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
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. Once so sanctified, all these rituals are
performed as it will be done to a live King or Queen or to a leader
of the land. Often the services are individual and for the families
rather than to a mass of 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.
this, "Aarthi" of lighted camphor is performed for every
one 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. The 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.
prayer services at home are also very similar in practice. Often
there is a prayer room. Sometimes, a special area is arranged
to perform the home prayer services. Here, prayer services are
offered to a picture, small icon [vigraha] or a lamp which is
sanctified by rituals for the occasion. The Divine powers of the
form of God offered prayer on that occasion is represented in
rituals are simple and they first invite God as a guest to the
house. Then, they perform a ritualistic bathing and offering of
cloths. Then, there will be prayers and singing of songs and offering
of food which is then offered to members of the family and friends.
Here the services are performed for the welfare of the individuals
their family and friends.