1. The idol at home
1A. If the idol does not break : ‘If an idol of a Deity is not disfigured on falling, then one need not take atonement. One can seek forgiveness of the Deity and perform Tilhom, Panchamrut Puja, abhishek (consecration) with milk etc. as advised by an authority.
1B. If the idol breaks : If an idol falls and gets disfigured it is considered a bad omen. Even the falling of the Deity’s crown is also considered as a bad omen. It can be an indication of an impending danger. Such an idol should be immersed in flowing water and a new one should be installed.
2. The idol in a temple
There are two types – fixed and moving.
2A. Fixed idol : Since, this idol is fixed in the temple, it can never be moved. So, there is no question of its falling. However if it falls, then it is due to degradation or wear and tear. Such an idol should be immersed in flowing water and a new one should be installed.
2B. Moving idol : This idol can be moved and is used during festivals. If this idol falls but remains unharmed, then one can perform the rituals as advised in point 1A. Thereafter, it can used for puja (worship) again. However, if the idol gets disfigured after falling, then it has to be immersed in flowing water and replaced with a new one.’
3. Some common points for installation of a new idol, in place of a disfigured one, at home or temple
Breaking of an idol is an ominous sign of upcoming danger. Hence before immersing the damaged idol and replacing it with a new one at home or temple, the Scriptures have prescribed performing the Aghor hom (fire sacrifice) and the Tattvotaran vidhi (removing of Deity’s principle from the damaged idol and installing it in the idol) etc. These rituals overcome the unfavourable and bestow peace. The only difference is that at home the ritual has to be performed on a small scale and in a temple on a larger scale.
– Vedamurty Mr. Ketan Ravikant Shahane, Headmaster, Sanatan Sadhak Purohit Patshala, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa.