We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

28 March 2007

Hindu Temple, Preston

While in Preston, we paid a visit to the Hindu Temple, very different to the one my son visited with his school, in Bradford. This temple is a dedicated facility, whereas the one in Bradford, I believe was part of a community centre. Unfortunately a special service was going on at our visit, and we could not actually enter the temple itself.

The entrance, Prawesh Dwar, is the courtyard to the temple which features elaborately carved pillars of stone and a ceiling of intricate lotus flowers. Each pillar has a different story to tell, representing the four cardinal beliefs of Hinduism. The first being Dharma, which has many meanings, but is referred to here as 'duties'. This is the path to reach God by leading a disciplined life. All actions should be aimed at fulfilling one's Dharma- life purpose.

The second pillar represents Artha or material prosperity. This simply means obtaining the necessities of life. There are material things which are required to lead a worldly life. The need to earn money should be done through fair and honest means- right livlihood.

The third pillar represents Kama or enjoyment. This deals with the human desire to enjoy worldy life and material gains. The belief is that God gave us five senses and this body to enjoy the life we have, but it is also our duty to realise we cannot satisfy every desire in life, and therefore must have discipline.

The fourth and final pillar represents Moksha, or salvation. This is the ultimate objective of life, to gain freedom from worldy suffering- enlightenment as the Buddhist's put it. Birth follows and death and death follows birth and the cycle goes on. Hindu's believe we can escape this cycle of death and rebirth (reincarnation) through spiritual practice and training.

The Temple 'Guards' inside the building.

Outside, 'Aum'.

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