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What Is Pran Pratishtha In Hinduism?

Pran Pratishtha is a profound and sacred ritual in Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), representing the commitment of devotees to invoke and infuse the eternal, all-pervasive divine life force into the murti (idol) through a meticulous and reverential process. The murti can then be worshipped at home, temple, a sacred place or anywhere. Once the Prana Pratishtha is commenced, devotees make a permanent and irrevocable commitment to treat the Pran Pratishthit Vigrah as a living deity. The rituals of Prana Pratishtha vary among different Hindu communities but its essence is the same – the inanimate object is infused life. It must be noted here that the murti can be of any form it need not be human form – Shivling and Kannadi bimbam (mirror) of Bhagavathi or Mother Goddess in Kerala temples are prime examples of murti in non-human form.

In the realm of Sanatan Dharma, each deity is perceived as the supreme eternal by its followers, often referred to as the ishta-deva or ishta-devi. This individualized connection between devotee and deity is deeply rooted in the spiritual principle that the supreme reality is singular. While there exists almost infinite variation in the forms and formlessness of the divine, Hindus universally agree on the idea that the ultimate reality is one.

This inclusive philosophy allows for a harmonious coexistence of diverse manifestations of the divine. Devotees, acknowledging the vastness and omnipresence of the supreme reality, find solace in the understanding that each chosen form or deity is a unique expression of the same divine essence. This spiritual inclusivity fosters an environment where individuals can connect with the divine in a manner that resonates with their personal beliefs and preferences.

The commitment made during Pran-Pratishtha extends beyond a mere act of worship; it signifies a deep-seated belief in the living presence of the deity in the consecrated vigraha or bimbam or murti (idol). Devotees, guided by this commitment, engage in rituals, prayers, and acts of devotion as a means of nurturing their connection with the divine. The concept of Pran-Pratishtha encapsulates the essence of devotion in Sanatan Dharma, emphasizing the profound relationship between the devotee and the deity, transcending the material form of the idol to recognize the eternal, omnipresent nature of the divine.