Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma
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  Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 1  
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Chapter - 6:
An Introduction to Devotional Practice
 
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HR106 - 01
Essentials of Devotional Rituals of Prayers and Music
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Lesson: 6 - 01
1: Rituals and Prayers for Home and Temples
Vedic Rituals and Pooja at Homes and Prayer Services at Temples
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Devotional Prayers and Rituals in Daily Practice of Hindu Faith
 
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Prayer 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.

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.

In 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 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.

The 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 this.

The 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.

 
 

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Lessons: - :~: 6-01 :~: 6-02 :~: 6-03 :~: 6-04 :~: 6-05 :~: 6-06 :~: 6-07 :~: 6-08 :~: : 6-09 :~:
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