When you start thinking about any temple, the imaginary portrait would include loads of slippers in the entrance. Even many jokes include stealing footwear from the temple entrance. I am sure each one of us would have laughed at such jokes or cracked one. Everyone advises us to not wear footwear inside temple. Many even consider it to be a sin. Why is this so habitual? Have you wondered?
Not wearing footwear inside temple is a way of devotion
Ever since we were kids, we have been taught not to wear footwear inside temple. Everyone, from their first hair offering to parents forcing teens to visit the temple, know that visiting the temple, is a core element of expressing one’s devotion to God. Of course, We all know and we all know that one person who remembers God only the day before exam or interview, Excluding them. The influence of cosmic energy also has a significant role in visiting any temple.
Have you ever observed how just visiting an ancient temple change one’s mood and enhance make us feel better? It is all because of the cosmic energy of the temple. The energy is majorly possessed by the place, the ground. Being in touch with the ground is essential. Wearing footwear inside temple neglects the connect of the human body with the earth. The peacefulness of a temple is utmost felt when being in touch with the temple ground.
It can also be perceived, as wearing footwear would mean not being in touch with the ground. It means being too proud of oneself and not being in touch with reality. Though a little bit of self-pride is important, in front of God, self proud is to be disregarded. Being proud and arrogant has to be left behind when entering the temple. Instead, humbleness has to be taken over.
Health-related Benefits of not wearing footwear inside temple
First of all, the smell of footwear inside temple is a major worry. As foul odour from the footwear may cause discomfort inside the temple for every devotee. The discomfort caused for devotees is undesirable, as the temple is a place for peace of mind. The foul smell also disrupts the fragrant atmosphere of the temple. The fragrant smell is spread by flowers, leaves, sandal paste, camphor and more.
Second of all, footwear carries viruses and bacteria’s. Slippers are used everywhere which means it has all sorts of bacteria, virus, fungi and unnecessary dust. Thus, avoiding the usage of slippers inside the temple prevents the spreading of all the above.
Lastly, doctors recommend walking barefoot often. Walking barefoot on roads and ground improves the blood circulation in our body which has many positive implications on the body systems. We all know footwear is meant for protecting the foot but walking barefoot has many health benefits. It also provides an acupuncture effect. Some temples have a very rough surface with stones laid on them. The stones provide the acupuncture effect. It has very great health effects. These are some of the health-related benefits of not wearing footwear inside temple.
We all would have felt the humble feeling and peaceful mind when walking barefoot on the cold stone of the temple in the early morning. Happiness is enjoying or Prasadh with a breezy walk in the evening. Just like how uniform in school establishes equity among the students, footwear in the temple may also symbolize one’s wealth. Temple is a place where every human is treated equally irrespective of caste and creed.
From our childhood, in school lessons and folklores we all would have heard stories about discrimination in temples. But this is a way to establish both humbleness and eliminate discrimination based on societal norms.