Place of Worship
It is not necessary to offer prayer in a religious place. What is necessary is an inner urge only. Sufficient solitude is necessary so that there may be no obstruction or interference. It may be in the home or outside of it. Any place where solitude can be had is suitable. You can use your bedroom for the purpose. There may be religious books or pictures there to remind you of holy men whom you revere. If there is no room available, a particular portion of a room may be used. If this is not available, then any place such as a temple, satsang hall, mosque or church can be used. If this is not available, pray while walking alone, whether on the plains or in the hills, in a jungle or on the bank of a stream. Concentrate in the forehead, on the Lord or the Master, and place your inner feelings before Him. These places have some influence on prayers, but in reality no particular place or temple is required. All this world is the temple of the Lord.
This world is the body of the Lord and He pervades it.
Asa War M2, 463-13
That place is holy where the Lord is remembered. All this earth is sacred. All places are fit for prayers. Alnusai said, "For me the whole earth is a mosque and is sacred. Whenever the time of prayer arrives, my followers can say their prayers wherever they happen to be." The Lord is omnipresent. He created the entire universe, and He is its Lord. He does not dwell in man-made temples.
God, that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
The Acts 17:24
Homes, jungles, waste lands, hills, rivers – wherever you bow to the Lord – is holy. All is holy where devotion kneels.
O. W. Holmes
All this creation is of the Lord. He dwells everywhere. It is not necessary, therefore, to turn your head in any particular direction while praying. The main thing is a firm conviction that the Lord is inside you. There should also be the conviction that we are responsible for our own actions.
In the holy Quran it is said:
Whether East or West, all belongs to the Lord. You may turn your head in any direction and you will face the Lord, for He is present everywhere.
Sura Albakar 14-3
It is further stated:
There is no great benefit in turning your face in a particular direction. The true holiness lies in one's firm conviction in the Lord and the judgement day (life after death and accounting for one's actions).
Albakar 22-2 Quran
The truly sacred place for praying is this body, within which dwells the Lord. This body is the temple of God, and the jewel of knowledge is to be found therein.
Parbhati M3, 1346-4
The body is the temple of the living God.
The heart is the mosque, and the body adorns it.
Go inside and pray to the Lord. It is not necessary to go anywhere else in order to pray. Search the Vedas and the Puranas and you will find that all say that He is residing in the heart.
Oh, where am I to go when bliss is in my own house? My mind does not waver. It has become incapable of moving. Where I go, whether on land or sea, I see the Lord everywhere. The Vedas and Puranas were consulted; one should search Him there only if He is not here (in the heart).
Ramanand Basant, 1165-13
That Pritam (Beloved) to whom we are to pray is in reality inside us and we are wandering outside in the world. The nectar of the Lord is in the corner of our heart, while we are remaining thirsty.
The Beloved is in the home, while I search in the world outside. The water is in the pot, and I am wandering in thirst.
When you pray, enter the closet of the body and shut the outer doors. Do not let the attention wander outside. Open your heart to the Lord within. He will listen to the prayer made in this secret spot.
But when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
St. Mathew 6:6
This body is the temple in which the soul resides. By closing its doors, evil thoughts are kept away and thoughts of the Lord gain strength. The Lord is within us. We cannot see Him with our outer senses. It is only the inner eye that can see Him. The gross eyes cannot see Him. When the gross eyes are closed, then the inner eye which can see Him, opens.
Guru Nanak says those eyes which can see the Lord are different from the outer eyes.
Oh Nanak! Those eyes are different by which He can be seen.
Maru War M5, 1110-1
The Gurus say that on gathering together the attention from the ten senses, the Lord appears within.
It is spread in the ten senses, in his soul there is light.
Gauri M5, 236-14
In order to reach the depth of true prayer, the senses, which lead to the spreading of attention, should be restrained. Close the lips and forget about the body, and unite with the Lord or the Master at the seat of the soul within.
In order to pray correctly, it is necessary that we should go inside and shut the outer doors, withdraw our attention from the body, and direct it to the feet of the Beloved. In this sacred place pray to the Master, the incarnation of the Lord. He will appear and will lend a helping hand. Such a prayer will be accepted. To lose oneself in the remembrance of the Lord, with inner purity and sincere feelings, is true prayer. This should not be merely for show or ostentation. It should be with sincere feelings and not mere verbal effusion. If a prayer is made with true inner feelings, then the all-powerful Lord listens and invaluable benefits accrue from His mercy.