Treasures of the Temple Episode I

Every day there’s something new. Boxes and boxes full of paper after paper, folder after folder, key after random key. Sorting through the Temple is no easy task. At times, it feels like an insurmountable problem. This place has decades of history and with it comes decades of saved material. I can see why at first glance, it might all look like piles of junk. At times, more often than not, it can become extremely overwhelming. But as we sort through heaps of papers, as we rummage through cassette tapes and sift through countless filing cabinets, it becomes clear: these are hidden gems and we’re actually on “Legends of the Hidden Temple”.

For those of you who don’t know, Legends of the Hidden Temple was an action-adventure TV game show that broadcast from 1993-1995 on Nickelodeon. The program centered on a temple that was filled with lost treasures protected by the temple guards. At the temple gate was a talking Olmec head who knew the secrets behind each of the treasures. Six teams of two children competed to retrieve one of the historical artifacts in the temple by performing physical stunts and answering questions based on history, mythology and geography. The show was a hit and ran on television for several years, even after the series ended. Now an adult, I look back on the tv show quite fondly. It was an educational show that made learning fun. It took something seemingly mundane and made it extraordinary, similar to how the Temple of Kriya Yoga makes me feel on a daily basis.

My manager Tamara and I are on a team. On the show, each team was assigned a color and an animal. For example, the “Silver Snakes”. My favorite was always the Blue Barracudas, so that’s the team we’re on. We’re not necessarily competing, as we don’t have anyone else working with us, let alone challenging us; but, this of course, is all my imagination at work anyway. Sorting through the Temple of Kriya Yoga material has now been turned into a game show for your viewing pleasure.

As we enter the world of the game show, intro music begins to play. It’s upbeat and fun and visuals begin to flow from the screen. There’s tall trees and large leaves and deep in the jungle there rests Olmec. As the shot widens, we are taken into the studio, where our host, Kirk Fogg, descends from the rafters. He introduces the rest of the teams and the game begins!

Round 1 of the Legends of the Hidden Temple involves “The Moat”, where teams must attempt to cross a narrow pool in a prescribed manner. Now, you can’t touch the water and if you fall in, well, it’s game over. This seems more than fitting for us, due to containers of water strategically placed on the floor from the roof leaking. (The Temple is beautiful but old: it needs some renovations, which are soon to be in the works.) As we make our way up the stairs, we walk past these containers to get to the rooms full of intricate stacks of books and papers. It’s a challenge but there is so much knowledge and history hidden within these boxes, we have to push through.

Round 2 of the show is focused on “The Steps of Knowledge”. Olmec begins the round by telling the remaining teams the legend of the hidden artifact. At the end of the legend, he asked the teams a series of questions to test their memory. While Tamara and I don’t have our own personal Olmec to ask us questions, we have each other and there are a lot of questions to ask. What is this textbook? What does this brochure say? What can we do with this lecture? We talk it through and do a lot of inferring. In the end we figure it out.

Round 3 is “The Temple Games”, where you compete in three physical challenges to earn Pendants of Life, which the winning team could then use in the final round. Our biggest physical challenge was carrying the tubs of material we found down two flights of stairs to our office. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s A LOT of tubs of heavy material, up and down, over and over again and we’re only two women. We complete the 3rd round and head to the final round: The Temple Run. To search for all the hidden artifacts...the treasures of the Temple.

Paper after paper, we find a colossal amount of courses, teachings, seminars, lectures; you name it, we have it. The Temple already has hundreds of lectures and teachings by Goswami Kriyananda digitized and available to the public- check it out at www.YogaKriya.org underneath the SHOP tab. So, the fact that we found even MORE, and I mean, a lot more; well, that’s just a testament to the knowledge and wisdom of  Goswami.

The Temple Run was the most difficult and challenging part of the game show. It was held in a maze of over a dozen rooms, full of ladders, switches, puzzles and Temple Guards. Over the 120-episode run of the show, only 32 teams would ever win the Temple Run round. Our version of the Temple Run was no different. It takes a lot of time and energy to sort through everything. As we spent more time organizing these papers into different files and categories: Astrology, Meditation, Karma, Paris Seminars, etc., I spent more time being astonished by how many jewels there truly were, and we hadn’t even found the real fortune yet.

Upstairs on the third floor of the Temple, there is a room with beautiful natural light coming through several windows facing the front of the building. In this attic there is a smaller room, very dark, that you can’t see into unless you have a large flashlight. This is it, the Blue Barracudas have made it to the end of the Temple Run, the final puzzle. You can tell from the state of the room that no one has been inside in years. Navigating inside the space is a puzzle in itself. We use teamwork to lift everything out of the room and into the main area where we can sort it better. We find all sorts of things in the room. Small figurines, tea cups, little trinkets, intricate scrolls and tapestries; we even find children’s puppets! But the gem of all gems is hundreds of notebooks full of vibrant paintings by Rebecca, Goswami’s wife.

Now, at the end of the show, if the team succeeded in the Temple Run they won an assortment of prizes from a CD player, to a bike and going to space camp. They could even win a trip to Busch Gardens or Universal Studios.While Tamara and I don’t win any of those prizes, in the end it isn’t about us. It’s about the Temple. I think in this episode, everyone wins, not just the Blue Barracudas. This is just the beginning for the Temple. A fresh start, almost like a reboot of a tv show. So, if you enjoyed the pilot episode of our reboot: sit back, relax and enjoy the many more episodes to come.