8 Guidelines for Setting up a Home Mandir for your Murtis

In every Hindu home you will find a small home altar or mandir for the proper worship of the homes murtis. A murti is an embodiment of a Hindu god in any form which is usually a statue of the god or goddesses. The number one rule to remember when constructing dir in the home is that there are no rules, only guidelines. That being said, let’s get to the guidelines!

Bronze Vishnu Home Mandir
  1. Where does a Mandir go in your home?
    One should devote an entire room to construct the mandir; however, if this is not available you can simply choose a quiet corner of a room somewhere in the house. According to the Vastu Shastra (traditional hindu architecture), the home altar room should always be the northeastern most room in the home & the shrine itself should be in the northeastern most corner of that room chosen as this aids with the flow of proper energy or chakra.
  2. Which Gods Should be in the Home Altar?
    The main devas or Gods found in any home are, and by no means limited to: Ganesha, Parvati, Shiva, Vishnu, & Krishna. Sometimes households only care for one deity while others prefer to have an entire pantheon. Regardless of how many deities reside in the shrine, there is always one Ishta Deva (personal favorite). This deity’s area on the shrine is the center most seat & is always the most elaborate & the best kept.
  3. Three words. Ganesha, Ganesha, & Ganesha!
    It is extremely important to note that Ganesha-ji should always have a place in every mandir. It just wouldn’t be a temple without him! Since he is the lord of beginnings, as a rule of thumb he is always placed in the mandir before any other deity.

    There is a small Ganesh statue on the right of this mandir to Lord Rama

    Shop for Ganesha Statues>> 

  4. What should the Mandir be made from?
    A ready made mandir is ideal to house murtis; however, not everyone has a temple lying about. A small table with a saffron colored cloth draped over it will do perfectly in its absence. You will also need an incense burner, a diya(oil lamp), a bell, & a small box or jar to hold dakshina (offering of money).
  5. Cabinet for Supplies
    It might not be too bad of an idea to keep a small cabinet or something nearby the mandir to hold all the supplies & things needed to perform pūjā (worship), aarti (lighting of ghee candles), & general upkeep of the mandir.
  6. Placement of Murtis
    The murtis should be placed on this table or in the ready made mandir facing towards you. Ideally the murtis should be placed on a smaller platform on top of the table or within the mandir; though, this is not absolutely necessary.
  7. Clothing
    Murtis
    should also be given some form of clothing, flowers, incense, & other offerings regularly as the murtis are quite literally seen as physical manifestations of god(s).
  8. Care and Love
    It’s imperative to remember to always take care of the mandir, make regular offerings of food, incense and flowers, and to meditate in front of the mandir in order to ensure the mandir’s general upkeep.
    Shop for Bronze Hindu Murtis>> 
Home Mandir to Pantheon of Hindu Gods from our customer Graziano in Rome, Italy

Lotus Sculpture Now Accepts Bitcoin & Litecoin Payments

 

accepting bitcoin payments accepting litecoin payments

Lotus Sculpture now accepts both bitcoin and litecoin as a form of payment.

The value of the statue and the shipping will be converted directly into US dollars.  Any returns will be issued in US dollars.  We do not account for fluctuations in the cryptocurrency markets.

We strive to make it easy for our customers to have every option for making the sculpture of their dream a reality!

If you would like to pay using either of these two payment methods please email the owner of Lotus Sculpture, Kyle, directly at [email protected] or call call 1-760-994-4455.

New Shipment of South Indian Bronze and Brass Statues Just Arrived!

It is like Christmas in June!
We have just received a new shipment of South Indian bronze and north Indian brass statues from India.  This shipment has been in the works since our last buying trip to India in April, 2016.  We have been looking forward to receiving it for so long and am so happy to start offering them on Lotus Sculpture!

We still have a lot to unpack but when you can start finding them at these two links when they are posted:

South Indian Bronze

Indian Brass

Hindu Goddess Ganga – Birth & Descent to Earth

Ganges (Ganga) is the most revered and sacred river in the Hindu Mythology. None of the rivers in the world has been able to win so much love and attention from people as Ganga. She is worshipped by the name Ganga Maiya (Mother Ganga) and the Gangajal (Ganga = Ganges; jal = water) is believed to wash away all sins and grant the devotee salvation.  No other river has been mentioned in the Puranas as much as the holy Ganges.

Here is how Lord Vishnu has narrated the importance of river Ganges to Garuda.

“DARSHANATSPARSHANATPANATTATHA GANGETI

KEERTANAT PUNATYAPUNYANPURUSHANA SHATASHOTHA SAHASRASHAH”

Meaning: Thousands of man’s sins are destroyed by the holy sight of the Ganges, and he becomes pure, by the touch of Ganges water, by having it, or by just pronouncing ‘Ganga-Ganga’.

River Ganga

River Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh in the Indian Himalayas. She flows 2,525 km across northern India before emptying to the Bay of Bengal in the east India and Bangladesh.

Bronze Shiva statue descending to the earth with Ganga
Shiva bringing the Hindu Goddess Ganga to the earth

Birth of Ganga

As per Hindu Mythology, Ganga is the daughter of Brahma, born from his kamandala (a spout shaped vessel), when he was washing the feet of Vamana (The dwarf Brahmin incarnation of Lord Vishnu).

In Valmiki Ramayana, Ganga is depicted as the daughter of King Himavat and Queen Menaka. She is the sister of Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort.

According to the Vishnu Purana, Ganga was created from the sweat of Lord Vishnu’s feet.

Among the various interesting stories of Ganga, the most popular story is from Bramha Rishi Vishwamitra’s Ramayana Bal Kand, where he narrates about Bhagirath and the descent of Ganga to Earth.

King Sagar – the ruler of Ayodhya and an ancestor of Lord Rama decided to perform the Ashwamedha (great horse sacrifice) to become more powerful. Indra, the king of Gods, became jealous and stole the horse for yaga. Indira tied the horse near Sage Kapila’s ashram, where the sage was meditating in the deep forest. The king along with his 60000 sons began to search for the horse in the nether world and at last found it near Sage Kapila.

Assuming that the sage had stolen the horse, the princes began to insult the sage and tried to free the horse.  The princes continued to disturb the meditation of the sage and made him angry. The furious sage with the yogic fire of his eyes burnt all the princes into ashes. King Sagar was disturbed and asked his grandson, Anshuman to search for the princes.

Ashuman’s search ended in the front of the yaga horse and a heap of ash. He also saw the Sage Kapila near to it. He bowed and inquired what happened to the princes. The sage narrated the whole incident and Anusham broke down in grief. He pleaded for forgiveness and for the salvation of the princes. Sage Kapila was pleased and instructed Anushman to bring the holy Ganga to earth as she can only help them to wash away the sin and attain salvation.

In order to attain salvation to his relatives, Anshuman started doing penance on the Himalaya, but it was in vain. His son Dilip also tried to please Lord Brahma and bring Ganga. However, he also failed in his mission. Bhagiratha, the son of Dileep, took penance after his father.  Bhagiratha was so dedicated that Lord Brahma was pleased and granted the permission to bring Ganga to earth.

Goddess Ganga was asked to descent to earth, but she felt it as an insult and decided to sweep away everything that came her way. Bhagiratha felt the fierce power in the flow of her current and understood that he needed to do something in order to stop the mighty river from destroying the world. In order to avoid this catastrophe, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva and requested him to hold Ganga in his matted hair (jata).

At the request of Bhagiratha, Shiva agreed to hold Ganga in his hair locks. At first Ganga thought that no one would be able to withstand her power and descended to the Earth with all her power. Shiva decided to teach her a lesson and held her in his matted locks. Ganga tried to get free, but failed to escape from the Great Shiva. After one year of rigorous penance of Bhagiratha, Shiva was pleased and released Ganga. Ganga understood the greatness of Lord Shiva and asked for his forgiveness. Shiva is known as Gangaadhara as Lord Shiva absorbed the flow of Ganga and saved the earth from flooding, by receiving Ganga on his matted locks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Hindu Goddess Ganga in Shiva’s hair

Shiva was pleased and released Ganga as seven streams – Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Janhvi, Saraswati, Bhilangana, , Rishiganga, and Mandakini.  Ganga followed Bhagiratha, but with her tremendous speed destroyed almost all the nearby villages and forests.  Sage Jahnu became angry as his hermitage was drowned by Ganga.  By using his yogic power, Sage Jahnu drank the whole Ganga.  Bhagiratha pleaded for the Sage’s forgiveness and he released Ganga from his thigh by cutting it and for this reason Ganga is also called ‘Jahnavi’ or ‘Jahnusta’.

Maharishi Agastyaas has emptied all the oceans on Earth by drinking all the water, so Ganga first filled the oceans and quenched the taste to Earth.  Ganga touched the ashes of the sixty thousand ancestors of Bhagiratha and blessed them to attain eternal rest in heaven.

16 Step Puja Worship in Hinduism

puja worship
A Hindu brahmin priest performing puja on a bronze Nataraja in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

There are numerous forms of worship among Hindus, of which Puja is one of the more popular. The most widely accepted and followed system of Puja is the Shodasa – Upachara Puja, or 16 – Service worship.

The main purpose of this type of Puja is two-fold. Primarily it is to uplift the five senses of the worshiper, and by doing so elevate him to a higher level of consciousness that will promote good thoughts and actions. Secondarily it draws upon the Indian traditions of honoring a guest, wherein each upachara is a service to the deity who takes presence in the sculpture for the duration of the Puja.

  1. DhyaanaMeditating on the deity that is being invoked.
  2. AavaahanaInviting the deity into the altar.
  3. AasanaGiving the deity a seat.
  4. Paadya Washing the deity’s feet with clean water.
  5. ArghyaOffering the deity water to rinse hands and mouth.
  6. AachamanaOffering the deity water to drink.
  7. SnaanaBathing the deity with various auspicious items.
  8. VasthraDressing the deity with clean clothes.
  9. YagnopaveethaOffering the deity a clean sacred thread.
  10. GandhaSpreading fresh sandalwood paste on the deity.
  11. Pushpa Offering fresh flowers while chanting the deity’s names.
  12. DhoopaSpreading incense smoke throughout the altar.
  13. DeepaWaving a lamp to illuminate the freshly decorated deity.
  14. NaivedyaOffering the deity food.
  15. Taambula ­– Offering the deity a refreshing mix of betel nut and leaves.
  16. Pradakshina & NamaskaraCircumambulating the altar and bidding farewell to the deity.

Among these sixteen services, five hold more importance than the rest. Together these five services are referred to as the pancha – upacharas, and include gandha, pushpa, dhoopa, deepa, and naivedya. Collectively, these five services engage the five senses.

  • Gandha – Touch
  • Sandalwood paste cools the skin and is a natural insect repellant.
  • Pushpa – Hearing
  • The recitation of the deity’s names that accompanies each flower engages the ears.
  • Dhoopa – Smell
  • Incense envelops the entire temple with a refreshing fragrance for the nose.
  • Deepa – Sight
  • The lamp illuminates the deity and brings out the beauty of the icon to the eyes.
  • Naivedya – Taste
  • Food that has been offered to the deity is eaten and entices the taste buds.
ganesh, puja ceremony
Bronze Ganesh in opening eye ceremony at the Cleveland Museum of Art
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