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

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

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

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

  2. haha that easy? i thought i had to pass through the eye of a needle or something… i’m relieved. 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˜€

  3. 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. 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˜€

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

  4. 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™‚

  5. 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˜‰

    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™‚

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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˜€

  8. 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™‚

  9. 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.

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