Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction. A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work....
Question: What is the purpose of temples?
Radhanath Swami: A temple is a place where people are in a selfless spirit of compassion and love, and are truly worshipping God and surrendering their hearts to him. A temple is a place that transforms your life, by illuminating you and bringing you to higher states of consciousness and higher states of living.
Temples are not just places where you give donations, see the deities and say a prayer. It’s pious to go to a temple and give a donation and walk away. That’s nice, but you will not get enlightened by that. Temples have always been established by acaryas as spiritual, educational institutions.
We have so many educational institutions. My Guru Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada, went to MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Boston. He said, “You have thousands of courses in your syllabus but there’s not a single course in this whole college that’s teaching people who they are and what the ultimate aim of life is. In all of these great tools that they are learning in MIT, they are only really as valuable as the ideals and intentions of a person’s utilization of them.” The most dangerous people in the world are not the uneducated peasants, but the people with big educations but filthy, dirty hearts filled with envy, pride and hatred.They are the greatest dangers to the world. Academic knowledge are facilities, they are tools. The more powerful the tool, the more they could either do benefit or harm depending on whose hand it’s in.
So the purpose of religious buildings is to educate people to be first-class human beings, people who can actually be examples of integrity and spiritual principle. When you go to that type of temple, church or mosque or gurdwara, if we go to that place, where we are actually getting that higher consciousness, then our life becomes very deep and substantial.
Even a great fighter like Bhīṣma could not win the Battle of Kurukṣetra because the Lord wanted to show that vice cannot conquer virtue, regardless of who tries to execute it.
Canto 1″Creation”, Chapter 9;
The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna...
अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम् ।
पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम् ॥
भावार्थ : भीष्म पितामह द्वारा रक्षित हमारी वह सेना सब प्रकार से अजेय है और भीम द्वारा रक्षित इन लोगों की यह सेना जीतने में सुगम है॥10॥
Herein an estimation of comparative strength is made by Duryodhana. He thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable, being specifically protected by the most experienced general, Grandfather Bhīṣma. On the other hand, the forces of the Pāṇḍavas are limited, being protected by a less experienced general, Bhīma, who is like a fig in the presence of Bhīṣma. Duryodhana was always envious of Bhīma because he knew perfectly well that if he should die at all, he would only be killed by Bhīma. But at the same time, he was confident of his victory on account of the presence of Bhīṣma, who was a far superior general. His conclusion that he would come out of the battle victorious was well ascertained.