View Full Version : Found home in new Temple
29 July 2006, 08:36 PM
Wanted to thank you all for your support and encouragement as my spiritual life unfolds within the Hindu faith. I have finally found a Mandir where I feel I can grow. Yes, it's 30 miles from home and the Priest doesn't speak any English, but I have a good feeling about it all. I've been twice in the past week and look forward to visiting again after I return from a trip.
Again, thanks to all of you. I couldn't have made it without you!
Bhakti Yoga Seeker
30 July 2006, 03:02 PM
Namaskaar. It is great to hear that you have been having positive experiences. Let us know what aspects of this mandir tend to be most spiritual for you. ;) ~BYS~
10 August 2006, 04:17 PM
My favorite part of being at the Mandir is just sitting in meditation in front of the Sivalingam. I've never felt more calm, centered and peaceful in my entire life.
Questions for anyone who can help:
I know that shoes come off before entering and bowing before the diety is a must, but what about other decorum? Some people come in and ring the bell before sitting, some pour water into the pot that hangs above the lingam. Can/should I do each of these things? What other protocol is there? I don't really have any knowledge of the way to do things so I just sit and chant Om Namah Sivaya. Can anyone help me out here - kind of a "What to do from start to finish at the Mandir?" I know that it's probably all pretty basic for those of you who do it daily but I would truly appreciate some guidance.
11 August 2006, 02:02 AM
yes, shoes should be off (and hands should be washed after taking off those shoes) before entering the main puja room.
You should ring the bell just like others do. I heard different meanings of this ritual of ringing the bell...one is that we invite bhagwan's attention by ringing the bell (sounds silly though), the other is that we are trying to alert our own senses by the sound of the bell and focus them on the murti in front of us.
Offering milk or water or other items like honey etc. are normal offerings to shivalingam as prescribed in shiva purana. These items are supposed to please Bhagwan shiva. People in India usually actually drop the water or milk right on top of the lingam and also pour some in the pot hanging above the lingam. Same thing I have seen happening in hindu temple here in our city.
Ringing the bell is a normal ritual when entering in any temple and offering water or milk is a normal thing to do when in a shiva temple or when in the presence of shivlingam.
Though personally, I do not offer milk or water to the lingam when I visit the temple. Not sure why...I just don't.
12 August 2006, 12:07 AM
The feet are one of the spiritually most sensitive parts of a human body. Touching and doing padapuja are spoken of with high reverence in Hinduism. Devotees carry the surname 'pada', 'padarenu', 'padadhuli', (dust of the feet), 'adiyar', etc. And Lord Shiva loves to be a devotee to the devoted. There is a popular song attributed to the Tamil saint Avvai on this subject. She sings:
"Great is the world.
Greater is BrahmA whose creation it is.
BrahmA was born from the navel of VishNu
VishNu sleeps on the waves of the ocean
The ocean was gobbled up as a handful by agastya
agastya was born in just a pot
The pot itself is only a little earth.
The earth is held up by one head of the Snake-Lord
The Snake itself is just a ring of the little finger of the Goddess
The Goddess is only one half of the Lord
The Lord resides in the Devotee's mind.
Devotee's greatness is beyond words!"
Compared to the lotus flower, the feet are the root of our spiritual self. They connect us to mother earth, while the sahasrara in the head connects to the akasa, completing the spiritual circult.
As for the bell, the vibrations of its sound is the equivalent of our chanting aum. Received through the ears they get into our system and traval up to the brain, releasing any blocks on the way that might reduce our concentration.
While removing footwear and washing the hands and feet before entering a temple, and ringing the bell personally are desired rituals for every one of us, I think the offerings and other rituals are optional. Lord Shiva accepts the mantra pushpams we chant mentally and the waters of our meditation.
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