Generally all Hindus Visit temple for to perform prayers. But according to Hindu ideology why we need temple as we can perform prayers at our home as well?

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    Temple is a remider for people that Lord exist. If new born generation will never see any religious place/building then how they will come to know about lord, only talk is not enough to tell him about them.
    – Vishvam
    Jul 5, 2017 at 8:57
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    you can perform prayers at home. You do not need temples. Jul 5, 2017 at 10:24
  • @SwamiVishwananda Then why temples? Jul 5, 2017 at 10:46
  • If you think that you can worship God in ur homes like the way the priests do it in Temples then you are misinformed.
    – Rickross
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:26
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    You can put idols in ur home but what about Pranapratishta which is done according to the Agamas and other Scriptures? Without Pranapratishta there is NO idol worship. Now, Are u eligible for doing that? Even if i assume u can do that it will only benefit u and ur family. From Temples thousands of people can get God's blessings. So Temples are needed and that's exactly why they are there.
    – Rickross
    Jul 6, 2017 at 5:24

2 Answers 2


What Is the Need of Temples In Hinduism ?

There are thousands of temples all over India and all over the world of different sizes, shapes and at different locations.

A Hindu temple is a unification of the idea of Arts, Dharma, Beliefs, Values, Devotion Rituals etc.Temples are consciously constructed to make us families with divinity of god. People visit temples to communicate with gods and offer their prayers. Temples also act as spiritual centers where discourses, meditations bhajans special poojas are often arranged , where people celebrate festivals .

Some temples also serves the purpose of religious schools , where people /students can learn more about Hinduism traditions , scriptures etc. Some of them also have their own Ved-Path shalas , where interesting students can stay and learn Vedas and other texts for some years and can become priests or pundits.

Library of manuscripts – From ancient times temples are also used to store manuscripts s well as spiritual books as a library .

Here is the reason given in Shreemad Bhagvat purana of why wise people started deity worship in temples.

द्रुष्टवा तेषांमिथो नृणामवज्ञानात्मनां नृप |
त्रेतादिषु हरेचर्या क्रियायै कविभि: कृता ||३९||

dṛṣṭvā teṣāṁ mitho nṛṇām avajñānātmatāṁ nṛpa
tretādiṣu harer arcā kriyāyai kavibhiḥ kṛtā

My dear King, when great sages and saintly persons saw mutually disrespectful dealings at the beginning of Tretā-yuga, Deity worship in the temple was introduced with all paraphernalia SB 7.14.39

And here in this chapter SB 11.27: Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Instructions on the Process of Deity Worship. Lord Krisha himself describes what is the importance of temple building .

मदर्चां संप्रतिष्ठाप्य मन्दिरं कारयेद् दृढम् |
पुष्पोद्यानानि रम्याणि पूजायात्रोत्सवश्रितान् ||50||

mad-arcāṁ sampratiṣṭhāpya mandiraṁ kārayed dṛḍham
puṣpodyānāni ramyāṇi pūjā-yātrotsavāśritān

The devotee should more fully establish My Deity by solidly constructing a temple, along with beautiful gardens. These gardens should be set aside to provide flowers for the regular daily worship, special Deity processions and holiday observances. SB 11.27.50

प्रतिष्ठाया सार्वभौमं सद्नना भुवनत्रयं |
पूजादिना ब्रह्मलोकं त्रिभिर्मंत्साम्यतामियात् ||52||

pratiṣṭhayā sārvabhaumaṁ sadmanā bhuvana-trayam
pūjādinā brahma-lokaṁ tribhir mat-sāmyatām iyāt

By installing the Deity of the Lord one becomes king of the entire earth, by building a temple for the Lord one becomes ruler of the three worlds, by worshiping and serving the Deity one goes to the planet of Lord Brahmā, and by performing all three of these activities one achieves a transcendental form like My own.SB 11.27.52

Not all the people are having some sort of arrangement of worshiping gods in their own houses so they also can easily go to the temple for the purpose

So a temple is a very important aspect of Hindu Dharma where people of al the kind can offer their worship to many gods and can perform rituals , poojas etc. And can get the close to divine and can experience the union with the divine.

  • "saw mutually disrespectful dealings at the beginning of Tretā-yuga" - what are those 'mutually disrespectful dealings?' The explanation by Prabhupāda is a bit lame. He says "A powerful Vaiṣṇava who has converted others into Vaiṣṇavas is to be worshiped, but because of material contamination, sometimes such an exalted Vaiṣṇava is disrespected by other, minor Vaiṣṇavas. When great saintly persons saw this contamination, they introduced worship of the Deity in the temple." Maybe there's a better explanation for that verse. Not sure what this 'material contamination' is. Jul 5, 2017 at 12:36
  • @sv.- "what are those 'mutually disrespectful dealings?' -My Gita press version is providing the details about that but not prabhupada , they are jealousy ,insult , disrespect . So the Wise man simply saw increase of such qualities of people in society and established custom of deity worship in temples , to somewhat bring harmony among people :) Jul 5, 2017 at 14:56
  • 'they are jealousy ,insult , disrespect' - ok, maybe you can add that to your answer and btw, do you think introducing deities/idols really solved those 'disrespectful dealings' .. I would say it didn't fix the original problem :P Jul 5, 2017 at 17:39

Swami Vivekananda:

God is eternal, without any form, omnipresent. To think of Him as possessing any form is blasphemy. But the secret of image worship is that you are trying to develop your vision of Divinity in one thing.

Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths.

Man is to become divine by realising the divine. Idols, or temples or churches or books are only the supports, the helps, of his spiritual childhood; but on and on he must progress.

It is difficult for people to think of formless and omnipresent God which is why idol worship was introduced.

We may worship anything by seeing God in it, if we can forget the idol and see God there. We must not project any image upon God. But we may fill any image with that Life which is God. Only forget the image, and you are right enough---for "out of Him comes everything". He is everything. We may worship a picture as God, but not God as the picture. God in the picture is right, but the picture as God is wrong. God in the image is perfectly right. There is no danger there. This is the real worship of God.

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