Some general etiquettes for deity worship!!
I have always instructed that the standard of arcana worship must be kept very high, because this will insure that every other temple activity will also flourish.
SPL to Himavati, Delhi, 17 November, 1971.
1.The ideal dress code for deity services include non-stiched, fresh & dried up dhoti, uttari & koupin. (NO WET CLOTHS ARE ALLOWED). If you are travelling from home on a hot day it’s best to take bath after reaching the temple and put on fresh tilak & cloths. Tilaks should be visible & put properly on 12 parts of the body.
2.Most basic physical cleanliness standards for deity services include properly cut nails(GROWN UP NAIL ON ANY FINGER IS NOT ALLOWED), clean arm pits, proper bath with soap, no blood or pus coming from any part of the body due to injury, etc, NO COLD, COUGH, SNEEZING, etc, no plaster/dressing on body, no sweating.
3.It is also advisable to change your Brahmin thread before entering the altar, if there is any chance of its being contaminated previously.
4.Always perform complete Achaman by sitting on an Asana, wash your feet thoroughly and pay obeisances to spiritual master before entering the altar for any service. Also, MOP the place where you have performed Achamana.
5.After entering the altar, draw the attention of your spiritual master by placing flowers before him while chanting esa puspanjali and the guru-mula-mantra. Then, meditating on your spiritual master’s service to the previous acaryas, show the pranama-mudra (joined palms) and chant:
6.Always purify hands before touching the deities. Never touch the deities directly after touching the floor or any part of the body or your dress. One hand should be used to support the base and the other hand should hold the arm of the deity while shifting them to any place.
7.Hands must be properly washed in the back up kitchen after brooming or mopping the altar.
8.Do not cross the altar from the front side of the deities. For eg, while going to Lord Jagannath altar, one should go from behind SS RVC altar.
9.Always avoid speaking when there are deities or Lord’s paraphernalia like Arti plate, dresses, jewellery, etc or Bhoga plate in front of you since it may get contaminated. Handle Lord’s paraphernalia very carefully & gently.
10.Never use your feet for moving/shifting the Asana at anytime, anywhere because it is a representative of Lord Balarama and it is an offence to move it using our feet.
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