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Why Do People Go Barefoot Inside Temples?

DateDecember 8, 2023

When one visits a Hindu temple, it is customary to remove one’s footwear before entering. All Hindus follow this rule, but not many know the reason behind it. This article attempts to explore some of the reasons behind this rule.

As per the Scriptures, there are 5 places where one should not wear shoes. They are:

1. The place where a Vedic fire has been established
2. A cowshed or Goshala
3. A place where a deity is installed, like a temple or a Pooja room and a room for the Brahmin. 4. A place where one takes meals.
5. The place where one chants the Gayatri.

Now, let us see why we should not wear shoes and slippers inside a temple.

Why Do People Go Barefoot Inside Temples

Reason 1: Showing respect to God

By removing our footwear, we show respect towards God. A temple is the abode of God, which is pure. Our footwear contains dirt and impurities that stick to our shoes and slippers as we walk on the ground. So, we remove them to prevent them from defiling the purity of the temple, thereby helping to maintain its sanctity. Also, many slippers and shoes are made of leather, which is the processed skin of animals. Hinduism does not approve of violence toward animals, so wearing footwear in temples is forbidden. People remove their leather belts and wallets as well, and many people even wash their feet before entering the temple.

Reason 2: Location of temples

Temples are built in sacred locations. Such places resonate with positive energy. In ancient times, temples were built in such a way that their floors were good conductors of this positive energy. When the devotee walks barefoot, this energy passes onto them through their feet. This is one important reason why people remove their footwear before entering the temple.

Reason 3: Presence of Cosmic Energy

It is a widely prevalent belief that cosmic energy is swirling around constantly in a holy place like a temple. This is because energy becomes concentrated in such places due to the spiritual activities like prayers/meditation/ rituals/etc., which take place there.

This is also why we feel peaceful and relaxed when we enter a temple. Temples are filled with the positive vibrations of prayers/Mantras/spiritual thoughts, which attract cosmic energy to that place.

Reason 4: The Human Body Can Conduct Energy

When a devotee enters a temple, they become a conductor of the cosmic energy inside the temple. When cosmic energy enters the devotee’s body, it supposedly causes tremendous changes in the person’s physical and astral body unless the devotee manages to transfer the energy to the ground.

It is true that cosmic energy is positive and beneficial; however, not all human bodies are able to handle that kind of energy. It is for this reason that some Pranic healers refuse to heal babies.

Reason 5: Earthing

Buildings have lightning rods that are connected to the ground to “earth,” the electricity that flows out of lightning. Similarly, the human body has to earth the cosmic currents, too. Hence, it is advised to walk barefoot on dewy grass or the ground early in the morning. This helps us to “reconnect” with the earth’s energy, which helps activate the earth chakra in the human body and also releases the negative energy in our body, which flows to the ground.

This is the main reason why we are required to take off our footwear in holy places. When the positive cosmic energy passes through us, it cleanses us of diseased or negative energy. On the other hand, we should always wear footwear in places filled with negative energy, like crematoriums, graveyards, etc.

Reason 6: A psychological angle

Many people who visit temples are often in a disturbed frame of mind. They come to the temples, seeking peace and solace. Being barefoot helps them to gain direct contact with the sacred aura of the temple and the deity. It helps them to absorb the divine energy and blessings.

Reason 7: Temple floors have healing substances

Temples are also often covered in turmeric, sandalwood, and sindoor. These materials have therapeutic properties, and they can boost our mental and spiritual health.

Reason 8: Removes blockages in our chakras

Chakras are energy centers in our bodies. They help balance the flow of energy in our bodies. When we walk barefoot, it activates the Root/Muladhara chakra, which is closely connected to the earth. It removes energy blockages and helps the energy in our body to flow smoothly. It has a grounding effect on us.

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