Gurudev, is it necessary to visit temples if one has a direct connection with the Guru?
Visiting temples is more of a cultural and sociological phenomenon. Of course there is a spiritual flavour to it also. But that is not essential.
You can sit at home and feel the temple where you are.
For the sake of keeping the culture and tradition alive, and to bring a sense of sacredness to our children and our youngsters, it is good to take yatras (spiritual pilgrimages), and go to temples also, once in a while. It is not because there alone you can seek God, but to keep traditions alive.
That is why we have celebrations, and pilgrimages are kept to unite people. So it is more for a social cause.
You can do your meditation and sing bhajans (devotional songs) at home, but when you come here, to the Ashram, and we meditate together, sing bhajans together, then there is a rise in the collective consciousness. Your collective energy rises, and it has a different flavour.
At the same time if someone asks, ‘Can we not just meditate at home?’ I say, definitely you can. You should sit and meditate at home as well, and sometimes you should come here as well. It is the same for temples also.