By Chaitanya Charan Das

Spiritual knowledge and practices are not meant only to make bad people good, but also to make good people better and better till they become the best they can be. 

Purification is the key that unlocks the treasure of happiness locked in our own hearts. The purer we become, the more we can experience our own joyful nature, which as spiritual beings, we are. When a person is joyful in this sense from within, then such a person on meeting anyone will by default ask, ‘What can I do for this person?’

In fact, if wealthy and powerful people worldwide become pure-hearted, then they would be motivated by compassion rather than greed and would use the resources that God has given them to do good to the world. God, being the greatest well-wisher of everyone, has a benevolentplan for every one of us individually and for the whole world collectively.

The best use of human intelligence is to understand God’s plan and the best use of human energy is to co-operate with and participate in His plan. And both these require a pure heart.  If one is pure-hearted, one would naturally choose to co-operate with Him. Consequently, when we become further purified, others benefit and the world functions harmoniously.

Modern leaders, driven by their impure hearts and craving for material pleasures, emphasize on technological development thinking that this will make people happy, however, along with technology, we also have more stress, depression, addiction, violence, crime and suicide than in earlier times. Unlike modern leaders, leaders of the Vedic times knew that unless people made themselves better by purifying themselves, they would never become happy, no matter how much they achieved externally.

A temple is place where leaders can learn and experience God’s wisdom and love, purify their hearts and thus become inspired to lead in harmony with God’s plan.

Further, in order to gain purity, we need to work towards this goal and therefore if we want to purify ourselves and benefit from the presence of God (which although is supposed to be everywhere), we need to go to the temple. People, as per the Vedic scriptures, generally go to a temple out of four major motives, these being, fear, desire, duty and love. Out of these, love is the purest level of approaching God, whereby the lover only intends to love and serve God eternally without any material expectations in return for the service (just like in a parent-child relationship).

The real purpose of coming to a temple is not to have our desires fulfilled, but to have our desires purified so that we can eventually love God purely.

The author is a celibate teacher at ISKCON Pune, and associate editor of ISKCON’s global magazine. His articles can be found at


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