A Hindu temple is believed to be the earthly seat of a deity and the place where the deity graces for the devotees.
Hinduism is both polytheist and monotheist. That means Hindus believe in many gods, but that they are all parts of a single god. This means that Hinduism is both diverse, with an array of gods and rituals, but also united in the belief of a single god.
Hinduism has thousands of gods and many of these gods manifest themselves in different forms.
The three most important manifestations of Gods are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
Brahma is the creator god. Vishnu is the responsible for preserving creation. Finally, Shiva is the god of destruction.
Here are a few one can follow to set that harmony. Most of these are in general applicable to all Hindu temples though a few are specific to shaivite temples.
- Goto the temple with a clean body and mind.
- Legs and hands shall be cleaned before entering the temple.
- Go to the temple with holy symbols like the Holy Ash, Rudraksh.
- Take something to offer to the Lord. It is an offering out of devotion. Some pushpam or bilvam or coconut with banana can be the Offering.
- Do no enter the temple with foot wear.
- Prostrating in front of the flag column (dwajastaMbham) (towards the North) on entering the temple.
- Do not prostrate anywhere else in the temple.
- Do not prostrate to anybody else in the temple premises.
- Take the permission of nandi dEvar by offering prayers before entering Shivas abode.
- Salute the elephant headed Lord Ganesh before entering the Lord’s main shrine.
In Lord shiva’s abode, engage the mind in the thinking of the deity and surrender yourself to the lotus feet of of God. Avoid any gossip. Temple is not the place for gossiping. Do not use any gadgets inside the temple. Chant His mantras without disturbing others or chant internally without making noise.
The Holy ash given as the blessings should be worn saying “Sivaya Namaha”. It should not be spilled on the ground or wasted.
It is normally a procedure to offer something to the priest whose whole life should be in the service of the Lord.
Circumambulate the Lord and worship the Goddess and all the deities in the temple.
The circumambulation is to be done at least for three times.
While in the temple either “Om Namasivaya” or any stuti or sloka could be chanted.
Before coming out of the temple go to the shrine of Chandeshwarar and take his permission for taking home the materials which after worship are taken as blessings.
One must not take anything out in excess and things taken from the temple should be only as the mark of blessings obtained as praised.
Even if you do not take Prasada to home, it is the normal practice to hold hands together and worship him in his place.
On coming out of the temple, worship Navagrahas, Bhairav and other deities near the main entrance. Prostrate again in front of the flag column ( Kodi sthambam) towards the north.
Sit facing the north and meditate on the God chanting the Holy five letters.
While inside the temple, you should not make the place dirty in any way or make any noise.
The mind should be focussed on the Lord like the iron that stick to the magnet.
A worship with such a focus will have very good effect on us by the grace of the Almighty.