WORSHIPPING IN HINDUISM
Here DR.GOPALAKRISHNAN IN HIS BOOK ‘HINDUISM, HINDU DHARMA, SANAATHANA DHARMA HAS BROUGHT TO US THE SCIENCE OF WORSHIPPING IN A HINDU TEMPLE.
Worship: we can define worship as adopting series of rituals and customs while creating a relationship with god. This is done in temple. Temple itself is build with general Vedic geometric pattern like yaga sala (place specially prepared to perform certain rituals and ceremony according to Hindu dharma), sanctum sanctorum is like uttravedi in yaga sala and idol stands in the center place of fire in the uttravedi of yaga sala. Idol or vigraha is the main point of attraction and worship. Vigraha or idol is made up of granite, marble, clay/laterite, wood, metal or pancha loha, lamp, pictures and manorupam (any imaginary form). There are eight types of worship according to sanaathana dharma. These eight types of worship are explained in different books and achyaryas (teachers) giving different explanation are not contradictory but are complimentary. Eight methods of worship are
· SRAVANAM: The worship method adopted using ears or sruthi. Listening to good keerthans (devotional songs), mantras (devotional poems with mystic meaning), prayers, Nama japa (chanting a favorites gods prayer), and stories from puranas.
· DARSANAM: Getting the vision or darsanam is seeing the pleasant image or picture of divine power.
· KEERTHANS: is the third method of worship, which is melodious way of chanting the mantra or sloka. For chanting veda mantra a training in voice called sruthi (basic training in music and sounds are based on sruthi) is required other wise it gives a negative meaning
· SMARANA: Goplakrishnan has explained smarana as remembering the divine power and the guiding force existing in all the 1.
6 million type of animals, 4 lakhs type of plants, 80,000 types of trees and 1 million types of organism. Remembering that we are the only tools in the hands of divine power is smarana.
· ARCHANAM: is the fifth method of worship which is offering flowers, buds, leaves, coins, rice, part of what ever you possess to god, image or idol is archanam. Even thinking of doing archana is also archana.
· VANDANAM: is perhaps the simplest method of worship is nothing but bowing the head, saluting and doing namskara. Saluting scholars, guru (teacher who teaches the Veda or divine life), even parents comes under vandana
· SEVANAM: the basis of sevanam is every living being is manifestation of divinity. Serving god is nothing but serving creation of god and treating all being as family members and implementing the applied spirituality “lokaa samasthaa sukhino Bhavantu” (let the world be in peace) by serving the aged, orphans, sick, both humans and animals is sevanam.
· SAMARPANAM: Offering whatever we have as our own, offer a part of that to deserving people or god that is samarpanam. Samarpanam is done with good intention and selfless vision. Some of the samarpanam are annadaanam (offering food), vastra daanam (offering cloths), netra daanam (eye donation), bhoo daanam (offering land), rakta daanam (blood donation) to poor and needy.