Bahai Lotus temple
The Jewel in the Lotus It is possible to see in the architecture of India, to an extent probably unknown elsewhere, the roots of religion in a most clear and distinct manner. The meaningful and powerful symbols which can be seen in the buildings and in their ornamentation, and even in the settings in which they have been placed, draw their inspiration from the religious convictions of the people, convictions which form an integral part of the Indian way of life.
The very bushes growing in the corner of a temple courtyard or the color of the courtyard wall can tell us to which religion the temple belongs. In this way we can discover the allegorical meanings which the forms, the colours, and the statues in a temple are meant to convey, to such an extent that we can call Indian architecture an architecture of allegory and symbol, in that hidden meanings dwell in every shape and form.
These hidden meanings have a close and inspiring connection with the life of the people of this country. Against such a background, we find ourselves faced with two major questions regarding the design of a Bahá'í House of Worship for India. We understand from some of the statements of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, that the Bahá'í Temple should be a symbol manifesting the Bahá'í Faith, revealing the simplicity, clarity, and freshness of this new Revelation.
On the other hand, in showing respect for the basic beliefs of the religions of the past, the Temple must act as a constant reminder to the followers of each faith that all the religions of God are one, and that the Bahá'í Faith, for all that it may have many new features, is in no way cut off or detached from the life of the Indian people, but rather looks upon them all with respect and love.