Monday, January 8, 2007

Temple Worship

Temple, Worship and Its Purpose

Purpose of visit

It is a common knowledge that devotees visit a temple and pray before the deity for the prosperity of their family and fulfillment of their wishes. There are other purposes also for the visits. In certain times all things happen just against the desires of the hapless beings and they don’t why. Despite all their ardent efforts things do happen just against their wishes. An ordinary man can do nothing but blame on the stars above and seek the help of god which is believed to be in the temple, seeking an end to these adverse conditions. There is no medicine that can cure bad times.

How to worship in a temple

Temples are easily accessible to anyone and inexpensive, more over for a devotee it is not a must for him to know much about the rituals and performances. Have a bath, wear a clean cloth, go to a temple, stand with folded hands close to the chest, have a look at the idol, then close the eyes and see the image of the idol in mind place all their grievances before the deity and pray for the fulfillment of his desires that is all.

“Vrutha” and its observance (Vruthanushtanam)

The purpose of observance of vrutha is the purification of body as well as soul. Vrutha is also an effective tool to please the gods. Ardent observance of vrutha will overcome the ill effects of adverse stars. Observing “vrutha” (vrutha is to live as per the conditions prescribed in the scriptures for a limited period, generally associated with some sacred day or occasion) is one thing of prominent importance. The ways to observance of vrutha associated with a particular purpose may be different from that observed for another purpose.

“Advaita” (not two or all are one and the same)

God as such is not having any shape but shapes are attributed for a simple mind to understand and visualize. A devotee visiting a temple by observing the dictums prescribed scriptures will definitely stand to gain. As per the ancient Indian scriptures God Almighty exists in five different forms, Those are “Param”, “vyuham”, “vibhavam” “Archa” and “Antharyami”.

Of these five shapes “archa” alone can be visualized by ordinary devotees and it is for them that form is attributed, as something until visualized cannot be born in mind. Then a question arises, why there should be so many gods is one not enough?

Devotees are of different origins, different cultures, and different approach to spirituality, different forms of god enable them to identify themselves with certain shapes. That does not mean one is basically different from the other. Water of the seven oceans is one and the same. People with affinity to certain shapes of god are a fact that cannot be ignored. The same can be easily observed from their behavior flocking to distant temples as neighborhood temples lack enough devotees.

The concept of “ishta deiva aradhana” (worshiping of favorite deity) is popular in India. One considers a particular deity as his favorite one and keeps its idols of different shapes in his “pooja room” (a room specially kept for observing devotional rituals and prayer, considered sacred by Hindus). More over he visits the temples where that particular deity is worshiped. These all does not mean that he neglect god almighty.

It is his personal preference of worshiping god. One who can draw a straight line bare handed does not need a scale. Leave the other one who cannot draw it straight without! Worship is done sitting nearby his favorite deity as wife sits nearby her husband. Sitting nearby a deity is called “upasana” (upasanasthan means one who sits). As a temple is the apt place to sit it is called as “sadhastham” (good place to be) also.

Let a temple be thou place to sit and worship, because peace is there where temple is.

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