Toilets for India and Sharing Places for the West - 5 Sep 09
New York
United States of America

When we were talking yesterday, I also said that I don’t tell anybody how they should get in touch with God. Many people say their prayers with rituals, when they are in temple or church or only pray if they have a mala. I don’t say praying with a mala is wrong but I say that it is not the only way. You don’t need a mala for praying. And you don’t need a church for getting in touch with God.

My God is just love. There is not any figure or person attached with it. It doesn’t matter if you say He or She. It is just love. I don’t say that you shouldn’t go to a church or temple for praying. But I say that you don’t have to go there for praying. That is why I feel building temples is not very necessary. If in India you ask me about building temples, I would say, please make toilets. It will be good, many people don’t have that and it will be good for the environment, too.

And if you ask me here, in the West, I would say please create spaces or places where young people can come and share their emotions. This is what they are really missing. They cannot share and express and this brings many complications in life and brings them in situations in which their suppressed feelings explode. I think today’s youth would rather like to go into this kind of place than in any church or temple, when they are not going for worshipping but going for sharing.

This is what I believe is needed today and that is why I believe that it is not necessary to build churches and temples. And this is also what the aim of my life is: I want to create this kind of atmosphere and aura around us that people just feel comfortable and feel that they can approach me. Then they are not like followers who are far away. Then they can be friends and share love.

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Susan Goggans

    Pray that your heart is filled with a particularly strong love of and from God this weekend.

  2. Lady Magnolia

    Yes oh you are so funny

  3. Khen รักเจี๊ยบ

    I agree, swami. I got disenchanted seeing how people’s greed turning temples into a marketplace. I still think that at some point, temples should serve its purpose. It should be a centre of education rather than only for worship. This is simply to pacify those who are uninitiated.

  4. Laura Keidan

    Couldn’t agree more. Show your love for God by loving humanity and it’s needs. God doesn’t care that much for vanity and greed(he told me :-))

  5. Shel

    The West needs to learn about sharing and not secluding themselves.

  6. Deniz Tekiner

    Definitely, if there’s a place where there are plenty of facilities for worship, but not nearly enough for sanitation purposes, something is very wrong and dysfunctional with that situation.

  7. Wendy Green

    composting toilets!!! no water and good fertilizer!

  8. Filipa Nawaar

    I agree! The very best temple is within us! 🙂

  9. Sachin Jagdish

    hahaha nice bt essential thought swamiji

  10. Saksham Talwar

    I completely agree with you. TRUE Feelings are just enough for praying. 🙂

  11. Niharika Mishra Mitra

    Swami ji, How I strongly agree with you for the first time…The real God is within us.. we do not need any temples, churches, idols to remember Him or to get close to him ! 🙂

  12. Swami Balendu

    Dear Niharika, This is what my philosophy is. And I am very much a non-religious person. Thank you for agreeing on this and if you agree on this, you agree with most of what I say because my God only lives in my heart, nowhere else and that’s why I don’t need to go anywhere for prayers.

  13. Jenni Stammeier

    I agree with you, dear Balendu! Temples are really not needed, because, when you open yourself to your senses and Love, your surrounding will turn into a a holy temple, regardless where you are. Still, we are not only a spiritual beeings, but our material urges have to be taken into consideration, also. I think this problem is particularly interesting in a place like Vrindavan. As far as I understood, this ability to see the holiness in the environment regardless of how it may appearto you at first sight is also the idea of sensing “Vrindavan”, am I right? But you really have to close your nose at the holy Keshi Ghat because of the strong toilet smell from the sewers streaming into the holy Yamuna! So if you consider your whole environment as a temple then you start to take care of it like a temple!

  14. Emily

    I like the idea of a place where young people can share their emotions and experiences when they need to talk to someone. It was really unfortunate that there was nothing like this in the town where I grew up. Not only was there no counseling or emotional support system, but there was hardly anything for teens to do in the evening that didn’t involve partying. It was very snowy and cold there much of the year, and all the shops closed early. Kids would just hang out and drink alcohol or do drugs because they had nothing better to do. It was really unfortunate, and I wish that there was a youth sharing center like you mentioned! Future project..?

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