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Article Directory - A visit to a Hindu Temple by a Non-Hindu



A visit to a Hindu temple for the first time by a non-Hindu could be intimidating. Idols of human like figures but with animal body parts, multiple hands, mantra chanting and more lends to the mystic that abounds Hinduism. Hindu Temples may be dedicated to one God based on sub-cultures, but there is also a mutual recognition and respect for all other Gods and their avatars.

Hinduism is a very open and forgiving religion. Some even call it a philosophy. There are few different rules that certain sub-religious groups enforce, but even most Hindu may not follow all the rules except for a few. Most temples have an Idol or Idols that are enclosed from sides but have an open viewing area on the front. Depending on how big the temple is, there is also some empty space for devotees to sit and pray. If its your first visit then sit around and observe as different people practice different things including circling the statues, offerings to god etc. Few important things to remember are:

Outside every temple, there is a place for you take off your shoes. In most cases, there is also a tap for you to rinse your hands after you take off your shoes (not so strict about rinsing, but something one should anyway). Moving on to the inside of the temple, when you pray or are in front of a statue, bow with your hands together in front (like the one you see in yoga when they say namaste).

And that is pretty much it. Photography restrictions, cell phone etc., are basically the same as in any public place. If however you wanted to get a little more temple experience - then there are few additional things Donation box - almost all statues have a small donation box near the viewing area - you can donate as little as a penny if you like. Offerings to the God: Could be flowers, fruits, sweets. You hand these to the priest and he will touch these to statue/pray and return some back to you. Its what Hindus call "Prasad".

Tikka (red dot) - When you are up to the edge of the viewing area, there is a small bowl with red/orange (sometimes gray) powder. Usually the priest would place a small dot on your forehead. Holy water - Near the same powder there is also small bowl with some water. Again the priest will offer you some water which you receive in your RIGHT hand and drink it.

Resource Box:
A writer and a philanthropist, Brian is interested in Hinduism and all Hindu Gods.

Keywords:
Hindu, Hinduism, Hindu God Statue, Hindu Temple

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