The seven layers in the arrangement of a Devalay (Temple)

A Devalay is divided into seven levels. Each level is connected with a Cosmic Principle and in turn purifies the related chakra (Centre in the body through which the spiritual energy flows) of the person taking darshan (viewing) of a Devalay.

Level

Section of Devalay

Principle related to Pancha-tattva

Which deha and kosh of the devotee is purified ?

First Entrance and Vyaghramukh Pruthvi Sthuldeha
Second Compound and Tulsi-vrundavan Pruthvi and Apa Prana-deha and pranamay-kosh
Third Water reservoir and array of lamps Apa and Tej Manomay-kosh
Fourth The raised square of Kshetrapal Devata and the Mahadwar Tej Pranmay-kosh and manomay-kosh
Fifth The pathway for pradakshina, steps and sabhamandap (mirror, bell and the terrace) Vayu Sukshmadeha
Sixth Garbhagar, Yadnyakund, the Idol of Suryanarayan Vayu and Akash Sukshmadeha and Prandeha
Seventh Garbha-gruh, Nandadeep, the small Devalay, Go-mukh, kalash and the flag on it Akash Sthuldeha and Sukshmadeha

The components of all the seven levels in the structure of a Devalay have the capacity to attract the corresponding Principle amongst the five Cosmic Principles in the universe and also of purifying the corresponding energy chakra of the individual. These seven levels of the structure of a Devalay denote the journey of purification of the darshanarthi (One having darshan) from the Muladhar-chakra (First centre in the spiritual energy system located in the region between the anus and the base of the genitals in the subtle body) to the Sahasrar-chakra (Last centre in the spiritual energy system located at the top of the head in the subtle body). Due to this unique arrangement of the Devalay structure, from the seventh level (Akash-tattva [Absolute Ether Principle] associated with nirgun [Non-materialised]) to the first level (Pruthvi-tattva [Absolute Earth Principle] associated with sagun [Materialised]), meaning, from the kalash (Dome of a temple) to the main door of the Devalay, nirgun waves of the Deity Principle get transformed into sagun waves. This helps the individual entering the Devalay to get maximum benefit of the sagun Principle of the Deity. This shows the deep and subtle thought for the darshanarthi from the perspective of God-realisation. Such a deep and subtle thought is not evident in the architecture of prayer places of other sects. It will be clear from these facts, how, when compared with other sects, Hindu Dharma is superior and perfect. – A Scholar (Through the medium of Mrs. Anjali Gadgil, 16th January 2005, 10.19 p.m.).

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text : ‘How Should One Have Darshan in a Temple’