the viewing of temples as mere buildings is increasing day by day among the elitists.
Hindu temples are our collective Jyotipunj, a collective of our spitual energy that nurtured Dharma. The more we visit temples and pray, the more we nurture Dharma. Our temples are also community places where Hindus met for collective welfare of Hindus.
#WalkToTemple is an initiative taken by certain Hindu twitter handles to ensure the regular participation of Hindus in day to day rituals of temples in order to counter the dangers which are currently looming over Hindus. The campaign took off instantly and became a huge hit, as large number of twitter users posted pictures of different temples along with tales of their history, asking Hindus to visit those temple. The campaign initially started with people speaking about the importance of temples. Some of the tweets which were posted in the initial part of the campaign are:
— Paanchajanya (@paanchajanyaa) June 9, 2017
— Hyrwa (@Tulsi_van) June 9, 2017
— Anjali George (@Kuvalayamala) June 9, 2017
— Tushara Cherkady (@RitambaraPrajna) June 9, 2017
Only way to prserve temples-big or small- visit daily even for few minutes–local community is impt for temples #walktotemple
— RVAIDYA (@rvaidya2000) June 9, 2017
Later people also started sharing the pictures of different temples, history and their experiences at those temples using the hashtag #WalkToTemple –
— Bharata (@Sarvadamana) June 9, 2017
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) June 10, 2017
— Puliyodharai (@puliyodharai) June 9, 2017
— Sarega (@sadhanak) June 9, 2017
— Sai Deepak J (@jsaideepak) June 10, 2017
— harsha (@kadekarHarsha) June 10, 2017
— Adithya Krishna (@adithyakollegal) June 10, 2017
We encourage all Hindus on social media to share their experience of visiting any temple, big or small, famous or ordinary, around the country or overseas, using the hashtag #WalkToTemple. If our temples flourish, so will Hindu Dharma.
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