Freemasonry has fascinated people for centuries with its aura of secrecy and rumors of influential members. This ancient fraternal organization traces its roots to stonemasons guilds in Europe from the 16th century but adopted its current form when the first Grand Lodge was founded in London in 1717.
Today, India hosts over 25,000 Freemasons in more than 500 lodges governed by the Grand Lodge of India based in Kolkata. Throughout history, renowned Indian personalities across various fields have been drawn to Freemasonry, including presidents, business tycoons, judges, maharajas, and Bollywood stars.
But what exactly does this mysterious group stand for? At its core, Freemasonry promotes self-improvement, moral uprightness, intellectual exploration, and philanthropy. Its members, addressing each other as “brothers”, aim to cultivate virtues and wisdom to positively impact their communities. However, they are not a religious or political organization.
Rituals and symbols infuse society with an enigma. For instance, the ubiquitous Masonic eye represents God as an all-seeing entity observing one’s deeds rather than any particular religious deity. Elaborate ceremonies, steeped in concealed meanings and cryptic terminology, mark one’s journey across ascending degrees of membership.
Geometry and architecture also hold profound significance. Masons trace their origins to skilled builders, and geometric shapes like triangles and hexagrams feature prominently in lodges and related structures. Famous Indian examples displaying Masonic design influences include Rashtrapati Bhavan, Connaught Place, Jantar Mantar and even New Delhi’s layout conceived by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.
So, how does one get an invite into this fascinating yet guarded brotherhood? Membership requires a referral from an existing Mason, an extensive review process, and meeting criteria like being male and believing in a Supreme Being. If deemed worthy, the Masonic world of esoteric secrets and access to powerful networksawaits…
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