The Healing Pillar In Nara

Squeezing into the hole at the bottom of the massive ‘healing’ pillar in the Daibutsuden of the Todaiji Temple is said to guarantee your place in Heaven.

I didn’t dare risk being stuck in limbo!Inside 5

Inside 6

Posted by

Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

121 thoughts on “The Healing Pillar In Nara

  1. πŸ˜† I think I would not be able to resist πŸ˜€ Fabulous shots, Madhu πŸ˜€

    1. Ummm…you might need to call customer service Jade. I don’t think any hollow trunk will wok πŸ™‚

  2. Woman, you have some fantastic legs …. *smile – I wouldn’t risk them if they were mine neither. Great and fun entry – and I’m sure you will come to heaven in any case.

  3. By the looks of it… The guarantee of a place in heaven seems to be only for the slim and flexible (and non claustrophobic) πŸ™‚

  4. Interesting! There are so many similar structures in Indian temples, too, right? Pillars that you should squeeze behind to get a place in heaven, stepping stones that you should cross, etc etc?

    1. I am sure, and I have followed through with several for fun, as long as there was no risk to life or limb…..or dignity πŸ˜€

  5. Just like looking up a chimney! The Bible has a different view of getting to heaven. The New Testament (Christian part) explains how to get to heaven:

    NIV Bible – John 3 v 16-17

    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

    1. Dear Jane, this was posted in jest and depicts a tradition that is more superstition and removed from actual Buddhist belief.

      I resist talking about religion on this blog, but since you bring it up, I personally prefer the Buddhist versions of Nirvana – and this is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Japan – where one achieves salvation by one’s own meritorious thought and action, and where Heaven and Hell are as temporary as life, and your behavior and compassion towards others, decides the course of your afterlife. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone worked to better themselves rather than trying to prove that one God is better than the other.

        1. Absolutely Shakil. And I have no doubt all religions promote ‘karma’ in some form or the other. It is the interpretation by humans that is sometimes misleading. Many thanks for stopping by.

    1. Neither, you just slide across and through the hole to the other side πŸ˜€ Happy you enjoyed this Sweety….welcome to my blog.

    1. Ha ha, your personal gate to heaven! The transport costs would be prohibitive Ian πŸ™‚

    1. Giving up awareness of self might be a prerequisite for Heaven Gilly! Easier said than done πŸ˜€

    1. This was the first I learnt that Heaven had a girth limitation, like for cabin baggage!! Reason enough to go on a diet πŸ™‚

    1. I saw more tourists trying to squeeze in than locals Christine, so I suspect this might be more of a tourist trap than tradition…fun all the same πŸ™‚

  6. Hahaah – yes we remember this pillar! All these people lining up to squeeze through… not us! Didn’t want to risk being stuck either!

  7. What a scream! As a Catholic I have to tell you Madhu, we would never have made it anywhere near heaven in short shorts and sneakers!

    1. Neither would the Buddhists or Hindus Patti! Nor Muslims or Sikhs! But tourists are a law unto themselves, didn’t you know? πŸ˜‰

  8. To get there seems to demand almost complete freedom from self-consciousness – and yogic skill – so I guess if you manage it (after childhood) I can see you’d assuredly achieve peace. Having said that, I’m wondering if, in this new age of self-promotion, lithe adult wrigglers would qualify? πŸ™‚

    1. Umm, they should technically…..but I didn’t see many lithe adult wrigglers around that day πŸ™‚

    1. Me too Noortje! It is open at the other end, but the thought of getting stuck is too scary. Appreciate your stopping by to comment πŸ™‚

    1. Isn’t it? But I have encountered many that I have been equally wary of…wonder if that is a sign?? πŸ˜‰

    1. No, that would be the limbo I was worried about inhabiting πŸ˜† But seriously, I too wondered if any delusional soul ever got stuck in there! πŸ˜€

  9. Hmm, I’m not great in very enclosed spaces, so no chance of heaven for me…. Your photo did amuse me. Have a good weekend! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, she was perfectly co-ordinated Stephen. Still wondering why I didn’t get a shot of her from the other end! πŸ˜€

  10. If laughing is the way to heaven you took me there with these pictures!! Thanks You win the challenge as far as I’m concerned πŸ˜€

  11. haha that easy? i thought i had to pass through the eye of a needle or something… i’m relieved. πŸ™‚

    1. Not too many like us judging by the lines! πŸ™‚
      Thanks Claudine…a happy weekend to you too πŸ™‚

    1. Me neither Lynne. But I might have been tempted if I were the owner of a derriere quite like that one πŸ˜€

  12. I’m sure your place is guaranteed, but just beware of the secret hidden trapdoor…fall through that and there is Hell to pay!

Comments are closed.