The presence of Accumulated Spiritual Energy from Large Numbers of Pilgrims that have Visited the Sacred Sites
We have all felt the energies (we might also call them vibrations or presences) that emanate from and surround people according to their internal experiences. For example, when someone is happy, his or her happiness touches and inspires other people. The same is true with vibrations of a spiritual nature. When human beings engage in practices such as prayer and meditation, they experience feelings of inner peace and religious devotion. As these feelings are experienced within, they simultaneously flow outward in the same way that warmth radiates from a heat source or a magnetic field surrounds a magnet. Pilgrimage shrines, because of the large number of people praying and meditating at them, have become highly charged with these vibrations of peace and religious devotion. These vibrations have a lasting effect in physical space. Sacred sites thus become memory banks of the accumulated peace and holiness manifested by countless pilgrims who have visited the shrines.
The saints and holy persons who have lived and meditated at the sacred sites also generate this field of accumulated spiritual energy. A saintly individual who leads an exemplary life imbues his environment with the holiness that accrues from these practices. When we visit an ancient sacred site today we place ourselves within the field, the living memory of the holiness that has been generated both by the pilgrims and the saints over the centuries.
This field of power is further amplified during major festivals held at the sacred places. Many pilgrimage centers that draw visitors throughout the year celebrate certain days, or periods of days, as being particularly auspicious. These holy periods generally fall into two broad categories. Those commemorating events in the lives of either real or mythological figures may be the time when a saint was born, performed a miracle or died, or when a deity or spirit physically manifested in space and time. The sun’s solstices and equinoxes, lunar standstills and the heliacal rising of various stars exemplify those linked with different periods in solar, lunar and stellar cycles. When great numbers of pilgrims flock to a shrine for such an event, the spiritual energy manifested by meditation, prayer and ceremony dramatically increases. A well-known example is the Kumbha Mela festival of India, which draws fifteen to twenty million pilgrims during a one-month period. While such pilgrimage festivals may not be the most serene occasions to visit the sacred places, they are undoubtedly the most exciting and highly charged.