Did You Know: Hindu Temple Customs
Curiosity is always a good thing, if not how would any one learn anything? There are many customs from many different cultures around the world and in our own communities, it is not uncommon in today’s society for there to be more than one dominations “church” on the same block. Understanding other people’s customs may help your own community to better relate to each other. Today’s topic is Hindu Temple Customs.
Did you know that while there are several deities that may be worshipped in Hindu culture often a Hindu Temple is dedicated to one primary deity and the deities associated with the main deity. Did you know that these customs and traditions are taught and told to the children so when they reach adulthood there is no need for instruction as it has become instinct.
Did you know that in a Hindu Temple foot coverings are not allowed and it is customary to wash your feet before entering the temple which is why you may find a water tap and basin outside many temples. Did you know that in major temples the custom of offerings is in practice, which means that offerings of fruit, flowers and sweets are brought for puja, which is showing reverence to a spirit or a god.
Did you know that the folding of the hands before entering the temple is a sign of respect for the God of the Temple and that you are acknowledging that the God of the Temple is the greater being. Upon leaving their offerings to the God of the Temple it is not uncommon to see people close their eyes while keeping their hands folded and ask the God to fulfill the wishes they have left the offerings for.
Did you know that there are several mantras that may be chanted inside the temple, the most often heard will be the Om Namo Narayana or the Obeisance to Narayana. Another often heard mantra is Om Namah Shivaya or the Salutations to Shiva when the devotee has ended their prayer it is not uncommon for them to fall to their knees or even to lie flat on their stomachs to bow before the deity. It is also thought that as a group sitting before a deity chanting (called bhajan) will give off immense amounts of positive energy.
Did you know that it is custom for worshipper and visitor alike to make a clockwise walk around the innermost sanctum. In some temples it is required to do this walk three times while in others it may be only once, as is custom the worshiper or visitor will stop once on either side of the deities’ image and offer up a prayer with eyes closed to the All Loving Being.
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