Hinduism is a religion with numerous traditions and rituals. There are several practices from the Vedic age that are still in use in India. Entering temples barefoot is yet another customary practice among Hindus. Other religions and Japanese people also remove their footwear before they enter a holy place. Through this article, we will look into the significance of going to a temple barefoot.
Though the origin is unclear, it has been in practice for a long time. In ancient days, people did not have any footwear. However, a few people, who belonged to the upper class, used to wear footwear made from wood. They are known as wooden Kharaon in some parts of India. But, they removed this footwear before entering the temple. The apparent reason for removing the footwear is that it contains impurities and dust. When we wear the same footwear inside our house, temple, or any other holy places, it can cause the spreading of negative vitalities in that area.
Significance of going to a temple barefoot: A temple is auspicious. One has to respect its purity and honor it. We can ensure it by not taking impure substances into the temple premise. It is due to the same reason why we have to take baths and wear newly washed clothes while entering a temple. We wear footwear to protect our feet from the dust and other impurities present in the path. So, it is essential to remove our footwear when we step into the temple. It will be highly beneficial if we can wash our feet before entering the temple as well. Here are some of the main significances associated with going to a temple barefoot. They have both religious as well as scientific significance.
Religious significance: Temples are the residing places of divinity. We have to honor the divine entities while entering them. There are a plethora of significances associated with removing our footwear while entering a temple. They include:
1. Temples are places with sanctity. A devotee has to take care of its purity. When we enter a temple without footwear, we can easily connect with divine power. It is also a way of receiving blessings from the Gods and Goddesses.
2. Leather is a common substance used for manufacturing the soles of footwear. Leather is an impure substance as they come from dead animals. When we enter a temple by wearing footwear made from leather, it is equal to disrespecting the deity. One should not do that. It is for the same reason people have to remove leather belts and purses while entering a temple.
3. In most temples, their floor has turmeric, sandalwood, and sindoor. They are sources in enhancing our health as per Ayurveda. When we step into the temple floor without footwear, we can imbibe the benefits of these elements. They can aid in improving our physical and psychological well-being.
4. The construction of the temple also plays a crucial role in why people enter the temple barefoot. The location of the temple and its sanctum sanatorium is ideal for enhancing the flow of positive energy. When we step into the temple barefoot, our body can imbibe these positive vitalities. Temples also have the power to ward off negative energies. The positive energies enter our body through our feet. When we are wearing shoes, it obstructs the flow of energy to our body. So, when we enter the place barefoot, a direct channel for the flow of positive vitalities opens.
Scientific significance: Here are some of the scientific significances of not wearing footwear inside a temple.
1. Chakras play a crucial role in balancing the energy flow in our bodies. When we enter a temple without footwear, it helps to activate the Muladhara or the Root Chakra. Our Root Chakra has a close connection with the Earth. With our feet bare, we can enhance our association with our Mother Earth. It will help in removing the blockages from Chakra and improving the flow of energy through our body.
2. Temples are places that offer us peace of mind. When we enter barefoot, the positive energy enters into our body through our feet. It helps in keeping our mind calm. We can perform meditation and other such practices while in a temple. By establishing a connection with the surrounding positive energies, we can improve our focus and concentration. It is an excellent way to evade stress and provide relaxation to a disturbed mind.
3. A temple has cosmic energy present in its premise. It is due to the continuous prayers, worshipping, and chanting of mantras. It is also due to the presence of divine thoughts. These energies can bring a change to our bodies. It is because our bodies are conductors of energy. We can absorb these energies and transfer them through our bodies only after they enter through the feet.
4. When we enter the temple barefoot, it can provide us with a cooling effect.
These are some of the significances associated with entering a temple barefoot. It is a Hindu custom of great relevance. One has to practice it as a way of respecting and honoring the Gods and Goddess. It can also enhance our connection with the Ultimate consciousness or Brahman.