Forms of Hindu worship

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

The process of worship in Hinduism involves the use of three basic techniques such as the mantra, the tantra and the yantra.

The mantra symbolizes the path of knowledge, the tantra symbolizes the path of devotion and the yantra symbolizes the path of detached action.

The Mantra - The mantra is an invocation or sacred syllable or set of syllables uttered with specific rhythm, with sincerity of devotion and purity of thought and action, and with phonetic and grammatical accuracy, in a manner prescribed by the scriptural injunctions of the Vedas. It is believed that a mantra invokes a particular deity and compels the deity to assist the invoker to achieve a desired task. It is also believed that each mantra has the energy of the particular deity hidden and the energy becomes active with the pronunciation of the mantra accurately.

The Tantra - The Tantra is the systematic use of the body and the mind for the divine realization. The body and the mind are sensitive to the desire oriented actions with the triple gunas such as the sattva, the rajas and the tamas. The Tantra liberates and transforms these into the true instruments of the hidden self. It is very important and has become the integral part of Hindu spiritualism.

The Yantra - The Yantra uses certain external objects, symbols and some mechanical means to worship the divine. An example for yantra is the act of folding of hands in front of the deity. Some of the forms of yantra are the design of fire place, the manner in which vedic sacrifice is conducted, the materials used, the design of the temple, the act of visiting the temple, the act of circling around the temple, the way of entering the temple, the way of lighting the lamps, and the method of decorations to the god and the places of worship.


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