Though how controversial this topic may be, there are many whose didactic believe would corroborate the affirmative, while there are still many who would concur that it is not necessary to go to temples, churches and other places of worship to worship God.
But while this discourse will continue unabated, we should always be cognisant of the quote “There can be no progress without head-on confrontation.” Therefore, in light of this, and with specific reference to the opinions below, the question that probably dwells within most God-fearing devotees is, “Does God need a place of worship?”
In the Bhagavata Gita, Chapter 18, Text 45, it is stated:
Sway sway karmanyabhiratah sansinddhin labhate narah” which translates as “A person attains perfection by devoting his life toward his own duty where ever God has kept him.”
Yet another from the Bhagavata Gita, Chapter 18, Text 46, and I quote:
“Yatah pravritirbhutanam yena sarvamedam tatam, Swakarmana tamabhyarchya siddhiam vidanti maanawah.”
This translates as “From whom proceeds the activities of all beings, and by whom all this is pervaded, worshipping Him from the place he has placed you, through your true karma and honesty, you can please God and attain perfection”.
The above Sanskrit quotes undoubtedly indicate that God does not necessarily dwell in a temple or any man-made structure. While simultaneously to many, God is omnipresent (Always present), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnificent (all creative). In reality, God is everywhere and he dwells in our hearts regardless of where we are.
To further elucidate on my discourse, there are many who would conclude that they do not necessarily have to go to temples, churches, synagogues or any other place of worship to worship. Worshipping at home does not preclude anyone from their beliefs, and just because one does not go to temples, churches and synagogues, this is not indicative of one not following their religion.
Many believe that praying at home, doing their pujas, participating in kirtans and hymns irrespective of one’s religious affiliation, is more comfortable, and they can find their own inner peace when taken into consideration the demands of society.
However, praying in temples, churches, mosques and synagogues has its advantages. It is believed that these places of worship are very consecrated.
The atmosphere that blankets these places of worship is very overwhelming with a sense of peace, bliss and happiness than one praying at home. In addition, but notwithstanding the propagation of our religions and cultures, these places of worship are very instrumental in dealing with life’s problems; making friends and sharing our ideas and ideology.
Further, these places of worship set examples that become an inspiration for others. People who are trying to make their lives better, people who want a positive change are going to be impacted by an example of someone who is committed to regular church attendance.
Also, in today’s society, we are facing numerous challenges; whether be it health problems, financial issues, conflict within our families, to name a few. We have an opportunity to encourage each another and that is part of what attending temples, churches and synagogues is about.
Everyone has the prerogative to attend a place of worship to worship, depending on one’s religious affiliation and conviction. But attending a place of worship versus not attending a place of worship can be a point of discussion, when the consensus of most believe that God is here, there and everywhere.