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Important Rituals Before Idol Installation Ceremony In A Hindu Temple

Before the idol installation ceremony (murti pratishtha) in a Hindu temple, several important rituals are conducted to ensure that the image is deemed fit for worship:

Jaladhivasa (Immersion in Water): The image is immersed in water for three days. This ritual symbolizes purification and prepares the deity for its role in the temple.

Dhanyadhivasa (Resting on Grains): Following the jaladhivasa, the image is placed on grains for another three days. This ritual signifies nourishment and blessings from the earth for the deity.

Shayyadhi-vasa (Lying Down on a Bed): The image is made to lie down on a specially prepared bed for three days. This ritual represents rest and relaxation for the deity before assuming its position in the temple.

Netronmilana (Opening the Eyes): The eyes of the image are opened by marking the pupils of the eyeballs with a golden needle. This ritual is symbolic of bringing life and awareness to the deity.

Ashtabandha (Adhesive Paste): An adhesive paste made of eight substances like lac and perfume is spread at the place where the image is to be fixed. This paste secures the idol firmly and symbolizes stability and permanence.

Prana-Pratishtha (Infusing Life-force): The most crucial ritual, prana-pratishtha, involves infusing the life-force of the deity into the idol. Through mantras and elaborate ceremonies, the divine essence is invoked and established within the image, making it ready for worship.

These rituals are performed meticulously to sanctify the idol and prepare it for its divine role in the temple. Each step carries profound symbolic significance, emphasizing purity, nourishment, rest, awakening, stability, and divine presence.