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Contents

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxi Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvii Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxx

Part 1

Mandir Rituals Chapter Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

  • 1.

    Mandir (Worship shrine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    • Mandir .......................................................................... 3

    • What purpose does a mandir serve? ............................ 3

    • What is the need for building large mandirs? .............. 4

    • Pramukh Swami Maharaj on purpose of mandirs ....... 5

    • Mandir – A Living Form of the Divine ....................... 6

    • Mandir – Metaphysics & Subtle Concepts .................. 8

    • Unique features of a Swaminarayan Mandir .............. 8

FAQs

  • Why should we wash our hands after removing shoes outside a mandir, home shrine or touching our feet? .................................................................... 10

  • Why do people ring a bell on entering a mandir? ..... 10

  • How to offer reverence to deities ............................... 11

  • Why do devotees take care not to turn their backs to deities on exiting a mandir? ................................. 11

  • Why do some people hold their ears in front of the deity? .................................................................. 12

  • What is the significance of singing prabhãtiyã?......... 12

  • Why do people clap while singing bhajans and dhun?12

  • Why do some devotees touch a mandir’s steps while climbing and then touch their heads? ............ 13

  • 2.

    Prãna Pratishthã (Image consecration) . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    • Murti purification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    • Prãna pratishthã rites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    • Shãligrãm and Shivlings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    • Mysterious energy infused in objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

viii

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