(Scientific importance and arrangement)
Temple at home
1. What should be the direction of the temple at home ?
The temple at home should always be in the east-west direction.
2. What should be the features of the temple at home ?
2 A. What material should the temple at home be made of ?
As far as possible, the temple at home should be made of sandalwood or teakwood. Sandalwood is expensive and may not be viable for the average individual. Comparatively, teakwood is cheaper and has better ability to retain and emit sattvik (Sattva-predominant) waves. Eventually it is the bhav towards God that attracts the Divine waves to the top of the temple, which are further dispersed in the house as per the requirement.
2 B. What should be the colour of the temple at home ?
Though the modern trend is to paint the temple at home with different colours in the name of decoration, it is ideal to retain the original colour of wood, that is, pale brown. Since a simple religious act like worship of a Deity amounts to spiritual practice, it helps the individual in traversing from the state of sagun to nirgun, meaning, from duality to non-duality.
The temple at home is made with the intention that the worshipper gets maximum Chaitanya from the worship of the Deities.
The level of bhakti and bhav in individuals with spiritual level above 50% is high and hence, the amount of Chaitanya generated as a result of their worship of the Deity is also high.
Above the spiritual level of 60%, the progress of the seeker is towards introversion. Idol worship, representative of the sagun form of bhakti in a way, makes the seeker extrovert. Hence, a seeker who finds solace in being an introvert, is lesser inclined to make a temple at home. (It is acceptable to have a temple at home if it is the wish of other family members.)
3. How should the Deities be arranged in a temple at home ?
3 A. Conical arrangement
‘Arrange the Deities in a conical shape. In front of the devotee performing the puja at the tip of the cone, that is, at the centre, place Shri Ganesh. To the right of the devotee place the female Deities beginning with the family Deity, followed by sub-forms of superior Deities and then other female Deities. To the left of the devotee place the male Deities in the same sequence. Shri Ganesh, Kuladevi and Kuladev are sufficient, because this helps the individual awaken bhav faster than for other Deities. Our sojourn should be from Idol worship to the various sagun and nirgun Principles of the respective Deities, and from there on to God who, although completely linked with the nirgun, encompasses all these Principles.’
Images created by Sanatan are sattvik and as a result, they help evoke bhav. (Sattvik images of Deities created by Sanatan are available in different sizes. Click here to see !)
Those who are already blessed with a Guru and live alone should place only the Guru’s photograph in the temple at home. As per the quote ‘गुरुब्र्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।’, for the disciple the Guru is everything. In such cases act accordingly.
4. What metal should the implements used in puja be made of ?
4 A. In puja, why is it preferable to use implements made of copper and brass ?
Stainless steel has the least capacity to absorb the sattvikta and possibility of black energy getting attracted is high.
4 A1. Copper and brass have better capacity to absorb sattvikta
In the earlier times, implements used in worship of Deities were made of copper and brass.
5. Why should we use old implements in puja ?
5 A. Old implements become sattvik
5 A1. Proximity to Deity’s Idol
Since these implements are always placed in front of the Deity, they can absorb Chaitanya and the sattvikta emitted by the Deity in larger quantities.
These reasons prove that repeated use of same implements benefit the worshipper. Use of such implements charged with sattvikta help ‘awaken’ an Idol or an image of a Deity faster.
5 A2. Principle of only one Deity descending into the implements
If such implements are used in the worship of other Deities, the worshipper does absorb sattvikta through them; however, the Principle emitting from that Idol is not absorbed by those implements. For example, implements used in the puja of Shri Mahalakshmi for 10 years have Her Principle in them. If they are used in the worship of some other Deity, the worshipper will get the benefit of the sattvikta in the implements; however, the Principle of that Deity will not descend into the implements.
5 B. Kalash (Metal pot)
At the time of churning of the ocean (known as samudramanthan), Shrivishnu carried the kalash with amrut (Divine nectar of eternal life). All Deities dwell in the kalash. Hence, a kalash is always a part of puja.
5 C. The platter
‘The platter used for placing niranjan (A peculiar metal lamp-dish with an attached conical stand placed before an Idol) represents Panchapran (Five vital energies) in our body.’
5 D. Bell
5 D1. Importance of sound from the bell (and the conch)
‘The peculiar shape of the bell and its clapper attract earth waves which accumulate in the peculiar shape. When the bell is rung, these accumulated waves from the atmosphere begin to vibrate and the resultant sound energy attracts the Shiva Principle from the universe. That is, ringing of the bell leads to activation of the Shiva Principle in the universe.’
5 E. The conch
5 E1. Importance of a conch
The conch is sounded before commencing puja and Arati.
Generally, an oil lamp emits Raja-predominant waves; however, from the lamp using sesame-seed oil, Sattva waves are emitted to some extent. Hence, when compared with the lamps using other types of oils, lamp that uses sesame-seed oil is more sattvik. However, the lamp using ghee is more sattvik than these.