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Thread: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

  1. #1

    Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Greetings. This is my first post. Can someone please clarify these questions for me?

    Do Hindus pray three times a day, as I have heard?

    Do Hindus purify themselves with water before their daily prayers?

    Do Hindu temples have any type of wash rooms or water basins to perform ritual purification before services?

    Thank you very much...

  2. #2

    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    kind of feels like you should have been on an islamic forum and landed on a wrong one.

    cleanliness is adviced and practised in sanatan dharm but there are no rules like you have to do or else hell awaits. one should do smaran of ishwar with clean mind and body and hence a bath is considered appropiate before puja. usually most temples do have taps for washing hands, feet and face.

    anyway, welcome to the forums

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalreligion View Post
    Greetings. This is my first post.
    Welcome.

    Do Hindus pray three times a day, as I have heard?
    Some Hindus might, some Hindu may not. There is no requirement as such.

    Do Hindus purify themselves with water before their daily prayers?
    Some Hindus might, some Hindu may not. There is no requirement as such.

    Do Hindu temples have any type of wash rooms or water basins to perform ritual purification before services?
    Maybe not within the temple premises but adjoining to it, there should be an arrangement, is my guess.

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Vannakkam eternalreligion:

    Welcome to these forums. I hope your stay is educational.
    1) I have no idea where you are getting your information, as I know of no scripture or idea where such a statement would be made. Hindus pray when they feel like praying. Some may pray once a year. Others may pray many many times a day. In some sects (Hinduism is widely varied from place to place) there may be some stricter 'suggestions'.
    2) Most Hindus will bathe before going to temple or going to their shrine room for longer times or daily worship.
    3) Depends on the temple ... but the feet are particularly important. Many temples have at least a foot wash station ... like a sink on the floor. But it depends on locale, facilities available, etc.

    Now its my turn, if you don't mind?

    What brought you to this for forum, and your interest in Hinduism?
    Were our answers satisfactory, or do you have more questions along the same line?
    Any other questions?

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Namaste.

    I'm certainly no expert, and can only go by what I've read, which is that it's auspicious to recite the Gayatri Mantra at morning, noon and evening. But that's all I've ever seen about prayer times.

    I don't do prayers at my altar or light the lamps unless I've taken a shower. Even then I've read that it's just enough to wash the hands and arms, face and feet. But if I feel "icky", it's into the shower I go.

    Now that I started going to temple, I certainly wouldn't go without washing up and wearing clean clothes.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  6. #6

    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    These are informative answers. Thank you. I was asking because I am supposed to be doing inter-religious scholarly research on this topic. But these are very hard pieces to come by. There is not much in books about it and Hindu temples are apparently not too keen on answering my questions. So the best thing to do is to ask Hindus until I can spend time in a good university library.

    I was asking about the praying three times a day thing because many religions have the tradition of three main daily prayers. If you Google: "Hindus pray three times a day" then you will see that some Hindus think they are supposed to. But I guess its not universal?

  7. #7

    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalreligion View Post
    Greetings. This is my first post. Can someone please clarify these questions for me?

    Do Hindus pray three times a day, as I have heard?

    Do Hindus purify themselves with water before their daily prayers?

    Do Hindu temples have any type of wash rooms or water basins to perform ritual purification before services?

    Thank you very much...
    Eternal may be referring to the practice of performing sandhya-vandanam. Traditionally, this is done three times a day by twice-born men. Usually all people purify themselves before offering prayer or going to the temple by bathing. There is also the practice of performing Achaman which involves recitation of mantras while sipping water - also a purificatory act. This is also performed usually be men prior to doing puja or other forms of worship. Some Hindu temples may have an outdoor faucet to wash one's feet prior to entering the temple, but many in the United States do not. The custom is to bathe fully before going to the temple.

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Some very good answers have been offered above...If I may I'd like to contribute the following.
    • purification - this can happen internally and externally. The notion of ablution with water is considered traditional.
      Yet its counterpart is within the individual with the ~ablution~ of pure consciousness.
    • cleanliness - this too is external in one's surroundings, clothing, etc. and is also internal. This cleanliness is called out in patañjali’s yogadarśana ( yoga sūtra's)¹
    • prayer 3 times a day ; this can occur during saṃdhya ( the junction points); yet for some it is dhyāna or meditation. For those practicing gāyatrī , some paractice catur- saṃdhya ( 4 junction points&#178 or 4 times per day.
    So the continuing question... do all hindu's do this? No, not all. And for my list above not every hindu follows patañjali’s yogadarśana because they may not be the aspirant of yoga. Once again , one size does not fit all.

    Yet ( IMHO) the question is ( for all hindu's) practicing sanātana dharma
    how does one practice, appreciate and apply puruṣārtha in whole or in part?
    Puruṣārtha is known as the 4 aims in life (puruṣa + ārtha = human + aim , purpose )
    • kāma desire and its fulfillment
    • artha acquirement of wealth
    • dharma discharge of duty to one's self, family, society
    • mokṣa final emancipation
    praṇām

    1. niyama-s
    • Śauca - cleanliness. Yet in essence, purity. We can consider the purity of the heart and mind ( thinking and emotions)
    • Santoṣa - contentment. The absence of greed and possessing in excess ( hoarding)
    • Tapas - is from tapa , to consume by heat or fire; this tapas blooms as tapasya. Most think austerity; some think religious austerity, penance, even severe restrictions. From a practical perspective , tapasya is self-control. This tapas compliments the yama of aparigraha.
    • Svadhayāya - is considered study. It is also self-knowing. The study that can assist the individual to become SELF-knowing.
    • Īśvara-praṇidhāna - this is the notion of recognizing and advancing ( some say adoring) Īśvara. Creating that personal relationship with Sarvesvara (Lord of All).
    2. Four junction points - dawn, mid-day, dusk, and mid-night
    Last edited by yajvan; 28 May 2012 at 01:54 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast


    For additional insights on customs and traditions, please consider this HDF post/string : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3656

    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Some questions about Hindu prayer and temple customs

    Namaste.

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    I'm certainly no expert, and can only go by what I've read, which is that it's auspicious to recite the Gayatri Mantra at morning, noon and evening. But that's all I've ever seen about prayer times.
    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    prayer 3 times a day ; this can occur during saṃdhya ( the junction points); yet for some it is dhyāna or meditation. For those practicing gāyatrī , some paractice catur- saṃdhya ( 4 junction points) or 4 times per day.
    Thank you! Yajvanji to the rescue again. I couldn't think of the phrase saṃdhya ( the junction points).
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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