“Every human being is a shrine” is the timeless message of the sages. We are familiar with external shrines: sacred spaces where countless seekers have worshipped throughout the ages. It’s one thing to visit a spiritual shrine and have an experience of divinity, but another to realize that everyone we meet (and we ourselves) are shrines. We are plagued with so many problems—guilt, envy, self-condemnation, disconnectedness—that sometimes the last thing in the world we feel like is a living shrine!
As Pandit Tigunait explains, this is because a war is being waged in each of us between the human and subhuman. The human in us—loving, giving, open, selfless—came directly from the divine. The subhuman in us—divisive, fearful, selfish—is self-created and reinforced through our thoughts and actions. This internal battle means a great part of our life goes in vain. We spend our life fighting rather than living, and forget our divine connection.
In this instant classic, Panditji delivers the message of two shrines via the fascinating stories of three great souls: Saint Raidas (the humble cobbler from Agra), Saint Jnaneshwar (the child prodigy who wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita at age 13), and Saint Francis of Assisi (the patron saint of animals, who saw God in every living thing).
Just as external shrines help us come in contact with divinity, our internal shrine—the heart, the seat of our soul—does the same thing, even more profoundly. When we come in come in contact with our inner shrine, we experience more fully the divinity in external shrines, and we rediscover our connection with the divine in every living thing. This is the blessing of shrines.