God though he is formless ,in the form of Divine Light,takes the form of a "vigraha" or "idol" according the wish of devotee.These vigrahas are the forms visualised by our earlier saints in their deep meditation.All the activities of normal life of a human being is performed to the vigraha.As God himself is there in the vigraha utmost care should be taken to perform these duties.In India there are many Vedha patasalas(an institution where Vedha(Holy sanskrit slokas & hymns) are taught by experts in Vedha(Rig,Yajur,Sama,Adharvana) 4 types.One select it according to their family tradition any one vedha.Earlier children after 5 or 7 years old are taught"Sri.Gayathri Mantra"in an important function called "Upanayanam" by guru or teacher & by the child's father.It is an elaborate,wonderful process,after which every individual should perform daily 3 times reciting Gayathri Manthra".That is called "Sandhya Vandhanam".It should be done before Sunrise in the morning,at mid noon & in the evening Sun set.After upanayanam the child joins the Vedhic school.There are different courses ,It may take 12 years to complete a course.At every stage student is tested as in an examination & all manthras & important slokas to be memorised by the student.Even though now,texts of vedha are available,it is taught orally by the teacher with importance in pronunciation called"sabda".In Sanskrit sabda is very important(sound of delivering slokas & mantras).Every sabda has a meaning.If it is wrongly pronounced,reaction may be harmful.For example, in Ramayana,Kumbakarna was doing tapa(penance).His request to God was that there should be"nirdevatvam"meaning there should not be any Devatha (Angel).As this is against God's administration of world.,Devathas requested Lord Brahma(God of creation,who knows all vedhas) not to sanction this request.Lord Brahma in turn asked his concert Goddess Saraswathi to change the pronunciation of the sabda"nirdevatvam".Kumbakarna pronounced that sabda as" Nidhrathuvam" which meant to sleep always.So he was granted a boon of sleeping for months together.For performing poojas in temples there is a separate course,one should study this & should be a trainee for sometime.So only trained persons are given this duty.He is called "Archaga"or "Gurukkal".They are revered by the devotees. Vigraha is given bathing by Holy water.It is also called as abisheka or anointment.Honey,milk,curd & herbal powder is also used. Pancha kavyam( 5 things from cow) milk,,curd, Komiyam( cow's urine),ghee & cow dung are mixed in a proportion] is used for Lord Siva for performing abishegam .See this pancha kavyam is an approved sidha & Ayurvedic medicene now .It has been tested in scientific labs & accepted as an wonderful medicine world wide.This was discovered by our earlier saints & practiced before B.C . Pancha kavyam is also used for agricultural purpose ,which helps the farmers produce good harvest.After bathing,God is dressed & decorated. Then he is offered "Naivedyam"( giving food to God) .Now Devaram,Thiruvasakam or Thiruppugazh sung by a musician in Tamil.In this songs God's greatness & grace is appreciated in protecting & guiding human beings . After that God gives Dharshan by shown in camphor or ghee light to the devotees.This is called Deeparathanai.Worship (Puja) of this type is done 5 times a day starting with early morning & ending around 9 pm.Special poojas are performed during festival times. Screen, hiding God, denotes the ignorance of human blocking the vision of God.This i have mentioned in my earlier posts .Seven screens removed one by one & finally Divine Light shown( life history of Sri.Ramalinga Vallalar). Devotees offer all the materials required for the Pooja.Garlands,milk,honey & other abishega things, new dress,fruits & rice,pulses,jaggery .Food for offering to God is cooked in a separate kitchen called "madappalli" inside the temple.Cook also follows strict holy procedures in preparing the food. All the abishega materials are shared among devotees.Food offered to God is distributed to devotees which is called "prasadam".As we get the prasadam, we are very much pleased & move to a happy state of mind. As it is offered in the name of God, donor sheds out that "i am offering attitude & the receiver also does n't feel he is getting it from someone else . In many cases the prasadam has cured many diseases.,& what ever needs of life-like completion of delayed marriages or any other genuine demand of the devotee.Where the holy rituals & offerings are properly done,you can always see the heavy rush of people through out the year.God's divine grace is invoked in the food or abishega materials. You are also free from worldly worries.Namaskaram or prostration should be done only at the bali peeda before entering the temple.Similarly our request to God should be submitted from our mind there only.If you go & worship at the temple whenever possible you can lead a peaceful life,good natured man,elevate yourself & finally realisation of God.As every one is a devotee & children of God,you won't harm others.This would also help & show your children the righteous path.Let me share with you the doing of Pooja at home in coming post.