A temple is a public place (typically a structure or building) devoted to spiritual activities, and designed as a meeting place for humans and gods. It is a place for humans to move from illusion to truth and knowledge.

Hindu temples referenced in yogic teachings have many names, including devasthana and devalaya.

The Hindu Temple, also called Chidambaram Temple or Thillai Nataraja Temple, is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and was consecrated by Patanjali. According to yogic philosophy, Shiva is considered Adiyogi or “the first yogi” and Adiguru, or “the first teacher.”

“The human body is a temple” was the famous saying by Thirumoolar, one of the 18 yoga siddhars, among whom sage Patanjali finds his rightful place. Siddhars, according to Thirumoolar, are “those who live in yoga and see the divine light and power through yoga.”

Hindu temples and the human body are considered identical. The five important parts of the temple that are identical to the human body are vimana (head), sanctum (neck), artha mantapam (stomach), prakara walls (legs) and gopuras (feet). The deity in the sanctum is considered the soul of the body.

By practicing yoga regularly, one worships the body and maintains optimum health. Regular yogic practices promote physical and mental health. Yoga develops compassion and love for others, promotes peace within and allows one to experience the bliss one would experience in a temple.

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