We are delighted to welcome you to this week's Words of Wisdom (WOW) session, where we have the privilege of hosting a distinguished guest, Ms. Anuradha Goyal. On 03 August 2023, she addressed the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence on the topic ‘Sacred Map of India‘.
Ms Anuradha Goyal is a versatile individual with a deep passion for exploring India's ancient heritage through various creative pursuits. As the founder of IndiTales, a renowned bilingual travel media portal, she shares her global journeys through captivating written pieces, audio, and video, with a focus on India's sacred history. An accomplished author, she has written thought-provoking books, including "Lotus in The Stone - Sacred Geography In Eternal India" and "Unusual Temples of India," while also gaining recognition for translating "Ayodhya Mahatmya" from Skanda Purana. Anuradha's extensive travel experiences are chronicled in her blog, which has earned widespread acclaim and numerous awards. Beyond her literary achievements, she is a respected public speaker and mentor, engaging with aspiring authors and conducting workshops. Her unwavering dedication to exploration and knowledge-sharing continues to inspire audiences worldwide.
India is unique in that its inhabitants love to do Yatra, tracing back to Bharatavarsha, from the south to the Himalayas, and north to the three seas. This journey encapsulates the rich Indian heritage.
During the speech, the speaker enumerated different types of temples - Shiva Kshetra, Shakti Kshetra, Ashram Kshetra, and so on. They provided insights on Chardhams, where the lord meditates at Bhadrinath, eats at Puri (world's largest kitchen), and bathes at Rameshwaram (22 wells). The lord also sleeps at Dwaraka.
The concept of Teerthas, which help us cross over, was explained. The hierarchy of visits to Teerthas was discussed, starting with Griha (Home), Kula (Clan), Ishta (liking), Kshetra/Grama (Village), and Teertha sthalas (other temples).
The speaker elaborated on the aspect of Yatha pinde tatha Brahmande, connecting it with all seven chakras of humans in relation to seven temples:
Muladhara - Ayodhya
Swadhistana - Mathura
Manipura - Maya
Anahata - Kashi
Vishuddhi - Kanchi
Ajneya - Avantika
Sahasrara – Dwaraka
The discussion concluded with an explanation of Buddhist and Jain temples and architecture. The endnote of the session emphasized Manasa Teertha - visiting our own minds rather than visiting different temples, cleansing and keeping it pure.