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Significance of Indian Temples in the genesis of Indian Classical Music and Dance

Significance of Indian Temples in the genesis of Indian Classical Music and Dance

Did you know that any music and dance performance is affected spiritually by the venue ? If the subtle vibrations in a venue are negative, it can have an adverse effect on the performance even if it is devotional in nature.

Abstract :

Indian classical music and dance originated in temples in India. This is because the main objective of Indian classical music and dance was to create a medium for performers to worship God or the Deity of the temple through their art form. The spiritual purity inherently present in the temples had a positive effect on the performer, and this spiritually elevated his or her performance. The research team at Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay (also known as Maharshi University of Spirituality) conducted a research study to understand how the spiritual purity or negativity present in a venue can affect a music or dance performance. The research study showed that temples and ashrams (when maintained in a proper manner) are places that contain higher levels of spiritual positivity. This increases the positive aura of the performer and audience. In contrast, auditoriums and concert halls, mainly used for worldly performances, have a spiritually negative effect on devotional performances.

Note : Please note that the text below is a transcript of the above video. You can refer to it when reading this transcript.

1. Introduction

When we think of attending a dance or singing performance in today’s world, a temple as a venue may not be the first thing on our minds. We would be thinking of something like an auditorium, or even a stadium packed with people, lots of lights, high-tech equipment and audio-visual effects. The buzz in the air is palpable. What many of us, or at least the younger generation in India, may not be aware of is that the genesis of Indian Classical music and dance, which is perhaps the oldest type of performance art in the world, was actually in temples all over India.

In this video, we will be exploring the importance of Indian temples and their contribution to the legacy of Indian Classical music and dance. Did you know that India has over 2 million temples? Some of these temples are quite ancient and are examples of the excellence of Indian architecture well before we had any modern architectural tools to work with.

At the University, we have tried to recreate the wonder of music and dance as per ancient Indian culture, where artists would perform in temples and places of worship as a means to grow spiritually through their art forms, and each artist’s art form was their path to God-realisation. All spiritual research at the University is mentored by Paratpar Guru Dr Athavale. A Paratpar Guru is a Saint and Guru of the highest order who is at a very high spiritual level.

2. The genesis of Indian Classical dance forms in Indian Temples

So, while performing in front of the Deity in temples in ancient times, the artists would be able to really feel their connection to God, and in doing so, they would get immersed in Bhakti or devotion and love for God. The audience watching their performance would also go into a state of spiritual emotion or bhav as it’s known in Sanskrit. The Deity Principle would get attracted in greater amounts to the temple due to the devotees, and the environment would be spiritually charged. All this would provide everyone with the impetus for spiritual growth. Indian temples were instruments for the spiritual growth and well-being of entire communities.

I would now like to take you back in time and share a small video with you of one such ancient temple in Goa, the Sri Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla. This temple is now a part of the Archeological Society of India and is considered a heritage site. Dancers from the Maharshi University of Spirituality performed at this temple in front of the Deity Shiva’s Shivling (a representation of Deity Shiva), just like it was done in ancient times. The purpose of this performance was to gain an understanding of what dancers in those times would experience. And we hoped to gain a greater insight into the spiritual science and potential of this ancient Indian art form. In doing so, we hoped to rediscover this forgotten legacy of the performing arts that India has given the world.

3. Increase in the positive aura of a performer after a dance performance at the Sri Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla

To assess the spiritual effect of anything, one needs to have an advanced level of sixth sense. This is the primary way to assess the spiritual or subtle impacts of any event. However, nowadays, with the introduction of aura and energy scanners, we are able to objectively obtain reports about the type of subtle vibrations emitted by people, objects, places and, for that matter, any stimulus.

We studied this dance performance using an instrument known as the Universal Aura Scanner to assess and measure changes in the dancers’ auras along with changes in the aura of the Shivling and a Deity Shiva photo placed on the premises.

On this slide, we have displayed the readings of the auras detected before and after one of the performances, and you can see clearly how there was an increase in positivity after the performance. In this chart, we have not included readings of Deity Shiva’s photo that has been made by a seeker artist under the guidance of Paratpar Guru Dr Athavale. This is because the Aura readings of this picture are quite large.

As you can see from this chart where we have included it, the proportion of all readings changes. And what this shows is that when a Deity’s picture is more spiritually accurate, it attracts more of the Deity Principle and hence has a higher positive aura. Needless to say, such Deity pictures have tremendous spiritual value and benefit devotees and society. Now mind you, these dancers are seekers first, and they practice their dance forms as a way for them to do their spiritual practice and go towards God under the guidance of Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay. We will be sharing with you some of the spiritual research we have conducted at temples to demonstrate why they were and still are vital for Indian Classical music and dance art forms.

4. How can a venue contribute to the spiritual vibrations of a performance ?

One of the reasons why temples were chosen for such devotional performances was because of the place itself. Temples, when maintained properly, are focal points of spiritual energy synonymous with the Deity of that temple and have high levels of positivity. By performing in such places that are spiritually pure, dancers and musicians gain the benefit of the sattvikta or spiritual purity inherently present in these temples. To give you an analogy, just as a surfer catches a wave and then goes with it, so also, the Indian Classical performer would be able to harness the wave of Divine consciousness or Chaitanya and perform on the back of it. And this is something that our forefathers knew innately.

To demonstrate how a place is an important factor that contributes to the spiritual vibrations of any performance, we conducted an experiment. We requested Tejal, a singer from the Department of Music at the University, to sing the same devotional song in three venues. The first venue was an auditorium typically used to host high-profile performances in music and dance. The second venue was a temple related to Goddess Durga, who is the Principle of God responsible for the removal of evil. In this temple, active ritualistic and devotional worship takes place. The third venue was the studio at the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram, which has been found to have high levels of spiritual purity. In fact, in another experiment, soil and water samples that were collected from within the Spiritual Research Centre ranked highest in positive aura from over 1000 samples collected worldwide from 32 countries. So, we are going to show you a video of this seeker-singer performing in all three venues. And I request that you try and feel the vibrations of the performance and the venue when you are watching this video. You can also try to feel how they differ with each venue.

5. A comparative study of the spiritual vibrations from a musical performance held at three separate venues

So how did you feel ? Now hold that thought about what you felt, and let’s see what readings the Universal Aura Scanner showed.

In this chart, we have displayed the aura readings of the performer and the Deity’s picture in all three venues. Additionally, we have displayed the readings of the Idol in the temple where the performance took place. As you can see, the performances in the Ashram and in the temple had a positive effect. In contrast, there was a reduction in the positive auras in the concert hall for the exact same performance, and this meant that it had a negative effect. When maintained in a proper manner, temples and ashrams are seats of spiritual positivity which enhance a devotional performance. On the other hand, concert halls generally have little to no positivity. In fact, since they are mainly used for worldly functions and entertainment, concert halls often attract negative vibrations. These negative vibrations in the environment actually subtract from the spiritual positivity of a devotional performance. That is why spiritual cleansing of the premises is required, but sadly most concert halls and auditoriums do not do any spiritual cleansing whatsoever on a regular basis. In this chart, we have shown the change in aura readings across the entire group performing in the Ashram. As you can see, there was a manifold increase in the whole group’s positivity. The darker orange bars show the readings after the performance.

In this slide, you can see the change in aura readings in the concert hall of the entire team. And as you can see, we have kept the scale of the Y-Axis the same. So overall, as you can see there was a reduction in the positive aura due to the performance. Also, the aura readings at the start were much lower. This means just by an artist entering the premises of an auditorium, they will start their performance at lower positive aura levels, and that is also only if they have a positive aura to start with. You may be surprised to know that even the Deity’s picture, which normally has high levels of positive aura, developed a negative aura after the performance in the concert hall.

6. Spiritual experiences of the performers

So, what did Tejal feel after the performance? Tejal, the singer, shared :

“When singing at the Temple, I felt that the Devi (Divine Goddess Principle) was listening to the song, and at the end, my spiritual emotion or bhav got evoked. When singing at the Ashram studio, it was effortless, and I was going into a meditative state. In contrast, when singing the same song at the concert hall, I was extroverted and felt a lot of heaviness.”

Basically, by extroversion, Tejal indicated that her thoughts were more about her performance in a worldly sense and how people perceived her. Now, mind you, Tejal is a singer with an activated sixth sense, and hence she was able to perceive the subtleties associated with each of her performances. And this was all due to her spiritual practice background of over 2 decades.

The seeker playing the Sitar, Manoj, shared that :

“When playing the Sitar at the temple, I experienced a lot of Bliss, and after the performance, I entered a very peaceful introverted state of mind (a state of mind where one is focused more on one’s inner spiritual self). At the Ashram studio, I felt immense Bliss. Whilst playing the Sitar at the concert hall, my mind was distracted, and I did not experience any Bliss.”

The seeker playing the tabla, Girijay, shared :

“When I was playing the tabla at the temple, my spiritual emotion (bhav) was getting awakened. I was experiencing a peaceful state of mind. When playing at the Ashram studio, as always, I entered a thoughtless state of mind. I was experiencing Bliss (Anand) from within while playing. In contrast, when performing at the concert hall, I started getting thoughts that I was a professional artist who was performing for an audience. I felt no spiritual connection to God even though it was a devotional song.”

7. Spiritual practice and how it helps seeker-artists

Now I want to take a moment to share with you the significance of these readings. All the artists and the audience have been practising Spirituality for many years.

The entire music and dance teams at the University were guided to refrain from singing a note, playing an instrument, or dancing a step for many years. In fact, what they concentrated on was various types of spiritual practices.

One of the most important forms of spiritual practice was the Personality Defect Removal practice and the Ego removal practice, which are fundamental to any spiritual growth efforts. Here the artists worked on themselves first to eradicate personality defects such as anger, pride, jealousy, and insecurity – basically, to control and minimise them. The performing arts as an art form is something where one’s ego can rise very easily. Even if one is careful, there are so many ways the ego can rise and increase negativity in an artist. The ego is like a slippery slope that can easily bring a performer down spiritually even though the performance may be technically perfect.

To give you an example, the singer in this experiment Tejal who is also the coordinator for the department of Music at the University, started spiritual practice in 1998 and only started singing for the department in 2016. For 18 years before that, even though she had a background in singing, had trained as a singer and had the talent, she kept all that aside and focused on spiritual practice. Over the years, she attained a higher spiritual level. Even so, with all her years of spiritual practice, she was affected by the negative vibrations of the environment in the Auditorium. So basically, if she was affected negatively, then what chance does a spiritually average performer have, however technically perfect he or she may be ?

8. The effect of negative vibrations in one’s aura at the physical, psychological and spiritual levels

It is important to emphasise that one should not take an effect on one’s aura lightly. In fact, the subtle energy in our system is the first to get affected before its impact is seen on our physical and mental bodies. And this is important because when our aura gets negatively impacted, it negatively affects our physical bodies, leading to issues such as lethargy and a feeling of heaviness, which eventually culminates with getting various illnesses and diseases. Mentally too, it can bring about aggressive behaviour, negative thinking or depression. At the intellectual level, a rise in negativity in one’s aura can affect the clarity of one’s thoughts, compromises one’s decision making and increases mental instability. Lastly, negativity in our auras reduces our ability to grow spiritually and increases our vulnerability to attacks by negative energies. And needless to say, when these things happen, ultimately, a person experiences unhappiness, which is something that none of us wants in our lives.

Now, the spiritual problem that artists often face, especially the famous ones, is that they become targets for negative energy attacks. Because through them, in one go, negative energies can affect large groups of people watching the performances. Thus, it is critical that artists and people who present to large audiences practice Spirituality and undertake self-healing spiritual remedies.

9. The effect of negative vibrations in one’s aura at the physical, psychological and spiritual levels

We also conducted another experiment with two dancers – one performed the Bharatnatyam dance form, and the other performed the Kathak Indian dance style. And just like with the singing experiment, these dancers performed a devotional dance to Goddess Durga in an Auditorium or concert hall, a temple and the studio of the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram. I would like to show you the video of both these performances in all three venues. Again, while looking at these performances, do try and see what you feel when watching these performances, especially if you notice any differences in the performances based on the venue.

How did you all feel when watching the videos ? Could you feel the difference in the performance in each of the venues ? So, let’s see what the aura readings were as per the Universal Aura Scanner.

As you can see from this chart, just like the musical performance, the positive auras of the dancers increased in the Ashram and temple premises. But they reduced in the concert hall or auditorium. This is the chart for the dancer who performed the Bharatnatyam dance for Goddess Durga.

And this is the chart of the aura readings from the UAS for the dancer who performed the Kathak style of dance for Goddess Durga. As you can see, even though the dance performances were exactly the same, there was a difference in the energy levels in each of the venues. Accordingly, the energy associated with Goddess Durga’s picture too was greater in the Ashram and temple and reduced in the concert hall or auditorium. So, this kind of defeated the purpose of the performance in the concert hall where instead of increasing one’s positivity from a devotional dance, one actually developed a negative aura.

And this was not just for the performer but also the audience and the Ghungroos (bells) that she wore on her feet for dancing. And in this chart, we show the readings of the Kathak dancer and how her dance differed between the Ashram and the concert hall. You can see how the energy levels in the Ashram are quite high and at the concert hall, they are quite low. Here again, the picture of Goddess Durga developed a negative Aura. I would like to share now what the dancers themselves felt when dancing at the three venues.

10. Spiritual experiences of the dancers

The dancer Sharvari who performed the Kathak dance style shared that :

“When I was dancing at the temple, I felt a strong presence of Goddess Durga, and I felt I am dancing in Her Aura. When performing the same dance in the Ashram studio, I had a vision of the Devi, and my spiritual emotion was awakened. As opposed to that, when I was dancing at the concert hall, I felt pressure, and I did not feel any connection with Goddess Durga.”

The dancer Apala who performed the Bharatnatyam dance style, shared that :

“I had a vision of the Goddess when dancing at the temple, and there was immense Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) in the environment. When dancing at the Ashram studio, I was in a high state of Bliss and could perceive a Divine subtle pink colour in the atmosphere. Pink signifies spiritual love. In contrast, when I performed at the concert hall, I felt heaviness and spiritual impurity.”

11. What happens when a singing or dance performance emits negative vibrations?

Up to now, we have shared with you the experiments related to devotional performances. And of course, when you sing a devotional song, then it is expected that positivity in the environment will rise. However, we saw that even a devotional song or a devotional dance performance by seeker-artists could not overcome the negativity in a concert hall or auditorium. So now imagine if we perform a song or dance that has negative vibrations in a place that has negative vibrations. What will happen when there is a combined negative effect ? And that is just what we are going to show you.

At the concert hall, we conducted an experiment where the same singer – Tejal, sang a Bollywood song – Zara Zara. Please have a look.

As you can see from the slide, when she sang the Bollywood song, she lost almost all her positivity (she lost 70% of her positive aura) and acquired an increased negative aura. What we observed was that the type 2 negative aura increased more – up to 78%. Type 2 negative aura is a more dense form of negative aura. The same negative effect occurred with the audience watching the performance. One of the members of the audience lost her positive aura completely and her negative aura increased by 135%. Mind you, this is just by watching a singing performance for 5 minutes.

The same negative effect was seen when we did a dance experiment. Sharvari, our Kathak dancer from the University, danced to a Bollywood song – Mukabala. Please have a look.

The readings on the slide show that she lost her positive aura completely, and her type 1 and type 2 negative auras increased by 73 and 82%, respectively. The audience was impacted in the same way where they lost their positive auras and gained heightened negative auras.

The point we are trying to make is that when such Bollywood singing performances are clubbed with loud musical instruments, loud audio-visual effects, members of the audience engaging in consuming intoxicating substances, nighttime and the ego of the artists being high, then the cumulative effect is very negative in nature and will impact the artist and the audience for extended periods of time. Also, the venue remains negatively charged as similar performances keep happening at the venue with no proper spiritual cleansing measures being taken.


In conclusion, we would like to leave you with a few thoughts :

  • Instead of considering factors such as spiritual purity of the performance, spiritual emotion, etc., judges nowadays mainly only focus on the range of vocals and entertainment value.
  • There is an overall lack of understanding of the potential of both music and dance from a spiritual perspective.
  • So also, the heightened spiritual impurity in the environments in commercial venues is not conducive to helping the artist to grow spiritually or their performance producing spiritually pure vibrations.

To learn more about our spiritual research, how spiritual vibrations affect every aspect of our lives and how to grow spiritually, you can chat with us using our LiveChat facility.

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