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WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PRADAKSHINAS?WHY DO WE GO CLOCKWISE AROUND TEMPLES?


MEANING OF PRADAKSHINAS;- 02 FACTS;- 1-Pradakshina (Sanskrit), meaning circumambulation, consists of walking around in a 'circle' as a form of worship in Hindu ceremonies in India. The devotees walk around the garbha griha, the innermost chamber of the shrine housing the temple deity. It is done around sacred fire (Agni), trees and plants as well. Thus Pradakshina is done around Tulsi plant and Peepal tree. Pradakshina or Parikrama is done in pilgrimage centres also. 2-Pradakshina literally means: to the right (Dakshina means right). So in Pradakshina, one goes to the left hand direction to keep the deity around the Sanctum Sanctorum on one's right side. Pradakshina is one of the customary aspects of going to a temple. Typically, Pradakshina is done after the completion of traditional worship (pooja) and after paying homage to the deity. Pradakshina is supposed to be done with a meditative mood. THE METHOD OF PRADAKSHINA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-The world is always rotating around itself on its own axis as well as around the sun. All the planets also rotate on their own axes. This is called rotation and their rotation on their orbits is called revolution. Just like in solar system, the sun is at the center around which the planets rotate, our pradakshinams should be done with god at the center. The Pradakshinam should be done slowly and never in a hurry, Our thoughts and actions must dwell on God. 2-Many of us go to the Devalay (Temple) to have darshan (viewing) of the Deity. In order to take maximum benefit of the darshan, one must do pradakshina of the Deity. To commence the pradakshina one can start moving at a medium pace from the left side of the garbha-gruha (Sanctum santorum) with hands folded in the Namaskar-mudra (Both the hands joined and held at the level of the Anahat-chakra [The fourth centre in the spiritual energy flow system, located in the region of the heart in the subtle-bod], but a little away from the body), while chanting the Deity’s name. After the pradakshina, pay obeisance to the Deity and only then commence the next pradakshina. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DOING PRADAKSHINAS?- 04 FACTS;- 1-We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. We acknowledge this by performing Pradakshina. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of Pradakshina. 2-Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the centre. This means that wherever we may be or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality. 3-According to Adi Sankaracharya, real Pradakshina is the meditation that thousands of universes are revolving around the Great Lord, the unmoving centre of all forms.

4- A legend is also famous for the reason behind the orbiting of God. Once Lord Shiva wanted his two sons, Ganesha and Subrahmanya, to get "worldly experience" and asked them take a "tour of the universe". In this competition, on one side, Kartikeya had gone out to walk around the whole world, the same Ganesh ji had patiently used his parents' Shiva Parvati to revolt. Ganesh ji said that my parents are my world. Just then, this belief became popular that due to the orbiting of the idol of Lord, happiness and prosperity are attained. WHAT IS THE REASON OF PRADAKSHINAS IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION?- 09 FACTS;- 1-It is normal to do Pradakshinam always in a clockwise direction. This is because we assume that Lord is always on our right side. This reminds that we must always lead a righteous life , in the right path called Dharma. 2-We can clearly see that in north, temples are set up mainly for devotion. In the south, the devotion aspect is there but the most important thing is they are scientifically constructed in a certain way – magnificent structures which took lifetimes to create. 3-Pradakshina /Circumambulation means going in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere of the planet, this is a natural phenomenon.If we notice closely, many natural phenomenon turn clockwise above the Equator and anticlockwise below it. It is not just with air or water, the very energy system functions like this. 4-A temple is a Vortex of Energies...When we go clockwise,we are moving with certain natural forces. Any consecrated space functions like a vortex which means that it reverberates (echo), and it also draws. Both ways, an intermingling of what we are referring to as the divine and what we are calling as the self, happens. 5-Going clockwise around a consecrated (sacred)space is a simple way of receiving this possibility. Particularly from the equator up to thirty-three degrees latitude, this is very intense. That is why we set up most temples within this region because this is where we get maximum benefit. 6-The idea in this culture is that we don’t want to meet God, we don’t want to go to heaven and sit on his lap. Here, we want to become God – we are very ambitious people. We are not looking at seeing the divine. We want to realize and become divine. 7-The idea of being in a consecrated space is to constantly allow this transaction to happen, so that gradually, the living body itself becomes like a divine entity. If you want, you can keep this body like a beast. Or you can make it like a sacred form or divinity. 8-This is why if there is an energetic place in the northern hemisphere, and we want to derive benefit from or absorb the energy, we must go clockwise around it. If we want to benefit more,our hair should be wet. If we want to benefit even more, our clothes should also be wet.Clothes remain wet for a long time. So wet clothes are the best way to go around any energy space because we will receive it best ...we are most receptive that way. 9-This is why every temple had a water body . In Tamil Nadu, it is called a kulam. we are supposed to take a dip and go through the temple with wet clothes so that we receive the energies of the consecrated space in the best possible way. But today, most of the kulams have either gone dry or mostly gone filthy & in north India this system is uncommon.

REASON BEHIND WALKING BAREFOOT FOR PARIKRAMA ;- 05 FACTS;- 1-According to the Shastra rules, parikrama should be done bare foot .Walking with shoes or slippers on is like our second nature. Interestingly, walking barefoot, which is also termed as ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ has several benefits which are not known to many. 2-It’s no longer a kooky (strange )counterculture (a culture with values and mores that run counter to those of established society)but has become a scientifically proven healthy practice. 3-We all like to go to the temple. As you enter the temple, the mind gets a different kind of comfort and peace. The positive atmosphere here freshenes our mood.Some people have so much information from above and from that the motions of the mind are fulfilled by doing orbiting it. But in reality, there are many reasons hidden behind this revolution. Because of this, the temple is planted on bare feet . 4-It is believed that whenever we go around the idol of Lord after the Lord's visit to the temple then positive energy enters our body. With this positive energy, our body gets comfort from the mind and heart. 5-After this, there are some people in the minds of the question that why are they going to walk in the temple of God? And why do these orbits also make bare legs? When we walk barefoot in the temple and circling, the positive energy of the temple enters our body directly through our feet. These positive energy from the temple is very beneficial for our body and mind. BENEFITS OF WALKING BAREFOOT;- Let’s find out how walking barefoot keeps our mind and body healthy:- THE SOLUTION OF SLEEPING PROBLEM;- 02 FACTS;- 1-Our ancestors were wise enough to understand the benefits of staying close to the ground. The benefits include relaxation and relieving tension. When we walk bare feet, our body removes positive ions and allow negative ions to enter our body. 2-Negative ions are known as natural anti-depressants and they help in improving sleep quality. So when we walk barefoot,we have a sound sleep. SHARPEN OUR BRAIN;- 02 FACTS;- 1-Most of us are unaware why techniques such as martial arts and yoga are performed barefee & how it works. Our body consists of 70 per cent water and the more we stay grounded, the more it functions properly. 2-Walking barefoot creates an ionic balance which directly influences our sense of well-being, sharpens our mind and provides mental stability. IMPROVE POSTURES;- 1-Wearing fancy footwear is not the best practice. It weakens our foot surface and decreases flexibility and strength. Shoes impact our posture as they hinder the natural functioning of our feet. 2-Weak feet means bad posture and bad posture leads to other deformities, such as neck pain, back pain and knee pain. By adopting this healthy practice of walking bare feet, we can strengthen our feet, ankles and toes. 3-The natural sensory experience makes our senses stronger. We often remain unaware of these natural experiences because of our shoes. Certain points on our feet when they touch the ground, stimulates our senses. Also, while walking barefoot, we become more aware and alert to watch where we are walking. This alerts our mind and increases our senses. 4-For example ,Goverdhan Hill has immense spiritual importance between devotees of Lord Krishna. People from all over the world come to circle around (Parikrama) the 21km track.Devotees also chant Lord’s name, do kirtan and japa to fix the mind on Krishna while doing parikrama. WHY 'ONLY HALF -PARIKRAMA OF SHIVLINGA' SHOULD BE DONE ? 04 FACTS;- THE METHOD OF PARIKRAMA FOR SHIVLINGA;- 1-The method of performing the pradakshina of the Shivapindi is ‘Somasutri’, meaning in a crescent shape. The ‘sutra’ (A channel) that passes from the shalunka (Base of the linga Deity Shiva’s sacred symbol], also known as lingavedi) for the water of the Abhishek {Consecration by ritualistic bathing with water, milk etc.} towards the North side, that is, towards the boundary of the Devalay is called ‘Somasutra’. 2-In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is revered as one of the three chief ‘trimurti’ or the Holy Trinity, along with Brahma and Vishnu. He’s fondly addressed as Mahadev or Bholentath by his devotees, who acknowledge him as the curator of universe, the warden of death, and the master of ‘moksha’. 3-Usually, after offering milk, honey, bhasma, bilva leaves and bhang onto Shivlinga, the devotees take turns to circumambulate around the symbolic depiction of Lord Shiva. 4-According to Shastras and Shivpuran, a Shiva devotee must only carry out half-parikrama around the Shivling. THE REASON BEHIND HALF PARIKRAMA OF SHIVLINGA;- 09 FACTS;- Why it is saying that to do not complete a full PRADHAKSHINA in Lord Shiva Temples? (we are not permitted to take a full circle, normally we are doing half-circle in clockwise and half circle in anti-clockwise) 1-The reason explained behind this is that Shiva is both ‘Aadi’ & ‘Anant’ (he’s the start and end to everything known).The energy of his IDA NADI or Shakti out flowing from him is endless and is represented in the form of shalunka /Nirmili (the outlet for milk and water designed in modern-day Shivlinga).Shiva’s Shakti is so fierce that none could ever interfere or come in line of it. It is said that the Nirmili is a sacred part of the Shivling and must never be over-stepped. 2-According to an old legend, once King Gandharva (shiva devotee) was performing the ‘abhishek’ on Shivlinga and during the Parikrama, he over-stepped the Nirmili, which resulted in him losing all his might, power and intellect. 3-Sacred texts warn against disrespecting the Shivlinga or Lord Shiva’s Shakti by coming in touch with the Nirmili or over-stepping it, which is feared to result in receiving the wrath of Lord Shiva. 4-In ancient times, the Shivling was built in such a way that the Nirmili (the outlet for milk and water) was dug deep inside the earth surface (not visible to humans).But in present time, not only the Nirmili is built over and above the Earth surface, but during full-parikrama is often stepped over. Therefore, it is advised to only perform half-parikrama of Shivlinga. 5-We begin the pradakshina from the left side and go till the outward projecting channel of the shalunka; then, without crossing it, turn back and come unto the channel from the other side and thus complete one pradakshina. 6-The flow of a shalunka is not crossed, as it is the flow of energy. When crossing it, the legs are spread. As a result, formation of semen and the five vayus (Internal vital air energies) are adversely affected. There is an obstruction in the flow of Devdatta and Dhananjay vital air energies too. However, these ill effects do not occur if while crossing it, the body is contracted, that is the nadis (Energy channel) are contracted. 7-Rationalists feel that the channel of the linga is not crossed because while doing so, the dirt on our feet contaminates the water there. If devotees partake this water as Tirth , it could result in illness.This law is applicable to man-made Shivalinga; 8- However, this is not applicable to a Swayambhu (Self-originated) linga or to the Shivalinga in the Devalay at home. The way a pradakshina is done in a complete circle in case of other Deities, so is not the case with the Shivapindi. Hence, the number of pradakshinas advised in case of Deity Shiva is zero. 9-FOR Swayambhu Devalay Since the activated energy in a Swayambhu Devalay cannot be imbibed by a common man, only one pradakshina is sufficient. An individual with over 50% spiritual level can make as many pradakshinas as he wants as per his bhav (Spiritual emotion). There is no limit to the number of pradakshinas for him. NUMBER OF PRADAKSHINAS FOR DEITIES ;- 03 FACTS;- 1-According to different schools of thought, the number of times a pradakshina to be performed around a Deity is different. Some examples given here support this statement. The number of pradakshinas change according to sagun (Materialised)-nirgun(Non-materialised) or tarak (Saviour)-marak(Destroyer) form of the Deity or as per the intention of the person performing pradakshina. 2-As per the science of numerology too, the numbers associated with different Names of Deities are different. ‘There are as many Paths to God-realisation as the number of individuals and their respective temperaments’ – this is an important doctrine of Hindu Dharma. According to this doctrine, the number of pradakshinas are not fixed, they vary as per the situation... 3-There are specific number of pradakshinas associated with the Saptadevtas (The seven Deities – Shri Ganesh, Shiva, Shriram,Hanuman, Datta, Shri Durga and Shrikrushna) which vary place to place.But half pradakshina for shivlingam is common all over india AS PER THE ENERGY & FUNCTION OF THE DEITY;- One pradakshina should be performed around the Goddess, seven around Sun Devalay, three around Shri Ganapati’s Devalay, four around Shrivishnu and a half around Shiva Devalay. REASONS ;- 1. SRIVISHUN(FOUR);- Four pradakshinas have been prescribed for Shrivishnu, because Vishnu Principle contains the Divine energies of four actions of invocation, recitation, songs of praise and protection. 2. DEITY SHIVA( HALF);- The Shiva Principle is the symbol of that half part of ‘Om’ which signifies the function of Dissolution. Hence, only half a pradakshina has been prescribed. Half part is the part called ‘Aas’, which remains after utterance of ‘Om’ for its functions. (‘Aas’ are the subtle sound waves that remain after an object is struck on another object. For example, the subtle sound waves which remain in the environment when the bell in a Devalay is sounded. These subtle sound waves are called ‘Aas’. 3. GODDESS(ONE );: - ‘Full stop’ means the point where the ‘Aas’ gets dissolved immediately after it manifests. In other words, it is the line which denotes the function of the ‘full stop’. Hence, only one pradakshina of the Devalay of the Goddess has been prescribed. 4. THE SUN(SEVEN ) :- When the Tejdharana (Energy of the radiance of the Sun) comes in the orbit of the Earth from the Sun, it intercepts seven levels and transforms at the sagun level through the medium of Vayu (Absolute Air)-Tej (Absolute Fire), Tej-Vayu, Tej, Tej-Apa (Absolute Water), Apa-Tej, Tej-Pruthvi (Absolute Earth) and Pruthvi- Tej Principles. As a symbol of this, 7 pradakshinas are performed. 5. SHRI GANAPATI ( THREE ):- Shri Ganapati is the symbol of Ichha-shakti (Energy of will). The waves of Ichha-shakti are attracted to a triangular figure in a shorter time. As a symbol of the union of the three flows, three pradakshinas of Shri Ganapati are performed. NOTE;-A number of twenty one pradakshinas in a day is considered most beneficial as per Swayambhoo aagama. REASON FOR DIFFERENT NUMBER OF PRADAKSHINAS ;- 05 FACTS;- 1-The general rule is that for male Deities, the number of pradakshinas should be in ‘even’ numbers (0, 2, 4, 6) and for female Deities, it should be in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7). The reason is as follows. ‘Zero’ denotes Brahman, meaning, Supreme God who is the Creator of the universe. From ‘zero’, the number ‘one’, that is Maya (The Great illusion), meaning, the universe has originated. 2-Maya is feminine, the number ‘one’ is ‘odd’; hence, pradakshina around the female Deities should be done in ‘odd’ numbers. ‘Even’ numbers are associated with ‘zero’ and hence pradakshina around the male Deities should be done in ‘even’ numbers. 3-A subtle experiment, which proves the mentioned reason...... First, chant a number associated with zero (0, 2, 4, 6 etc., that is, even numbers) for two minutes. Then, chant a number associated with one (1, 3, 5, 7 etc., that is, odd numbers) for two minutes. 4-The chanting of an even number gives spiritual experience of Anand or Shanti (Serenity), while chanting of an odd number gives spiritual experience of Shakti (Divine Energy). Male Deities are mostly associated with Anand or Shanti, while the female Deities are mostly associated with Shakti. 5-From the experiment here, we can experience, that numbers associated with zero are associated with male Deities, while those associated with number one are associated with female Deities. Hence, pradakshina around male Deities should be performed in even numbers and around female Deities in odd numbers. WHY DO WE DO ATMA PRADAKSHINA;- At the end of the pujas , it is a custom to do pradakshinam around ourselves three times & this is called “Atma Pradakshinam”. The proper pradakshina is going round the Self (Atma Pradakshina) or more accurately, to realize that we are the Self and that within us all the countless spheres revolve, going round and round. We bow to the supreme divinity within us, chanting VIZ, May those omissions( 'guilty act' ) and commissions(order /Acts) done in this life and also in the previous births and the resulting afflictions( a cause of pain) perish with every pradakshina. HOW CAN WE SHED OUR EGO THROUGH PRADHAKSHINA? Further a devotee makes pradakshinas (devotional rounds) slowly with folded hands and visualizing the deity in his mind all the time. All these actions knowingly or unknowingly have salutary effect to ward off the ego from the mind of the devotee. It is noteworthy that the purpose of temple worship is never achieved unless one understands that visits to temples are temples are meant to help the devotee to shed his ego. The purpose of visits to temples is one’s own cultural emancipation which functions on functions on fundamental values known as dharma. ...SHIVOHAM....