Temple History
 
 
Introduction

         Shree Babulnath Mahadev Temple is one of the famous Shiv Temples of Mumbai. In South Mumbai near the Sea-Shore of Chowpaty it is situated on a Small Hill adjacent to Malabar Hill. Devotees therefore rejoice as ‘Babulnaath Tekriwale Ki Jay’. There are various theories and legends on which the name ‘Babulnath’ is based. The most popoular amongst them is that the name is derived after the name of One ‘Shri Babul’ a cowherd who found the ‘self – existent.*Shivling, you will find the meaning of *marked words in ‘glossary’ which is given in the end of the book-let. Shivaling ‘ Shri Babul had shown this shivling to his master Shri Pandurang. Secondly it is also said that since the Shivling was under the shadow of a Babul Tree, the same was named as Babulnath. Thirdly, Babul or Baba’ in Hindi language means ‘Father’. In Rigveda Lord Rudra (Shiva) is called father of ‘Bhuvan’ i..e. Father of Universe. Babulnath * Mahavev, in real sense is Lord/Father of three Bhuvans. Thou art the household deity of Mumbai MEGA-CITY’. This is why the devotees cordially salute and pray by saying ‘जगत: पितरो वन्दे पार्वती परमेश्वरी’ i.e. The World salute the ultimate God who is also Lord/Husband of Parvati, the Goddess.


The Story Of Origin

         The legend which is current about the appearing or origin of Lord Babulnath Mahadev is very interesting and sensational. The place to-day known as Malbar Hill in proper Mumbai had an abundant pasture land in South-West area about two centuries back. Mr.Pandurang, a rich goldsmith was the owner of this large land. The cattles of Mr.Pandurang used to graze in the pasture. A cowherd named Babul was looking after the cattle. There was abundant green grass in the pasture. The cattle used to wander unrestrained in happiness. Babul had not to worry much about the cattle. He used to play his flute and cattle used to roam in the pasture happily. The cows had fresh grass to graze so they were very healthy and were giving plenty of milk. Mr.Pandurang the master had always surplus milk.

         On an evening, a healthy cow named Kapila did not give a single drop of milk to her master. The master called upon Babul and asked the reason for it. The Master was astonished by the reply given by Babul, the cowherd. Babul said with respect that it was not a first incident that the cow has not given the milk. Since long, the cow has stopped to give milk at evening. Innocently, the cowherd added that the cow regularly goes at evening to a particular place and pour out the whole milk from her teats, therefore one could not expect milk from her. However, the master could not believe the cowheard's explanations. Therefore on the next day he went with Babul and he was surprised to observe the cow's gesture. As soon as the healthy cow, Kapila reached at the fixed place, she jumped and stood up. She allowed her milk from her teats to pour at the place spontaneously in the form of anointing (Abhishek). The scene encouraged curiosity of the master. The place at which the cow was regularly anointing/pouring out milk, was got dug out by the master. The Master was amazed and was cheerful to find that a Swayambhu i.e. self-existent beautiful Shivling carved in a black stone was under the place ! Appeared before about 200 years, this self existent Shivling is our Lord Shree Babulnath Bhagwan. The principal deity of the temple.

Construction Of Temple

         The news, that master Pandurang has found a self-existent Shivling spread like fire in entire city of Mumbai. (At that time Mumbai was not Mega-City). The contemporary spiritual Brahmins came over and started worshiping the Shivling.

          To build bunglows for its officers, the executives of East India Company offered lucarative price for this Malbar Hill land to master Pandurang Sheth. Despite the repeated requests and attractive monetary benefits offered by East India Company., Pandurang Sheth did not enter into any deal with the Company. He was very much religion loving so he built a small but beautiful and strong Shivalaya. (Temple of Shiva).

           By passage of time Pandurang Sheth also faced ups and down of life and lost his property and became bankrupt. The large land owner by him was sold out in auction. An English clergyman purchased the North & East vacant land to Shree Babulnath Temple in auction, Mumbai Parsi Panchayat purchased the aforestated vacant land from the English clergyman. The north part of the land was used as crematorium for parsis and the east part of the land was used for welfare activities of Parsi Community.

          As time advanced, difference of opinion developed between Pujaris (priests) of Babulnath Temple and adjacent Parsis. The priests of temple approached Shrimant Malharrao Gaikwad, a king of Baroda (Vadodara), who was residing at Walkeshwar, an area adjacent to Malbar Hill. With the help of Shrimant Malharrao a case was admitted in Mumbai high Court. The verdict by learned judge was given in favour of the temple.The details of judgement of the court in brief is engraved on a marble and placed at temple reads as follow:-

In Mumbai's Recorder Court Pleader's judgement A.D. 1806
Malharrao Bahadur Gaikwad & Others Plaintiffs on behalf of Hindu Panch V/s.
Parsi Hormasji Bamanji Defendant.

         In the said suit on 2.8.1808, the Hon'ble Court ordered the verdict in Plaintiff's favour and directed the Defendants not to obstruct Plaintiffs & other Hindus to build a temple and/or to perform other rites. Shah Rajaram Balmukandas and Bhatt Valji Jivraj placed an inscripted stone stating that the temple is renovated in 1776 A.D. by Hindu Mahajan Sangh.

         There after trustees were appointed and by public fund the construction of current gorgeous temple started. The small Shivalaya built in AD - 1780, first time, became very popular to the Gujarati Community residing in the City. On the basis of popularity and faith on Lord Babulnath, lakhs of Rupees were donated for enlargement, sculpturing and renovation. In 1836 A.D. the expansion of Temple Project was started and it was completed in 1840 AD. Before the dawn of 20th Century, over and above Shri Babulnath Mahadev, the idols of Shree Parvati, Ganpati, Hanumanji, Laxminarayan, Virat Swaroop, Garudji, Kashi Vishwanath Dattatray, Gayatri Mata (Standing), Chanddev, Shitlamata, Nagdeo and other deities were installed. Thus, the temple expanded in an unique manner and to-day we find with beautiful, gorgeous dome an artistic temple. A suit was filed in Mumbai High Court in 1880 A.D. the brief details of the suit inscribed in a marble is literally as below. "The Hon.Mr.Justice Bayley one of the judges of Her Majesty's High Court of Judicature at Bombay.

         IN SUIT NO.547 OF 1880 wherein.
        The Hon. Mr.John Marriot Advocate General at the instance and in relation of Shah Rajaram Balmukunddas Bhatt, Valji Jivraj Thacker, Ghellabhai Ladha Khatri, Jivan Meghji Applicants Vs. Soni Anandrao Sukharam and other Respondents, the Hon.Mr.Jusitce Bayley decided this suit on the 8 October, 1883 and having settled that the temple of Shri Babulnath and the property connected with it was for the use of public charity appointed five trustless viz. Sheth Valabhdas Walji Sheth, Mulji Jethawalla, Sheth Chaturbhuj Morarji Sheth Damodar Tapidas Sheth, Rajaram Balmookanddass, Bhatt Valji Jewraj. In this Mr.Bhaishankar Nanabhai of the firm of M/s. Jefferson Bhaishankar and Dinsha rendered invaluable assistance. This monument was raised in Samvat 1946 when the temple was repaired and repurified or consecrated".

         High Court framed a 'Scheme' in 1918 A.D. for the temple. In 1951 A.D. as per the requirement of time the scheme was reframed and enlarged with 42 Clauses and appendices.

         In Clause 31 of 951 A.D. Scheme, necessary changes were made chronologically in 1987, 1995, 1996, 2004 etc., with the permission of Hon. Court and at present this scheme is in force.


The Administrative Scheme Of Shri Babulnath Temple

         As per the order dated 13.4.1951 of High Court in Suit No.341/1951 (O.S.) Administrative Scheme for Shri Babulnath Mahadev Temple is framed. From time to time, as seen earlier, changes are made in Clause No.31 with the permission of Hon. Court.

         According to the Scheme the principal purposes/aims are as below:-

  1. Shree Babulnath Mahadev and other temples associated with it be administered/managed and worship be continued.
  2. Sanskrit Pathshala (School), expansion of Sanskrit learning & promotion, Bhartiya Culture, Religion, Philosophy & Philosophy of Vedanta's propaganda, development & encouragement.
  3. Protection of Cows. Aid to Public in case of natural calamities like draught, floods, etc.
  4. To help educational & Medical Institutions, etc.
    The Administration of Shri Babulnath Mahadev Temple establishment is carried out by the trustees according to scheme of 1951 A.D. (Suit No.341/1951 O.S. Jagmohandas Kalyandas &Bros. V/s. Advocate General of Bombay).
    The present trustees are as below:-
    1. Shri N.G. Thakker (Chairman)
    2. Shri H.C. Asher
    3. Shri D.S. Mahadevia
    4. Shri J.H. Dave
    5. Shri V.J. Jhaveri
    6. Shri C.D.Mehta
    7. Shri N.L.Hiranandani
    8. Shri C.M. Bhagat
    9. Shri M.B. Mehta

           For this institution, there is no membership system. The trustees conduct the administration as per the Scheme. The Institution changed the accounting year from April, 1989 to April - March every year instead of Vikram Samvat Year Kartik to Ashwin Months, as per statutory requirements.

         Religious, social and educational institutes are helped as per the directives of the Scheme within the limit prescribed and on increase of income by Shri Babulnath Mandir Charities Institution.

         Till now, the Babulnath temple has appropriately helped people during natural calamities like draught, floods on increase of temple's income.

         Shri Babulnath Mahadev Temple Institution is not given financial help by Government, non-government organizations or municipal / local authorities. On the contrary the temple institution helps needy persons for social and educational welfare causes.

         After 1957 A.D. the administration of temple institution has very much improved and the position is found much sound. Prior to the period stated above the institutions was facing financial crisis, considering this problem Shri Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Under his experienced and powerful guidance this temple institution has shown very good progress. In 1971 Shri Munshi took his last breath but the institute continued to make further progress on the track . He has established for the all over development and welfare of temple. Thereafter Shri Jasvantlal Matubhai Solicitor and Shri Gordhanbhai Anandji Thakker, Ex-Judge of Bombay High Court acted as Chairman in succession. At present Shri Nitinbhai G. Thakker is shouldering the responsibility as Chairman and the Trust.

         The devoted devotees were finding it difficult to climb the stairs of the hill. Therefore the temple arranged for two specious elevators. The public utilizes this facility whole-heartedly. Especially this has been found very comfortable to aged devotees. A hall known as Krishnabai Hall is at present under repair and renovation by the temple. The institution contemplates to prepare the hall well equipped with all amenities to carry out various religious ceremonies/rites & worships.

         The Old monument of temple has been classified as Heritage Property of Indian Culture by the government of India. The Government has given specific guidelines to maintain and upkeep the ancient sculpture, idols and temple. At present the skilled artists are engaged by the temple to carry out the Government's directives. This will of course, preserve our heritage for which we all are proud of.

 

The Glory Of Shree Babulnath

         Lord Shiva on the hill of Babulnath being the principal deity of Mumbai showers. His grace and mercy on entire city. The devoted devotees thousands in number regularly visit the temple with love and devotion after climbing 110 steps of stone stairs to worship the Lord Shivratris, Mondays, Pradosh (Evening time) and on various festival days people throng in thousands of number to have the Darshan of Lord Babulnath and other deities. Many Bollywood / T.V. Celebrities and magnets of the world of music/dance/Bhajan do not miss to have a darshan of Lord Shiva, particularly on Mondays of the months of shravana (Vikram Samvat year). The devotees appease the Lord according to their faith and capacity. Some offer 1.25 lakhs Bilvpatras, some offer silver Bilvpatras. Some others offer silver/golden ornaments too.

         During Shivtratirs and in the month of Shravana Ghee Pooja is the main and splendid attraction for the devotees. The devotes book for ghee Pooja before a year on Shravana Mondays 15th August, Ekadashi, Shivratri and on other festivals ghee pooja is offered Ghee is frozen on Woolen Planks and various life stories of Lord Shiva and other deities are carved in frozen Ghee. The various scenes created by such work are so pageant and eye-catching that for Darshan of Ghee Pooja devotees gathers in very large numbers . The schenes of Leela of Lord Shiva i.e. Deeds of almighty are nicely carved out and painted with colours in frozen ghee by one family of artist in-third generation who stay in the temple for two months to carry out the work. On these days, the temple is illuminated with electric lights and the top gorgeous dome of the temple appears as a master piece in the City.

           About 150 years back there were court cases with Parsi Community. Now a number of parsi families offer worship to Lord Babulnath.

         The devotees offer thousands of coconuts to the Lord. And on Account of special arrangement of water made on the hill, they are able to offer 'Jalabhishek', i.e. anointing Water on Shivling freely.

 

Faith Is Fruitful

          A Jain lady was suffering by leucoderma. She came to Babulnath temple for darshan every Monday for 2 Years. She used to offer milk, sugarcane, musambi juice and honey to Babulnath by anointing the same to Shivling. She acclaimed that the stains of the decease are found reduced. Some people worship by chanting laghurudra and anointing honey on Shivling for gaining health. One Parsi lady with strong faith gets Ghee Pooja performed during the festival.

         In 1962 A.D. on a midnight thunder cracked down on temple. Just before five minutes to thunder cracking, the manager of the temple asked the persons sleeping in the corridor at the back of the temple to move to their rooms. As soon as thunder cracked down, there was land sliding and big stones from hill fell down on the place which the persons of temple had vacated a few minutes back. The area was demolished by heavy stones. At lease 20 - 25 persons were saved. Today also people remember the incident and thank the Lord Babulnath who inspired the Manager of the Temple to direct the people to shift to their rooms!

          In 1966, there was a draught in Mumbai. The lakes had also shallow water. At that time the devotees fetched water from the well of the temple and all climbed 110 steps of temple with water. The water was so anointed on Shivling that the former was not allowed to let out from *Garbhgruha * i.e. the room where the Shivling is placed. Since dawn the people continued to pour water on the Shivling. The Shivling was submerged in well water. As soon as the water level touched the toes of idol of mother Parvati, the Goddess, black clouds rushed in the sky and heavy rainfall started with thunderbolt! Young and old, every one cheered with joy. Even people heard the rejoicing sounds from adjacent parsi colony. Indeed, the people remember to-day also the incident not only as a miracle but blessings of almighty who gives the fruits who prays thus.

          Alike above there are many more incidents and circumstances and occasions on which Lord Babulnath kept alive the faith and feelings of His beloved devotees, Lord Babulnath i.e. Lord Shiva safeguards the world as a Protector of the world!.

 

Schedule Of Worship

         In Babulnath Mahadev Temple 3 times worship (Trikal) takes place - everyday.

  1. In the morning 5.45 to 7.00 worship takes place. * THAAL i.e. Food/Fruits offering is also served to the Lord.


  2. In the mid-noon, i.e. between 11.00 to 12.00 Pooja (Worship) takes place and 'THAAL' is also offered.


  3. In the evening between 4.45 to 6.00 worship takes place. * Aarti takes place and 'THAAL' offered at night 8.00 O'clock.

         Everyday in the morning and in the evening shlokas of Veda and prayers are relayed through loud speaker everyday morning from 7.30 to 8.45, 11 brahmins chant daily Laghurudra in inner temple i.e. front of shivling. In corridor of Babulnath and in other temples also regular rites and workshops * (Naimitik - as per holy day or occasions) takes place.

         The main priest imparts religious education to the Children of Staff and Children of Brahmins who sit on benches for one hour. This includes prayers, * Rudrapath, * Mahimna stotra, * Nityapuja and * Chandipaath etc., Since 1980 A.D. Sermons are delivered and brief idea is given on Religious books like Geeta in Shree Babulnath Geeta Pathsheela on every Saturday

         Since 1957, till now six HOMATMAK Maharudrayagna are performed by the trust.

         Under the Chairmanship of Res. Shree Krishnashanker Shastri Bhagwat Saptah was arranged and 125 brahmins took part in reciting Bhagwat Parayan.

         The idols of Ganpatiji & Nagdevta are replaced by performing *Poonah Pratishtha'.
Since 1957 A.D. the Temple is up kept with colour from time to time. At present, as per rules only White Lime is applied.

          In 1962 A.D. Sizeable damage was sustained on account of crackdown of thunder from the blue falling near the dome. The repair and renovation was got done from the prestigious and excellent artists and the temple was reconditioned as it was. The Eastward door of the temple is renovated and the door of the South side is got enlarged.

         Formerly the Brahmins were sitting on Wooden Benches now the benches are made of Stone with Artistic carving of elephants over the same, which is in conformity with the design of construction and style of the main temple.

          In different types of rites and for detailed information about the temple, the devotees and public are requested to contact the Manager on following telephone numbers.

1)  23678367
2)  23673602 (Fax)

 

Pratimapuja

          The Almighty is omnipresent and therefore exist in idol, picture, metal, stone etc., while idol or picture/photo etc., is worshipped, it is not done with the feelings that the same is idol, picture, stone, metal or soil but that is the medium through which sachchidanand (Almighty) is worshipped which exist in the same. Often a question is raised why we require stone or metal as medium? Can we not worship the Almighty without idol?

          The Learned say that in this world formation a mixing of Jada and Chaitanya (Inanimate and Life – Vitality) is seen. That can be described in five types. Asti , Bhati, Priya, Nam and Roop (अस्ति, भाति, प्रियं, नाम, रुप). First three indicate Sachchidanand is Brahma Swarup. Asti means Sat (सत)
True or being Bhati means Light Chit means mind, and Priya means happiness. The remaining two Nam and Roop (Appearance) are wordly forms. Thus Sachchidanand’s retation with Nam and Swarup make the world to appear, i.e. by which one can experience the being of everything. The ultimate goal is to recognize / experience and to see the Param Tatwa as Sachchidand. But the Param Tatwa being invisible, it cannot be sensed by any organ. As other wordly things, it is not easily accessible to the mind of all living beings in the world being covered by Maya (illusions).

         * Shruti also supplements the above philosophy. It says Brahma is eternal Truth and is in the form of divine knowledge. But mind & speech both are covered with Maya so one can not perceive the Paramtatva which is endless. Therefore the speech and mind while perceiving the Brahma find their efforts in Vain.

          Therefore, Pushpadantacharya, the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva in 2nd Stanza of Shivmahimna Shrotras aptly says that Oh God ! your glory is much above the ways of speech and mind. If we praise the virtues of your worldly existence (Avtara), the virtues are endless and we are unable to praise. One can not praise your non-perceptible form because Shruti also described you as ’Neti’ ’न इति' means ‘not it is.’ Thou art not bound by any metaphysical or non-metaphysical theories. Therefore we are unable to describe you. How we should praise thou glory? How are and how many are your virtues? Who can perceive this? The situation is very typical and we are unable to praise you. However, if at all you shower your blessings, we may engross our mind and speech in your perceptible form and shall remain content therewith. Is there any devotee who does not enter into your perceptible form by his mind and speech? Or spontaneously does not worship and pray thou?

          Thus we find that the mind and speech covered with illusion (Maya) can not worship the imperceptible Almighty (Paramtatva) without worshiping the perceptible God in the form of idol, picture/photo/Ling or any other form which could be perceived by being. This perceptible form being in this world it must be definitely in the form of * NAMJAPMALA i.e. Chanting the name of God (or mantra). Some people say we do not require idol-worshipping. We take the name, chanting mantras, worship and pray God, and that is enough. But one will notice that such people of course do very well by praying God but they worship only in one form viz., ‘Name’. Those who worship idols-(Pratima Poojan) are worshipping the Lord in the forms of name as well as ‘Roop’ i.e. appearance. An idol is the representation of a being May it be animal, human being or God. Ultimately taking the name, chanting the mantras by Jap, Worship, Prayer all are representation of God in the form of name. Thus some people use only name while many others use name as well as form both to worship the God. Those who take the name and do not worship idols are in a way idol-worshippers, as with the name of God, the devotee has certain idea of form of almighty.

          In short, those who oppose idol worship, if they in real try to understand the form of idol will agree that more or less the devotees and worshippers of the entire world by one way or other are idol worshippers or pray God in some perceptible form. It becomes eventual for a person whose mind and speech are under the shadow of Maya to worship that deity or deities who is/are very much in coordination and consonance with his/her faith (Shradha) and his experiences.

          All religions of the world who believe in God, they all accept unanimously the fact that the God with unlimited mercy & benevolence favor his devotees. The Almighty which creates this surprising multi farious billions and billions of universe and galaxies with his incredible power of will-knowledge and ability to create is also a creator, non creator, creator of otherwise, capable, independent and holding all subjects in him. To favor the devotees and in order to perform better worship and concentration/meditation by the devotees the Almighty’s capable to take the perceptible form *(Saguna Roop).

          It is said in Bhagwat that Oh! Urugay! The devotees who worship the Brhma (Almighty) with the mind & faith expressed in different idols or forms they are favored by the Almighty in those forms and fulfill their aspirations.

         The chanters of Mantras believe existence of God in Mantra, Yogi believes representation of God in the light experienced in the Agyachakra which is situated in middle of the forehead above the eye brows. The worshipper of Yantra believes in their mysterious Yantras designed by Bhupur, Rekha, Kamaldal, Chakra, Trikon, Vartul, Bindu, etc. i.e. of Line, the design of lotus, wheel, triangle, circle and point etc., as a place where almighty exists, Ishwar, Parmatma God etc., words are also the representatives of God by ‘name’ Whenever the worshipper prays he does not say ‘Oh stone! I salute you to the idol of stone/metal Shivling-Brahma is one. There is nobody else, Brahma is omnipresent. Thou art entire/absolute Truth. In this entire world really speaking there is nothing like different materials. That Rudra is the only One. There is nobody else. Therefore Oh, Mahesh! i.e. Lords of all deities) I bow down to you and only to you. Just imagine while the worshipper pray in the above fashion to Shivling or Lord Shiva or say any other Deity does he pray the piece of stone or logwood or piece of metal ? Indeed the Worshipper with the help of Mantras of Shruti and Stutis (Prayers) prepared by great teachers (Gurus) and * Rishies, he concentrates and sights his God in the idol/shivling which he worships. While worshipping the devotee open – heartedly confesses Oh god ! I do not know how to welcome you, I do not know your anointing (to offer water – Jalabhishek), Oh Maheshwar ! I do not know how to worship you, Ido not know your 'Theme' I do not know how you are, how you look, notwithstanding in whatever from thou art and look like but accept my many many salutes. While the devotee, worships Shivling or idol of God /Goddess with faith, confidence, infinite, love and on the footsteps of the system introduced, propagated and advised by Gurus, Saints, Rishies, he is quite assured that with unparallel 'BHAKTI' i.e. Worshiping Shrihari (Almighty) is accessible. In Shastra we read ’भक्त्या तु अनन्यया शक्य'

         The form of Almighty is omnipresent. This is a known fact to all the devotees. Whenever a guest or V.I.P. is to be greeted we satisfy by making tilak on his forehead or by garlanding him. We do not apply the kumkum or Sandalwood on his entire body. Forehead, a part of our head is believed as representative of entire body and it is also believed that it is best and important part of the body and as a token of our love/worship Kumkum tilak is applied only on forehead. It leads us to think that even in human body, we choose a specific place for rendering respect, what is wrong if we worshipi dol, etc., for devotion of the God who is omnipotent and omnipresent. Thou are every where. If saint comes, we are not happy only by worshipping him in mind. Over and above that we like to welcome him by tilak and garlands, offering flowers etc., Similarly the devotee is not satisfied only with mental worship of his God. He worships the idol with’Shodshopchar’ – 16 ways to worship the God for example Pooja. Archan, Aarti, Gayan, Naritya etc., (prayer with flowers, water, garland, Aarti by lamps, chanting mantra/Bhajan Dance, etc.). According to Bhartiya worship systems the Acharya Saints and devotees since hundreds and thousands of years continued to worship the idols. They might have attained spiritual enlightenment by such worship. It is natural and obvious if to day also the devotees pray the god on the parth of our predeceased great sages who had shown us the way of Moksa/Nirvana i.e. merging into Super Absolute or salvation, which is believed to be ultimate goal of every person.

          It is reiterated in Geeta that it is easy and convenient to worship the perceptive form of God rather then non perceptive Form! To concentrate the mind in Brahma and ultimately to become steady and be fully engrossed with him is believed to be final goal of human life. The mind is very shaky. It is just like air without the outside objects like idols, yantra, shivling mantra, pictures, photo etc. it is very difficult to concentrate the mind. Therefore for convenience of worship and concentration of mind help of objects as stated above are believed necessary.

 

Lingarchan ( Idol Worship )

         Idol sculpturing is a science; Indian Idols of God and goddesses are not the absolute copy of human body. In Greek Sculpture we see the idols resembling absolutely human body as they are. In Indian idols of Vishnu/Shiva/Goddesses the imagination of Divinity and gorgeousness are also added. For example huge like silver mountain., Crescent as ornament on head luminous body like gems, number of hands with arms like *Parshu in hand seating on lotus, surrounded by number of worshipping deities, with 3 eyes and 5 faces is never found as a human body. The sculpture has imagined on the basis of pious sages who has envisaged such forms and sculptured accordingly. The meditation verse in Sanskrit is as follow:-


ध्यायेन्नित्यं महेशं रजतगिरिनिभं चारुचन्द्रावतंसं
    रत्नाकल्पोज्ज्वलांगं परशुमृगमदाभीतिहस्तं प्रसन्नम्‌ ।
पद्मासीनं समन्तात्‌ स्तुतममरगणैर्व्याघ्रकृतिं वसानं
     विश्र्वाद्यं विश्र्ववंद्यं निखिलभयहरं पंचवक्त
्रं त्रिनेत्रम्‌ ।।

        The devotee who perceives the God only in an idol and otherwise remained engrossed in material affairs is immature type of devotee and a devotee who perceives that the God is not only in the idol but is everywhere i.e. Omnipresent is a wise devotee. In his discourse of 18th Adhyay of Geeta Shree Madhusudan Saraswati says initially devotee says to God that “I am Yours” As time advances and the Devotee feel nearness to god, he takes a little liberty and says ‘you are mine’. When there is Para-Bhakti i.e. the devotee realizes or perceives the super power i.e. Brahma he says “I,Thou God and the entire world is in the form of VASUDEV. It is very much necessary that one should take the help of an idol by which name and form of God is contemplated and which helps to attain spiritual purity and enables to realize God. The meaning of universal oneness suggests that the God is neither in wood nor in stone but is in your feelings. Therefore one should develop the mind to perceive God every where. The God is not on the peak of a mountain nor in the Shivalaya but that Chidanandmay God is perceived in heart by your affection and sentiment. It is also said that the god of Brahmin is in fire, God of Yogi is in Samadhi (merging into God while meditating) God of an average intellectual person is in idol and God of realized person is everywhere. The purpose of quoting this is not to comment on idol, worship but one should bear in mind that worship without affection bear no fruit. It is an eternal truth.

         If we consider all the quotations negating the idol-worship and certify ourselves that we are impartial then it is also unfair. The procedure of worship described in Shastras and promoted by our great ancestors, Gurus & Rishies will be unjustifiably discarded by us. This will suggest that we are totally atheist. Great Shankracharya also says “Oh Lord ! There is no difference between thou and me still I am yours. You are not mine, Ripple is of ocean but ocean is not of ripple”. This sense of wretchedness, helplessness is the sign of surrendering Devotee when feel and show these signs and then urge for God’s favour, God really pleases.

         Parbrahma is in mind. It is unparallel and unperceivable. It has nobody square of form thereupon for facilitating the worshippers the form of Brahma is contemplated. God resides in hearts of everyone. But to imagine his existence in the idol is the externalization of God from our heart to the idol. The idol we can see and worship, this is the secret of idol worship. My Lord who knows everything about what is in my mind is rested in this idol to cherish my devotion to him. This understanding is required.

मम प्राणा ईह प्राण:
My Own Life I Install In This Idol.

         It is known as Pranpratishtha of idol,. In other words personification of the idol.                                 

         Therefore, there is a difference between the idols kept in a shop and personified idols after Pranpratishtha rites. That is why Pranpratistha rites we find deity’s existence in idol. The form of idol is just like the form the accomplished worshippers had witnessed. The poojan i.e. rites are according to shastras and the worshiper has full confidence of the deity existing in the idol.


अभिरूप्याच्च बिम्बस्य पूजायाश्च विशेषत: ।
साधकस्य च विश्र्वासाद्‌ देवतासंनिधिर्भवेत्‌ ।।


         The milk is produced minutely in the entire body of the cow but it comes out from the teats only. In the same way though God is omnipresent, his luster specially found more in the idols or other objects like pictures yantras which are personified and worshipped by devoted devotees.

         When the God has taken may Avtaras i.e. births on this earth like tortoise, fish and human beings it is not impossible for him to take Avtar, birth in an idol, Doer, undoer, or doing the otherwise is capable of creating the entire universe is capable in all respect. The Almighty can very easily get his worshipper to witness his light/glory in an idol. The God through the idol showers his mercy to the extent the devotion and feelings expressed by the devotee. For individual worship, we find small temples in the house of every devotee. Similarly for worship by public at large either individually or jointly public temples are also found necessary. Public temples are the sign of faith of the people in Almighty.

 

Need Of A Temple

         Since ancient period, for the development of faith, cultivating right inclination, to concentrate the mind for perpetual joy and to experience peace and for overall progress of life, the need of temple is accepted. With the existence of a temple, the mind of a human being become auspicious, divine and beautiful. This will make the entire human society like a temple.

         The temple inspires holiness and brings peace. The temple is for the purpose of doing progress collectively in the atmosphere of peace and happiness with undisturbed mind. In olden days, mostly the place of temple used to be out of the village in the pleasing atmosphere of nature. The mind which was remaining busy in world’s day-to-day activities was becoming calm and quiet and was becoming ready to attain oneness with God by the time the devotee was reaching to the temple. The devotee if shake off the dust of worldly thoughts and worldly impulses of love and hatred from his mind and enters into temple then only he will find peace in mind. As one keeps out his footwear out of the temple, equally he should keep out the disturbing thoughts leading him to restlessness. All should sit together bearing in mind that they are the children of God and because of this relationship they are all equal and worship the God at least for an hour keeping aside all the masks of differences, like rich-poor-old-young, Learned-illiterate, small-big, husband-wife, father-son, master-servant. By this they will experience the touch of divine love. The mind will melt with pious feelings and relationship will be established with God.

         Temple means a holy place where you can express your happiness and grief. If a son is born to whom will you tell you joy? If you say to your spelling neighbor, he could not participate in your pleasure, since he has already 4 sons in his house. If you distribute sweet, of course, he will accept but he can not swim along with you in the river of joy in which you swim. In the same way he can not share your grief too. Therefore, a human being can feel pleasure by expressing his happiness and sorrow to the God.

         The temple consoles a desperate man, God is waiting for you. You are not a beggar but his son.Tell all your pleasure and sorrow to him, your mind will be free and burdenless. You will be delighted, peace, satisfaction and content will be experienced. In life you will find interest and get novel inspiration.

         The temple is a place where your love for God is expressed and mind is purified by concentration. Some purports the temple as a post office through which they expect to send their application for fulfillment of all materialistic requirements.

         One visits a temple and offers something with good feeling i.e. God is with me and he conducts my life. With the feeling one decides to offer or give a certain portion of his income to God and temple is a place where he can give such share! To-day we find some people throws money on God. It is very disliking. As if one who throws money is rich and on whom it is thrown is a beggar! The system should be stopped as early as possible. Our ancestors and Rishis/Munis had strong belief that the property-money offered to God should be utilized to nurture the culture in the society, to promote creation of affection to Lord and prepare the heroic people with enlightened spirit. The offerings to God known as *Devdravya’ was utilized to help the weak and financially backward people and familities those who met with natural calamities or were unfortunately found in sudden distress in the village. The help was given in the form of Prasad, i.e. God’s blessings. To train the warriors of God, who protect the religion and to promote the Brahmins in real spirit, the temple money was utilized.

         The money offered to God should not only be utilized in social or alike activities but should also be utilized to rejuvenate our civilization. The money offered at the feet of God should be utilized to increase the glory of civilization culture and God. The temple’s money should be used to make every house a temple!

         Temple was counted as a holy place of inspiration. Temples were the universities which were showing the ways, of true religion as envisaged by sages and Rishis of Vedic era. Temples had a big debut in guiding the devotees to the footsteps of Vedas and Geeta and how to operate key of karmayog.

         In Shastras it is said "यस्य नि:श्र्वसित वेदा:'! It means Vedas are breathings of God! Therefore in every temple Vedas must be recited regularly. Without the recital of Vedas, the God’s breathing is disturbed! Our ancestors, Rishi, Munies and Sages had got the temples built on the basis of such marvelous and benevolent thoughts.

         Parbrahma is in mind. It is unparallel and unperceivable. It has nobody square of form thereupon for facilitating the worshippers the form of Brahma is contemplated. God resides in hearts of everyone. But to imagine his existence in the idol is the externalization of God from our heart to the idol. The idol we can see and worship, this is the secret of idol worship. My Lord who knows everything about what is in my mind is rested in this idol to cherish my devotion to him.This understanding is required.

          In temple, Vedas or upnishad’s swadhyay (study, reading) should be regularly done. Vedas directs.

'स्वाध्यायप्रवचनाभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम्‌'

          Regular prayer, Regular education and regular Swadhyay (Practicing worship) should be part and parcel of every temple. Out of the fund of temple bright Brahmin should be educated and trained who will spread the Vedic Thoughts from village to village and from house to house. They will show the parth of enlightened life and will inspire the people to face the battle of life with courage. Over and above, they will create affinity love for God and confidence in community living. Bhagwan Shankracharya has said;

          ब्राह्मणत्वस्य हि रक्षणेन रक्षितो स्या वैदिको धर्म: ! means The Vedic Reglion is protected by protecting the right *Brahamantva Temple should try to create and promote such right Brahmanatva.

         The temple is not a temple, where you go and your heart does not throb with affinity, eyes are not delighted and confidence in own self is not evoked. It means in a temple your self –confidence is bound to awake and your every organ get rejuvenated with blessings of God!

         It is an ideal temple where children get cultured, youths choose the path of *Karmayog and elderly people find ultimate rest (peace) and all these people after receiving the blessings of God join in their day to day activities.

         The temple infuses vitality in every human being’s life. In individual life, innocence, sinless love to society, faith in feelings and impartiality in spiritual life are examples of a true temple existing in Society.

         The ideal temple not only attracts hearts of human beings but reign over the hearts of mankind. So far the man has aspiration for God, temple is existing Aspiration for God in mankind is eternal therefore the existence of temples is also eternal.

         We hope that all the temples in India, at all the nooks and corners become divine and gorgeous. The affinity of people multiply and temple become the holy places of inspiration in such a way that God will like to stay always in these temples.

         We pray God that please showers us his blessings to have us wisdom to build a temple of his choice and to continue the atmosphere of his choice in the same.

 

Glossary
Abhishek - Anointing idol with water tc., with our without chanting Mantras
Annakut - Various types of flood offering to God
Aarati - A rite perforomed with the help of lamps /Camphor
Babulnath - A name of Lord Shiva name of a temple in Mumbai
Bhagwan - God
Bilvapatra - Leaf of a tre used for worshiping Lord Shiva
Brahmavatra - Element of Brahma, the Almighty
Brahma - The Greator, God
Brahma Chandipath - Progress of Goddess Chandi(Chandi-Killer of Demonchnad
Darshan - Sight
Deepmala - Line of lamps
Grabhagruha - The innermost past of temple where idol of god is established
Moksa - Salvation
Mahimna Store - The stangas in prayaer of Glory of Lord Shiva
Mahadev - The Lord of all the deitee
Ninvana - Salvation
Namiapavale - Chanting the name of God
Nitrya Piya - Daily Worship
Parshan - A kind of weapon in ancient time
Rudripath - Hymas for tray of Rudra I.e. Lord Shiva
Shivling - A Cylinderical stone/metal appears oval shaped
Swayambhan - and worshipped as symbol of Lord Shiva.
Shastra’s - The holy books on Religeon
Shruti - Vedas
Sachchidanand - सत + चित + आनंद Truth + Mind + Pleasure Believed to be ultimate state of residing god i.e. perpetual pious happiness.
Thaal - A plate with fruit / dry fruits / food offered to God With devotion.

 


 

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