Why and How image Worship?
Hindu worship is not congregational in other religion. However, some sects emphasise devotion or bhakti. A devotee may visit a temple at any time or on auspicious time and day and pray god or summon the attention of deities in his or own place. A devotee may be present at fixed ceremonies. He may also employ a priest to carry on a ritual for him.
Worship varies in different sects, size of the sect, size of temple, etc. Domestic worship varies in accordance with the needs of the individuals. A rich household may have services of full time priest. A busy devotee may himself prays in morning or evening. He also visit temple occasionally or on important festivals. Religious observances continue in a temple occasionally or on important festivals.
Religious observances continue in a temple throughout the day. Deity is waked up in the morning, bathed fed and put at the rest in night When devotees enter a temple they ring bell which is suspended on the entrance. This is done to enable the devotee to make the mind go inward and get concentrated. It is also for indicating that devotee is in front of deity on the temple. Lamps are also shown to the deity which points out the devotees respect to the deity. Incenses are also lighted to indicate that god is all pervasive. Incense also gives a fragrance and is also burned to indicate that ego should melt out. Flowers are also offered to the deity as a token of great respect. Devotee also offer rice, sweets and fruits to the deity.
These are then distributed among members and friends of the households. This is called prasad or consecrated stuff. Priest of the temple put a mark of red or yellow on the forehead between eyes, a point to mark “ajna chakra” where third eye or spiritual eyes are located. Circumambulation or parikarma is done i.e going around in clockwise directions.
In Nepal, it is compulsory to circumambulate clockwise as going the anti clockwise is supposed to be inauspicious.