In here we show you top 10 richest temples in the world. The world is home to countless temples, but which ones stand out as the wealthiest? Here, we present a compilation of the world’s richest and most affluent temples, taking into account factors such as daily visitors, donations, ornaments, net worth, and deposits. If you’re curious about the most financially prosperous temples in existence today, this article provides a comprehensive list of the top ten. Before delving into the rankings, it’s important to understand the concept of a temple.
A temple, derived from the Latin word “templum,” is a sacred edifice reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and practices, including prayer and sacrifice. This term is generally used to describe religious buildings across different faiths when a more specific term such as church, mosque, or synagogue is not employed in English. Now, without further ado, let’s explore the ten richest temples in the world. Let’s begin!
Table of Contents
- 01. Temple of Guruvayurappan, Guruvayoor
- 02. Temple of Shirdi Sai Baba, Maharashtra
- 03. Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sasta Temple, Periyar Tiger Reserve
- 04. Temple of Somnath, Gujarat
- 05. Temple of Padmanabhaswamy, Kerala
- 06. The Temple of Jagannath, Puri
- 07. Temple of Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi
- 08. Temple of Vaishno Devi, Katra
- 09. Temple of Love (Prem Mandir), Uttar Pradesh
- 10. Temple of Venkateswara, Andhra Pradesh
01. Temple of Guruvayurappan, Guruvayoor
The Temple of Guruvayurappan, commonly known as the Guruvayur Temple, is one of the richest and most revered temples in the world. Situated in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala, India, this Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Guruvayurappan, the four-armed form of Lord Vishnu. It holds great significance among devotees and is renowned for its spiritual aura and architectural splendor.
The Guruvayur Temple is managed and administered by the Guruvayur Devaswom, which is under the control of the Government of Kerala. The temple has a long and rich history, dating back several centuries. According to legends, the idol of Lord Guruvayurappan was originally worshipped by Lord Krishna himself. It is believed that the temple was constructed by Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and Vayu, the Lord of the Wind.
The temple attracts a staggering number of devotees every day, with over 50,000 people visiting its premises. Pilgrims from different parts of India and abroad flock to Guruvayur to seek blessings, offer prayers, and witness the divine rituals and ceremonies conducted within the temple. The serene ambiance and the aura of devotion that pervade the temple make it a sacred place for spiritual seekers.
One of the remarkable aspects of the Guruvayur Temple is its immense wealth. It is estimated that the temple’s total assets amount to a staggering 2,500 crores (Indian rupees). Over the years, the temple has received significant donations and offerings from devotees, including gold, silver, precious stones, and other valuable items. These offerings are carefully preserved and used for the maintenance and development of the temple complex, as well as for various philanthropic activities carried out by the Guruvayur Devaswom.
The wealth of the Guruvayur Temple is a testament to the unwavering faith and devotion of the devotees who contribute to its prosperity. The temple administration ensures that the funds and assets are managed prudently, with a focus on preserving the sanctity and traditions of the temple while also undertaking initiatives for the welfare of the community.
Apart from its financial prosperity, the Guruvayur Temple is also renowned for its architectural grandeur. The temple complex features exquisite artwork, intricate carvings, and beautiful murals depicting various mythological stories and religious motifs. The main deity, Lord Guruvayurappan, is adorned with elaborate jewelry and garments, captivating the hearts of devotees with its divine presence.
Visiting the Guruvayur Temple is not just a religious experience but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The temple complex houses various ancillary structures, including halls for conducting religious ceremonies, a gold and silver ingot factory, a hospital, and accommodation facilities for pilgrims. The temple’s administration also organizes cultural programs and festivals throughout the year, adding to the vibrancy and liveliness of the temple town.
02. Temple of Shirdi Sai Baba, Maharashtra
The Temple of Shirdi Sai Baba, located in Shirdi, Maharashtra, is one of the richest temples in the world. Dedicated to Sai Baba, a revered Hindu saint and spiritual master, this temple holds immense significance for millions of devotees who consider Sai Baba as their guiding light and spiritual guru.
The Shirdi Sai Dhyana Mandir, as it is commonly known, is renowned for its daily prayers and abhishekam (ritualistic bathing) of the main idol of Sai Baba. The temple is open seven days a week, welcoming devotees from all walks of life. The first aarti (devotional ceremony) of the day commences at 5:00 am, allowing devotees to start their day with the blessings and presence of Sai Baba. The temple remains open until 10:00 pm, providing ample time for visitors to seek solace and guidance.
The Shirdi Sai Dhyana Mandir is considered a sacred pilgrimage site for true devotees of Sai Baba. People from various parts of India and beyond come to pay their respects, offer prayers, and seek blessings from the beloved saint. The temple’s tranquil atmosphere and the divine aura surrounding Sai Baba’s idol create an environment conducive to deep spiritual experiences and personal introspection.
In terms of its wealth, the Temple of Shirdi Sai Baba possesses assets valued at approximately 320 crores (Indian rupees). These assets include land, properties, investments, and valuable offerings made by devotees over the years. The temple administration ensures the careful management and utilization of these resources to maintain the temple complex, conduct various religious and charitable activities, and provide amenities for the comfort and convenience of the devotees.
One notable aspect of the Shirdi Sai Dhyana Mandir is the opulent throne on which Sai Baba’s idol sits. Constructed with 94 kilograms of gold, this intricately designed throne is estimated to be worth more than 10 crores (Indian rupees). The splendor and magnificence of the throne exemplify the devotion and reverence showered upon Sai Baba by his devotees.
Visiting the Temple of Shirdi Sai Baba is not only an opportunity for devotees to express their love and gratitude towards Sai Baba but also a chance to immerse themselves in his teachings and embrace the values of compassion, love, and service. The temple complex also houses various facilities for the convenience of the devotees, including accommodation options, dining halls, and prayer halls.
03. Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sasta Temple, Periyar Tiger Reserve
The Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sasta Temple, situated within the picturesque Periyar Tiger Reserve in the village of Perinad, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, is one of the richest temples in the world. Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Western Ghats, this temple complex holds immense spiritual significance and attracts a staggering number of devotees each year.
Sabarimala Temple is renowned for hosting one of the largest annual pilgrimage gatherings in the world. Estimates suggest that over 40 to 50 million devotees visit the temple annually, making it a significant religious and cultural landmark. Devotees from different parts of India and beyond embark on a challenging trek through the forested hills to reach the temple and seek blessings from Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity.
The temple’s popularity and the massive influx of pilgrims contribute to its financial prosperity. The offerings made by devotees form a crucial source of income for the temple. Devotees present various forms of offerings, including cash, gold, silver, and other valuables, as an expression of their devotion and gratitude. These offerings are carefully managed and utilized by the temple administration for the maintenance of the temple complex, conduct of rituals, and the welfare of the devotees.
The net value of the Sabarimala Temple is estimated to be around 245 crores (Indian rupees). This valuation takes into account the assets, funds, and offerings accumulated over the years. The temple administration ensures the prudent management of these resources, ensuring that they are utilized for the upkeep of the temple, infrastructure development, and various charitable initiatives.
The Sabarimala pilgrimage is not just a religious journey but also a test of one’s faith and endurance. Devotees undertake a rigorous 41-day vow of abstinence and observe strict religious practices before embarking on the trek to the temple. The arduous climb, coupled with the spirit of devotion and communal harmony, makes the Sabarimala pilgrimage a unique and cherished experience for millions of devotees.
The temple complex at Sabarimala is designed to accommodate the massive influx of devotees during the pilgrimage season. Adequate facilities, including accommodation, dining halls, medical facilities, and resting places, are provided to ensure the comfort and convenience of the pilgrims. The temple administration works tirelessly to manage the crowd, maintain cleanliness, and organize various rituals and ceremonies during the pilgrimage period.
04. Temple of Somnath, Gujarat
The Temple of Somnath, situated in the town of Prabhas Patan in Veraval, Gujarat, is one of the richest and most revered temples in the world. It holds a significant place in Hindu mythology and is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Somnath Temple is steeped in ancient history and spirituality. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the temple was originally built by the Moon God, Chandra, and later reconstructed by various rulers and devotees over the centuries. The temple’s location near the Arabian Sea adds to its allure and natural beauty.
As one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus, the Somnath Temple attracts millions of tourists and devotees from across the globe every year. People visit the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and experience the divine aura that permeates the shrine. The temple’s serene ambiance and architectural grandeur create a sacred space for spiritual seekers and devotees.
The wealth of the Somnath Temple is a reflection of the devotion and generosity of its followers. The total worth of the temple, including its assets, land, and offerings, is estimated to be more than 11 crores (Indian rupees). Devotees make significant contributions in the form of donations, including cash, gold, silver, and precious stones, as a symbol of their faith and devotion.
These offerings are carefully managed by the temple administration, which ensures their proper utilization for the maintenance and development of the temple complex. The funds are utilized to conduct religious ceremonies, undertake renovation and restoration projects, and facilitate the welfare activities initiated by the temple authorities.
The Somnath Temple is not just a spiritual destination but also an architectural marvel. It showcases the brilliance of ancient Indian architecture and craftsmanship. The temple’s intricate carvings, ornate pillars, and exquisite artwork on the walls depict various mythological stories and symbols associated with Lord Shiva.
The temple complex also includes other structures such as prayer halls, accommodation facilities, gardens, and cultural centers. These amenities cater to the needs of the devotees and provide a holistic experience during their visit to the temple.
Apart from its religious and architectural significance, the Somnath Temple holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian people. It has withstood the test of time and witnessed numerous invasions and reconstructions throughout history. The resilience and indomitable spirit of the temple symbolize the unwavering faith and devotion of the devotees.
05. Temple of Padmanabhaswamy, Kerala
The Temple of Padmanabhaswamy, located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is undoubtedly one of the wealthiest and most magnificent temples in the world. This temple, dedicated to Lord Padmanabhaswamy, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, holds immense religious and historical significance.
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Deshams, sacred temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, as mentioned in the Vaishnava tradition. Devotees from all over the world visit this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Padmanabhaswamy and experience the divine presence within its ancient walls.
What truly sets this temple apart is its astonishing wealth. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is renowned for its vast treasures, making it one of the richest temples in the world. The temple’s wealth comprises an astounding collection of gold, precious stones, silver, sculptures, crowns, and many other priceless artifacts.
It is estimated that the total worth of the treasures housed within the temple exceeds a staggering 1,000,000 crores (Indian rupees). The wealth accumulated in the temple over centuries includes donations from devotees, offerings made by rulers and patrons, and the preservation of treasures passed down through generations.
The magnificent renovation work that stands today is attributed to the great King of Travancore, Marthanda Varma. Under his patronage and guidance, the temple was rebuilt and embellished with intricate carvings, gilded roofs, and majestic architecture. The craftsmanship displayed in the temple’s construction reflects the artistic brilliance of the bygone era.
The treasures within the Padmanabhaswamy Temple are safeguarded with utmost care and vigilance. The temple administration, along with the Travancore Royal Family, oversees the management and preservation of these priceless assets. The temple’s vaults, known as Kallaras, house the vast collection of treasures, each guarded with multiple layers of security.
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is not just a place of worship but also an architectural marvel. Its Dravidian style architecture, adorned with intricate sculptures and detailed carvings, is a testament to the artistic brilliance of the artisans of ancient times. The temple’s towering gopuram (gateway tower), pillared corridors, and sacred ponds create a serene and spiritually uplifting environment.
Apart from its architectural and material wealth, the temple is also known for its spiritual significance and rituals. The daily worship and ceremonies performed by the temple priests, following age-old traditions, attract devotees seeking solace and blessings. The temple’s annual festival, known as Alpashy Utsavam, is a grand celebration that draws devotees from far and wide.
06. The Temple of Jagannath, Puri
The Temple of Jagannath, located in the city of Puri, Odisha, is one of the richest and most revered temples in the world. This ancient Hindu temple holds immense religious and cultural significance for devotees and stands as a symbol of spiritual devotion.
Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Krishna, the Jagannath Temple attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists from all corners of the globe. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites in India, which holds great importance in Hindu mythology.
The Jagannath Temple is renowned for its annual chariot festival, known as the Rath Yatra. During this grand event, the deities of Lord Jagannath, his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, are taken out in beautifully decorated chariots and pulled by thousands of devotees. The Rath Yatra attracts a massive gathering of devotees who come to witness the divine procession and seek the blessings of the deities.
The temple’s immense wealth is a reflection of the devotion and offerings made by its followers. The deity of Lord Jagannath is adorned with magnificent jewelry, including 209 kg of gold, during important festivals and occasions. The sight of the glittering ornaments and precious stones adds to the grandeur and divine ambiance of the temple.
Moreover, the Jagannath Temple holds many secrets yet to be discovered. It is said that the temple houses five underground chambers that have remained uncovered. The contents of these chambers remain a mystery, leaving people curious about the potential hidden treasures and richness they may hold.
The management and administration of the Jagannath Temple are under the purview of the temple authorities. They ensure the proper utilization of the temple’s wealth for the maintenance and development of the temple complex, the conduct of rituals and ceremonies, and the welfare of devotees.
The architectural splendor of the Jagannath Temple is another remarkable aspect that draws visitors from around the world. The temple’s main structure features the Kalinga-style architecture, characterized by its pyramid-shaped spires and intricate carvings depicting mythological stories and symbols associated with Lord Jagannath.
The temple complex encompasses various other structures and sacred areas, including courtyards, prayer halls, and bathing tanks. These spaces cater to the spiritual needs of devotees and provide a serene and peaceful environment for prayers and offerings.
07. Temple of Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi
The Temple of Kashi Vishwanath, located in the vibrant city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is renowned as one of the richest temples in the world. This ancient Hindu temple holds immense religious significance, dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in the Hindu pantheon.
Situated on the western bank of the sacred river Ganga, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple stands as a beacon of spirituality and devotion. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Devotees from far and wide visit this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Vishwanath and experience the divine energy that permeates its surroundings.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a center for the practice of Shaiva philosophy for centuries. It holds a special place in the hearts of millions of devotees who regard it as a sacred destination for pilgrimage and spiritual enlightenment. The temple’s architecture showcases intricate carvings, gold-plated domes, and spires that exude grandeur and artistic brilliance.
The temple’s iconic Nandi Bull statue, positioned near the entrance, is a significant attraction for visitors. The Nandi Bull, regarded as Lord Shiva’s mount, stands as a guardian and symbol of devotion at the temple’s threshold.
While the exact value of the temple’s wealth is not disclosed publicly, the most recent financial reports estimate its fixed assets to be around Rs 75 crore (Indian rupees). These assets include land, buildings, and other tangible properties owned by the temple.
The management and administration of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple are overseen by the temple trust and local authorities. Their primary focus is to ensure the proper maintenance and preservation of the temple complex, facilitate the smooth conduct of religious ceremonies and rituals, and cater to the needs of the devotees.
The temple premises bustle with devotees and visitors throughout the year, with a particular surge during auspicious occasions and festivals. The atmosphere is filled with devotion, prayers, and the enchanting sounds of religious hymns and chants, creating a spiritually uplifting experience for all.
Beyond its material wealth, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple holds immense spiritual and cultural significance. It serves as a gateway to salvation and enlightenment for devotees who believe that a visit to this temple and a glimpse of the sacred deity can cleanse their souls and bestow divine blessings.
08. Temple of Vaishno Devi, Katra
The Temple of Vaishno Devi, situated in the scenic town of Katra in the Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir, is recognized as one of the richest temples in the world. This holy Hindu shrine is dedicated to the divine mother goddess Vaishno Devi, an embodiment of Goddess Shakti.
Nestled in the picturesque Trikuta Mountains, the Vaishno Devi Temple holds immense religious significance for devotees. It is considered one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, which are revered as sacred abodes of the goddess. The temple attracts a vast number of pilgrims from various parts of India and around the world who seek the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi and embark on a spiritual journey to attain salvation and fulfillment.
According to legend, Mata Vaishno Devi observed the Navratra, a period of fasting and prayer, to invoke the divine energies and seek blessings for Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana. It is believed that due to Rama’s blessings, Mata Vaishno Devi attained immortality and became the compassionate and powerful deity worshiped by millions.
The temple’s surroundings offer breathtaking views of the Trikuta Mountains and the natural beauty of the region, further enhancing the spiritual experience for visitors. The journey to the temple involves a trek of approximately 12 kilometers from Katra, where devotees undertake a pilgrimage filled with faith, devotion, and determination. Helicopter services are also available for those who prefer a shorter and more convenient mode of transportation.
In terms of its wealth, the Vaishno Devi Temple possesses substantial assets. The net value of the temple is estimated to be around INR 500 crore (Indian rupees). This includes donations from devotees, valuable offerings, and the management of various resources associated with the temple complex.
The administration of the temple ensures the proper utilization of the temple’s wealth for the maintenance and development of the premises, the facilitation of devotee services, and the conduct of religious rituals and ceremonies. The funds are also utilized for the welfare and betterment of the local community.
The pilgrimage to the Vaishno Devi Temple is considered a transformative and spiritually uplifting experience. The devotees embark on this arduous journey with unwavering faith, seeking the blessings of the divine mother and hoping for her grace and protection. The temple complex offers facilities such as accommodation, food, and medical aid to ensure the comfort and well-being of the pilgrims.
09. Temple of Love (Prem Mandir), Uttar Pradesh
The Temple of Love, commonly known as Prem Mandir, is a magnificent Hindu temple located in Vrindavan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India. This temple, dedicated to the divine deities Radha Krishna and Sita Ram, is a place of profound spiritual significance and devotion.
Prem Mandir is a vast complex situated on a sprawling 55-acre site on the outskirts of Vrindavan. It is meticulously maintained by the Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education, spirituality, and charitable activities.
The temple’s architecture and design are a sight to behold, with intricate carvings, ornate domes, and exquisite sculptures depicting the eternal love between Radha and Krishna, as well as the divine union of Sita and Ram. The temple complex radiates a sense of divine bliss and serenity, providing a sacred space for devotees to immerse themselves in prayer and contemplation.
Prem Mandir serves as a beacon of love, teaching the profound spiritual philosophy of unconditional devotion and divine union. The temple’s intricate detailing and craftsmanship are a testament to the devotion and skill of the artisans who worked tirelessly to create this architectural marvel.
The temple hosts grand ceremonies and festivals throughout the year, attracting devotees from near and far. These events showcase the vibrant traditions and rituals associated with the worship of Radha Krishna and Sita Ram. Devotees participate in melodious bhajans (devotional songs), mesmerizing dance performances, and spiritual discourses that elevate the spiritual atmosphere of the temple.
The temple complex also features beautifully landscaped gardens, illuminated pathways, and tranquil water bodies, creating a serene ambiance that complements the spiritual experience. The gardens are meticulously maintained and adorned with vibrant flowers and plants, offering a peaceful retreat for visitors to connect with nature and find solace in the divine presence.
As one of the world’s richest temples, the value of Prem Mandir extends beyond its material wealth. It stands as a testament to the immeasurable riches of devotion, love, and spirituality. The temple’s teachings and activities aim to promote selfless service, compassion, and the universal message of love that transcends all boundaries.
The Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat, in its role as the caretaker of Prem Mandir, ensures the proper utilization of the temple’s resources for the benefit of society. The funds and donations received are channeled towards educational initiatives, healthcare programs, and various charitable activities that uplift the lives of the underprivileged.
10. Temple of Venkateswara, Andhra Pradesh
The Temple of Venkateswara, also known as the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple or Tirupati Balaji Temple, is an ancient and revered Hindu temple located in the hill town of Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu. This temple is considered one of the richest temples in the world, both in terms of its spiritual and material wealth.
According to legend, Lord Venkateswara sought a loan from Kubera, the god of wealth, for his marriage to Padmavathi. Kubera granted him a loan of one crore and 11.4 million (11,400,000) coins of gold. To repay this debt, Lord Venkateswara’s devotees generously offer their prayers and donations at the temple.
The Temple of Venkateswara is situated amidst the picturesque Seshadri hills, which were transformed into a divine abode by the celestial architect, Viswakarma. The temple complex is a testament to exquisite architecture and intricate craftsmanship. It consists of several ornate gopurams (towers), halls, and sanctums that house the deity of Lord Venkateswara.
The temple holds immense religious significance and is thronged by millions of pilgrims each year, especially during the annual Brahmotsavam festival. During festival days, the number of pilgrims can exceed 5,000,000 per day, making it one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world.
Devotees express their reverence and devotion by offering various forms of wealth, including cash, gold, and other valuable items. It is estimated that the temple receives more than $120 million worth of offerings annually, making it a significant source of income.
Apart from monetary offerings, the temple receives other donations such as jewelry, precious stones, and land grants from devotees seeking the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. Additionally, devotees also participate in a unique tradition of sacrificing their hair as an offering. The collected hair is meticulously cleaned, processed, and sold, contributing to the temple’s financial resources.
The Temple of Venkateswara utilizes its wealth to undertake numerous charitable initiatives and welfare programs. These initiatives include providing free meals to pilgrims, constructing and maintaining educational institutions, funding healthcare facilities, and supporting various social and cultural endeavors.
The overall valuation of the Temple of Venkateswara is estimated to be around 37,000 crores (Indian rupees). However, the true wealth of the temple lies in the devotion and faith of its millions of devotees who consider it a privilege to contribute to the divine cause.
In conclusion, the world is home to several remarkable and financially prosperous temples that attract millions of devotees and tourists every year. These temples hold immense cultural, religious, and historical significance, making them a vital part of the spiritual landscape of their respective regions.
From the majestic Temple of Guruvayurappan in Kerala to the ancient Temple of Somnath in Gujarat, and from the renowned Temple of Padmanabhaswamy in Kerala to the sacred Temple of Jagannath in Puri, each temple has its own unique charm and rich heritage that captivates visitors.
These temples not only serve as places of worship but also play a significant role in the social, cultural, and economic development of their surrounding areas. The substantial wealth accumulated by these temples through generous donations and offerings is often utilized for various philanthropic activities, such as providing free meals, healthcare services, educational facilities, and supporting charitable initiatives.
Furthermore, these temples are not only repositories of material wealth but also storehouses of faith, devotion, and spirituality. They serve as beacons of hope and centers for spiritual enlightenment, attracting pilgrims from all walks of life who seek solace, guidance, and divine blessings.
The richness of these temples extends beyond their monetary value. It lies in the centuries-old traditions, architectural marvels, sacred rituals, and the unwavering devotion of the devotees who visit them. These temples stand as testaments to the enduring power of faith and the profound impact of spirituality on people’s lives.
Visiting these temples offers not just a religious experience but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the cultural tapestry of the region, witness age-old traditions, and connect with the divine in a profound way.
As these temples continue to flourish and welcome devotees from around the world, their contributions to society, both spiritually and economically, remain invaluable. They serve as reminders of the rich cultural heritage of humanity and the universal quest for transcendence and enlightenment.
In essence, the richest temples in the world are not just repositories of wealth but also guardians of faith, symbols of cultural identity, and sources of inspiration for millions. They continue to shine as beacons of spirituality and provide a sanctuary for those seeking solace, enlightenment, and a connection with the divine.