Generally, there are no basic guidelines that was given in the scriptures as to when the temple should be attended by Hindus for Worshiping. However, on important days or festivals, many Hindus use the temple as a place of worship.
Many temples are dedicated to a specific deity and the deity’s statues or images are included and or erected in those temples. Such sculptures or pictures are known as murti.
Hindu worshiping is commonly referred to as Puja. There are several different elements involved, such as images (murti), prayers, mantras and offerings.
Hinduism can be worshiped in the following places
Worshiping from the Temples – Hindus believed there are certain temple rituals that will help them connect with the god they are focusing on. Take for instance, they may walk clockwise around a shrine as part of their worship, which has a statue (murti) of the deity in its innermost part. To be blessed by the deity, they will even bring offerings such as fruit and flowers. This is rather a personal experience of worship, but in a group environment it takes place.
Worshiping from Homes – At home, many Hindus have their own place of worship called the shrine of their own. This is a space where they put pictures that are important to them of selected deities. Hindus appear more often to worship at home than they worship in a temple. To make sacrifices, they normally use their home shrine. The most sacred place of the home is known to be the shrine.
Worshiping from Holly Places – In Hinduism, worshiping in a temple or other structure does not need to be performed. It can be done outdoors as well. Holy places outdoors where Hindus worship include the hills and the rivers. The mountain range known as the Himalayas is one of these holiest places. As they serve the Hindu deity, Himavat, Hindus believe that these mountains are central to God. Furthermore, many plants and animals are considered sacred by Hindus . Therefore, many Hindus are vegetarians and often behave towards living things with loving kindness.
How Hinduism is been Worshiped
During their prayers in the temples and at homes, Hindus use a number of methods for Worshipping. They include:
- Meditation: meditation is a quiet exercise in which a person focuses on either an object or a thought to keep his mind clear and calm.
- Puja: This is a devotional prayer and worship in praise of one or more deities that one believes in.
- Havan: Ceremonial offerings that are burned, usually after birth or during other important events.
- Darshan: Meditation or yoga with an emphasis performed by in the deity’s presence
- Arti: This is a rite in front of the gods, from which all the four elements ( i.e., fire, earth, water and air) are depicted in the offerings.
- Bhajan as part of worship: singing the special songs of the gods and other songs to worship.
- Kirtan as part of worship- this involves narration or recitation to the deity.
- Japa: This is a mantra’s meditative repetition as a way of concentrating on worship.
Worshiping in Festivals
Hinduism has festivals that are celebrated during the year (like many other world religions). Usually, they are vivid and colourful. To rejoice, the Hindu community usually comes together during the festive season.
At these moments, distinctions are set aside so that relationships may be established again.
There are some festivals that are associated with Hinduism that Hindus worshiped seasonally. Those festivals are illustrated below.
- Diwali – One of the most widely recognised Hindu festivals is Diwali. It recalls Lord Rama and Sita’s storey, and the concept of good overcoming bad. With light, it is celebrated. Hindus light diva lamps and there are often large shows of fireworks and family reunions.
- Holi – Holi is a festival that is beautifully vibrant. It is known as the Colour Festival. It welcomes the coming of spring and the end of winter, and also shows appreciation for a good harvest for some Hindus. During this festival, people also pour colourful powder on each other. Together, they still play and have fun.
- Navratri Dussehra – This festival reflects good overcoming bad. It honours Lord Rama battling and winning the war against Ravana. Over nine nights, it takes place. During this time, groups and families gather for celebrations and meals together as one family.
- Ram Navami – This festival, which marks the birth of Lord Rama, is usually held in the springs. During Navarati Dussehra, Hindus celebrate it. People read stories about Lord Rama during this period, alongside other festivities. They may worship this god as well.
- Ratha-Yatra – This is a procession on a chariot in public. People gather during this festival to watch Lord Jagannatha walk down the streets. The festival is colourful.
- Janmashtami – The festival is used to celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth. Hindus commemorate it by trying to go for 48 hours without sleep and by singing traditional Hindu songs. To celebrate this venerated deity’s birthday, dances and performances are performed.