services and "Poojas" at home and at the Temples follow
the traditions and rules established in the Agamas and in Bhakthi
form of the religion. The Temples are established as the palace of
a manifestation of God in a form of the Incarnation that is represented
at the Temple. Most Temples will have Sanctum for several forms of
God, though it may have only one form as the Main Deity.
temple worship has evolved over the years as a service to God as the
King or the Queen or the leader of the land. Here, an image of a likeness
of a manifestation of God is consecrated after several days of Holy
Rituals. Without these consecration rituals, the Image does not get
the Divine powers or the respect more than a statue in a museum.
so sanctified, all rituals are performed as it will be done to a live
King or Queen or a leader of the land. Prayers are offered on major
festival days for the welfare of the community. Often there are special
services for individual and for the families rather than to a congregation.
The spirit of sacrifice and offering of ones belonging is stressed
in these services.
the Temple Services, the Deity in the Temple is woken up every morning
with a morning service with ceremonial bath with water, milk and other
perfumed substances, dressing up with cloths and Jewelry. The services
are repeated four to six times or more every day, with offering of
food as "prasadam" and singing prayers and songs in praise
of the Deity and reading of the Scriptures. After this, "Aarthi"
of lighted camphor is performed, for everyone to see the Deity in
a "Dharshan." The service concludes with the offering of
"prasadams" of fruits, flowers and food to the devotees
attending the prayer services.
devotees take what is given back to them as "Prasadams"
let it be holy water, ashes, kumkum, a flower, a fruit or a full meal.
Here the prayer services are for the welfare of the community as a
whole. The basic and essential principle behind the prayer is the
total surrender to God who fills the universe by His glory and is
present everywhere and that without His command even an atom will