Travelogue: Shiva Temple in the Village
Swamiji has often told us that many of the greatest places for worship are “Anjan”, which means they are unknown to most people (as opposed to being the famous places of pilgrimage).
Outside the main city of Varanasi, Swamiji took us to a Lord Shiva Temple in a rural village. It was a beautiful area of farms and open plains. Mother Ganga flowed peacefully in front of the uncrowded temple, shining beautifully in the midday sun.
It was quiet here, and one could feel Lord Shiva’s presence in the silence. It was far different from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Here, we first visited a Durga Mandir where we made an offering of the 32 Names of Durga. Then, we made our way to the temple for Lord Shiva.
The large Shiva Lingam was located inside a very small temple and raised on a beautiful Vedi. Led by Swamiji, we offered all the articles of worship to the Shiva Lingam.
Then, Swamiji asked the priest if it would be okay for us to chant there. The priest was delighted to see people coming to the temple to worship and gave us a special spot right outside the doorway to the Lingam.
We set up our equipment, music stands, and iPads and chanted the Shiva Sahasranam, with a great view of the Shiva Lingam through the doorway.
Even in this obscure village, we were able to broadcast the chanting around the world. It was a great blessing that the Devi Mandir family has made such good use of current technology such that we could be sitting so far from urban society and still share all of the love and worship with devotees around the world.
As we chanted, I noticed there was no disturbance – no long lines of people moving in and out. It was just Swamiji, the mantras, the divine vibrations from the sanskrit chanting, and the beauty of the Shiva Lingam.
I felt intense peace at this remote temple and afterwards, the group expressed to Swamiji that we actually enjoyed this temple a bit more than the crowded city temples as, this was a place for people who truly wanted to worship.
Swamiji agreed and explained that, in the days of his intense sadhana, he had always had a preference for the village temples. There, he had little disturbance and the priests were always delighted that he had come to worship God.