Baalbek Temple – Lebanon's Ancient Yogic Connection

The Baalbek temple is known to the world as a monumental two-thousand-year-old temple to Jupiter that sits atop three thousand-ton stone blocks. But is there more to this ancinet shrine that meets the eye? What if it has a completely unexpected origin?
Baalbek Temple Stones

An Isha meditator talks about her experience of visiting the Baalbek monument in Lebanon, and about her realization that this was in fact a temple constructed by yogis a long time ago.

Who Built Baalbek Temple in Lebanon?

Baalbek  is an incredible monument, standing on a hill in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon. The construction of the expansive temple was begun by the Phoenicians between three and four thousand years ago. The Greeks then added to it, followed by the Romans, and much later the Arabs. Local legend has it that the temple was originally built by people “from the East”; not much is known beyond that. I have visited the place several times and enjoyed long walks through the ruins, but it was not until my pursuit of yoga that I found revealing connections to other civilizations.


baalbek quarry

One of the large stones, similar to the ones mounted on the walls of Baalbek.

How Did They Transport Baalbek Stones?

Some curious facts about the Baalbek temple are that you will see stone lotuses carved on the temple’s ceilings. That is intriguing, because there are no lotuses in Lebanon. But when I later came to India, I saw that the lotus is the most common symbolism of spirituality here. I haven’t seen an Indian temple without one. Secondly, the foundation stones of the temple are supposed to weigh eight hundred tonnes each. The ancients transported these immense stones, and also erected huge columns, which are at least 10 feet in diameter and 50 feet high. It is said that they were moved with the help of elephants, but people don’t give much credence to this as there are no elephants in West Asia.


The lotus is the most common symbolism of spirituality in India.

All these pieces of the puzzle dramatically fell together, when I was learning to perform the traditional Guru Pooja in the ashram in India. I was told that the traditional way to honor the guru is known as Shodashopachara, or 16 ways of treating a Guru. Something called a Guru Pooja stone, a stone with 16 corners, is also used for the purpose. When I saw it, I was reminded of this large stone lying in the middle of the ruins of Baalbek and I was able to connect the dots — the lotuses, the elephants and the 16-cornered stone...

Suddenly, my coming to India did not seem so novel or original. Obviously, there was a cultural interaction going back thousands of years.


Baalbek is an incredible monument. It is something that everybody should see. Some of the stones weigh 800 tonnes. I want you to just understand – to do this without equipment, without cranes, without trucks, without any big ships, what kind of human beings would even endeavor to think like that? Definitely not people who are thinking of just money and bread.

Among the roof stones, there is a clear anahata symbol, with 6 petals and two interlocking triangles. And above all, in the museum at Baalbek, there is a stone with 16 corners called a Guru Pooja stone.

Guru Pooja is not just an emotional thing, it is a whole system of creating a certain possibility, of creating a field of energy around you so that people become receptive and are drawn to the whole process. This is called Shodashopachara, which means 16 ways of treating a Guru. For this, 16-cornered stones are made which are called Guru Pooja Peetas which are unique to yogic culture. Guru Pooja stones of 16 corners could not have gone anywhere else except from the knowledge that Adiyogi himself transmitted. Such a thing exists nowhere else on the planet, but in Baalbek there is a Guru Pooja stone that is thousands of years old. Obviously there was a very active commercial and spiritual connection between the two lands.

Login / to join the conversation1
2 years 11 months ago

Υou possibⅼy can plаy it anytime уou want.? Daddy answeгed.
?As a result of sρeaking about how nice Gⲟd is
makes him blissful and its wоrship. Play it befpre yyou go t᧐
sleep toniight ɑnd when yyou wake up in thhe morning and God
willl probably be near you all day long.

7 years 6 months ago

I really dislike to see sharing of people except Sadhguru! Because this is SADHGURU SPOT. Also earlier web-design of Sadhguru spot was best . Present one looks so clumsy. I also think, there should be no "comments" on SADHGURU SPOT.

7 years 6 months ago

And yet you made a comment/Share ..very funny.. Forget how the web design looks and all the non-sense what other talks, the 'man' himself didn't care which is why they left it comment'able. Now look what you have done, you've made way for a 2nd comment, oh hang on you are replying me, that's 3rd :) Cut the Bull ..focus on what 'He' says..see if you can bring at least one quality from Him to your life. Now that will be great, wouldn't it, May Grace be with you.

7 years 6 months ago

this is isha blog not Sadhguru spot!

7 years 6 months ago

From how the Isha meditator described it, it surely looks like such an interesting monument. I have yet to see this myself. Thank you Sadhguru because you have once again shared your insights even on such historical places and monuments.

7 years 1 month ago

I was lucky to go first time in 2001/ second time 2006/ for shahi snaan and thanks to my guru i was even more lucky to be in the procession with the naga babas of juna akhara..the energy and vibrance of that place and its babas was intense and amazing. Just from experiencing it i learnt a lot about the naked babas and how stupid I really am. (a note of caution the water gives you brain freeze hahaha and i was get chance live there one month with guruji,thanx my guruji shri shri shri 1008 Mahamandleswar swami Alakhgiriji majaraj

6 years 8 months ago

The image of the six petal lotus in a star inscribed on a stone found in the remains @Baalbek

5 years 4 months ago

Namaste, up until 2000 years ago, Lebanon was famous for its great forests, Sinai was Rome's hunting ground to capture animals for the arena. 5000 years ago, the Sahara was still in the process of becoming the desert we know today, so it's likely elephants would have been more common. But there's so much about our history we don't know.

5 years 2 months ago

What Adiyogi and lotus flowers?

4 years 4 months ago

well sahara formation started 7 million years ago, and forget about rome. There is a place called anjer close to baalbeck where the army station and settlements of alexander (328BC) are still there. And greek army never heard of elephants until they faced purushotham. Elephants are indeed naive to west asians then.

4 years 2 months ago

Guruji now this seems truly linked to Ancient India as the the temple was dedicated to three gods and specially to the Jupiter(Guru Brihaspati), Venus (Guru Sukracharya) and some name called Bacchus.