Puja , worship in temple & home 4.

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.