00
 
00
 
-
 
 Hindu Heritage Study Program  
\
\0
\
A Companion to the Study of Hinduism - Part I
0
HR 255.01
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
~ Level - 2
Devotional and Ritualistic Paths of Religious Practices
0
Paths of Rituals, Devotion, Prayers and Surrender
0
\ 
\
Lesson
- 11-
Location of Sanctums and Deities in Temples
Agama Rules normally followed in the traditional Practice.
Companion
Part - I

 

 

Most Hindu Temples are built following some traditions as stated in Agama texts, to locate the Sanctums of various Deities. However, the rules change with certain Purana stories of the city called "Sthala Puranas." The rules also could not be followed when a new Sanctum is built much later after the main temple. Some rules of "seniority" is always followed. The main Deity of the temple and most others face east. In all Siva Temples, the main Deity is found as Siva Linga. Only the sanctum of Sri Ganesha is built to the right side of Siva and all others including Sakthi [Parvathi] and Vishnu will be on His left side. However, in Madurai where Sri Meenakshi is the queen of the land and Siva being the guest, Siva Sanctum is on the north side, to the left of Meenakshi. Sri Subramanya sanctum is built on the left side of Siva and Parvathi. In Siva temples, Ganesha is on the southwest side, forms of Vishnu will be at the west gate with Lakshmi on the northwest and Navagraha on the northeast corners. There will be Nataraja on the north side facing south Durga on southeast facing north.

The only Temple for Sri Maha Vishnu in the world [also the largest] is Angkhor Vat in Cambodia. All Vishnu temples in India are for one of His Avatharas. Most of the times, the sanctums of Lakshmi is in the outer circle of temples. Until about 600 years back, there were few sanctums built for the female Deities in main temples of Siva or Vishnu, when a movement of Sakthi worship became popular and the sanctum for Parvathi and Lakshmi were added to the existing temples in south India. Parvathi and Lakshmi will always be on the left side of Siva and Vishnu. In Vishnu Temples with both Sridevi and Bhoodevi, Sridevi being 'senior' will be on right side. Similarly with, Sri Rama, Lakshmana will be on right while Sita will be on left. With Sri Krishna, Rukmani is on right and Sathyabhama on left. In Srirangam, the main Deity Sri Ranganatha faces south due to the story of promise to Vibhishana that He will face the kingdom of Sri Lanka. In Meenakshi Kalyanam, Vishnu being the person giving the gift of the bride to Siva, stands on right side while the 'gift receiver' Siva stands on left side. While doing prayers or doing namaskarams, for similar reasons, the husband stands on the left side with wife on right side.

\ 
\ 
\ 
Lesson
- 12 -
Pranava Manthra - - OM
- the Meaning and the Significance.
Companion
Part - I
O'm kaaram Bindhu Samyuktham; Nithyam Dhyaayanthi Yo'hinah: |
Kaamadham Mo'kshadham Shaiva; O'mkaaraaya Namoh Namah: ||

Pranava Manthra - - "OM" is pronounced as "AUM" with a long vowel sound. Om is the comprehensive, Universal, holy Sound Symbol and Signifier of the Supreme Infinite Reality. The Universe is said to have been created with the Supreme Reality manifesting first as the Ether or Space of the Pancha Bootham [Five primary Elements] and comes in the form of "Sound" - "Om". It manifests as the totality of existence on four Cosmic and Spiritual planes; Physical, Psychical, Causal or potential and transcendental. Thus OM represents the Supreme Reality and all His manifestations and creations. Sri Ganesha, as God manifesting and being represented with the face like an elephant is symbolic of the shape - - Om and is called "Pranava Swaroopa."

\

" The Goal which all Vedas proclaim, which all austerities and meditations seek and desiring which the sages lead the life of Brahmacharya -- I tell it to thee in brief -- It is Om."
-- [ Katha Upanishad ]
" What is Om, O' Sathyakaama, is verily the higher or transcendental Brahman and the relative or personal Creator-God Brahmaa. Therefore the knower attains either of the two by this means."
" ... Verily, with this Om-kara as the support, the knower attains what is peaceful, undecaying, immortal, fearless and Supreme - Aathman / Brahman."
-- [ Prasna Upanishad. ]
" Pranava - the Mystic sound Om - is the bow; the soul within, the arrow; and Brahman, the target. One should hit that mark with an undistracted mind, and like the arrow, become one with It."
-- [ Mundaka Upanishad.]
" All this cosmic universe is the eternal word Om. Its further explanation is this: the past, the present, the future and everything is just Om. - And whatever transcends the three divisions of time -- that too is just Om. - - Thus the Word Om is verily the Self [Aathman]. He who knows this, with his self [Jiva], enters the Self [Aathman].
-- [ Maandukya Upanishad ]
\
--- Excerpts from: "Om Gayatri and Sandhya" - by Swami Mukhyananda.
\ 
\
\ 
Lessons: - 01 , 02 , - , 03 , 04 , - , 05 , 06 , - , 07 , 08 , - , 09 , 10 , - , 11 , 12 , - , 13 , 14 --

00