How should one arrange deities in the temple at home?
If one does not have a temple at home or if there are no photographs or idols of the Family Deity and Shrī Gaṇēsh then they should be duly brought and installed in a temple at home. The Deities should be arranged in the temple in the following manner: Shrī Gaṇapati in the centre with the photographs or the idols of the male Family Deity and other male Deities, e.g. Hanumān, Bālkrushṇa, to His right and the female Family Deity and other female Deities, e.g. Annapūrṇā, to His left. In some pictures the female Deity is depicted along with the male Deity, e.g. Sītārām, Lakshmīnārāyaṇ, etc. Whenever She is depicted to the left of the male Deity She bestows blessings onto devotees along with Her master. The left side symbolises the moon channel (Chandranāḍī) and endows Serenity and Bliss. This is the saviour form of the female Deity. In such photographs the male Deity is considered as the main one and the picture is placed to the right of Shrī Gaṇapati. In some pictures the female Deity is depicted to the right of the male Deity. The right side signifies the sun channel (Suryanāḍi). Thus the Deity is believed to be very powerful. This is the destroyer form of the female Deity. The holy text Kālīvilāstantra narrates that Deity Kāli performs a dance on the chest of Deity Shiva. Here the female Deity is more prominent than Her male counterpart. To conclude, when the female Deity is to the right of the male Deity She possesses more energy and should be considered as the principal Deity. Hence such a picture is placed to the left of Shrī Gaṇapati. One should keep the picture of the saviour or the destroyer form of the Deity for the ritualistic worship as per one’s wish to undertake spiritual practice of that form. If a person having a Guru resides alone then he should keep only his Guru’s picture / photograph in the temple. If there are other family members then the Guru’s picture / photograph should be placed to the right of Shrī Gaṇapati and should be followed by the male Family Deity’s photograph. Photographs or idols of the female Family Deity or other female Deities should be placed to the left of Shrī Gaṇapati.
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- 1. Ritualistic worship of God (puja)
- 2. Going to temples or places of worship
- 3. Following family traditions of spiritual practice (kulachar)
- 4. Obeisance to the village deity (gramadevata)
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