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The Significance of Pradakshinam.

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    We go round the sanctum sanctorium in the temples and sometimes the deities in the pujas or yajnas at home in a clockwise direction. This is called Pradakshinam. We always assume God is the center of our existence. He also exists everywhere. So when we do Pradakshina or circumambulation, we accept that our actions and thoughts are always centred around God. The center point is always fixed and remains the same at whatever distance we do the pradakshina. So we are reminded of the eternal truth that God is the center of gravity and the main focus of our existence. This is the main principle of pradakshinam.

    The world is always rotating around itself on its own axis as well as around the sun. All the planets also rotate on their own axes. This is called rotation and their rotation on their orbits is called revolution. Just like in solar system, the sun is at the center around which the planets rotate, our pradakshinams should be done with god at the center. The Pradakshinam should be done slowly and never in a hurry, as though we are running to finish that mission. Paramacharyal says when we do Pradakshinam, we must walk as slowly as a fully pregnant woman walking with a vessel full of oil, taking care to see that not a drop of oil spills !
    Our thoughts and actions must dwell on God.

    It is customary to do Pradakshinam always in a clockwise direction. This is because we assume that Lord is always on our right side. This reminds that we must always lead a righteous life , in the right path called Dharma.

    At the end of the pujas , it is a custom to do pradakshinam around ourselves three times & this is called “ Atma Pradakshinam”. We bow to the supreme divinity within us, chanting

    Yani kani cha paapaani janmanthara kruthaani cha

    Thaani thaani vinas(h)yanthi pradakshina padae padae

    May those omissions and commissions done in this life and also in the previous births and the resulting afflictions perish with every pradakshina.

    After Pradakshinam, Namaskara is done as a sequel. If the deity faces east, we must do it facing north and vice versa. Inside the temple, we must do only
    “ Anjali” (folding the palms together, bowing the head). If we do namaskaram to a deity inside the temple, we may inadvertently show our back to yet another deity. So in temples, it is safe to do namaskaram near the Dvajasthambam, with the main deity on our right side. But it is necessary to make sure that we do the namaskaram, facing only the north. In case it is otherwise, always face north and only then do the namaskaram.
    We chant,
    Thava thvam na jaanaami keedhr(u)s(h)o(a)si mahaes(h)vara
    Yaadhr(u)s(h)o(a)si mahaadaeva thaadhr(u)s(h)aaya namo namah

    Oh Lord, what is your nature? I do not know your nature. Whatever be your nature, I offer salutations to you who are of that nature.

    Then we offer salutations, chanting


    Pradakshina namaskaaraan samarpayaami


    Oh Lord, I offer you circumambulation and prostration.

    Thus pradakshinam is yet another concept, typical of Hindu culture.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
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  2. asha2664

    asha2664 Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra
    how are you.Its been awhile since I wrote to u .I have been reading all the posts and this site has become an addiction .Not a day goes that i have not visited this site and read any posts from u.At present i am going through some troubled times business is not doing well there has been loss and sales is not up to where it needs to be .Please give me your valuable advise as to what prayers or shlokas i should say to help myhusband .This site gives mea lot of emotional help.Looking forward to hear from you.
    thanking you
    asha
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2007
  3. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Ms C,

    Starting the Tamil new year with a wonderful piece of our culture. Very beautifully explained. I love the "yanikani Japani" mantram very much.

    Thank you for yet another priceless explanations of our traditions.

    Vandhana
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Asha,
    That you look up to this site for emotional upliftment is encouraging to read, but at the same time, I feel sad to read that you are going through troubled times. Well, Asha, the Law of Cycles plays an important part in our lives. Rest assured, all will be well very soon. Face the trying period with faith in God and strength of mind. We have no choice.
    I have given in the special shlokas, the following;
    During difficult times
    Please chant this minimum 32 times or more, if possible.
    Good luck & all the best, Asha.
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,
    Thankyou very much for the quick F B.
    Let me be very frank ( I hope you don't mind!). After reading your post in Cheeniya's thread, I now know what all you read in this column & for which ones, I can expect a feed back from you ! It is fine, Vandhana - as we put it colloquially,- that that person, that that choice !
    Besides this, I plan to post ( punish you all ?) with a brief write up about New Year on 14 th. I am planning both in english & tamil.
    Love,
    Chithra.

     
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra
    What an informative post! This will benefit the devout Hindus who seek to know why. The entire Universe is rotating on its axis along with billions of stars.
    With your kind permission, I would offer a correction though. Namaskara at the Temple must always be facing North irrespective which direction the presiding deity is facing. It should be done only at the Dwajasthambam. We have no choice there.
    South facing Namaskara is only for our Pithrus.
    I loved reading this beneficial post
    Sri
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    I welcome you to this sub forum. I feel honoured that you read my post and bothered to send a feed back.
    You are right, Sri. I must have specifically mentioned it( never to do namaskaram facing south-the pitru direction) in the post. Thanks for helping me, edit my post.
    Well, Sri, I take the liberty and request you to read my articles regularly. You are free to point out any discrepancy, which I shall edit and correct.
    Am I asking for too much ??
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  8. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra

    When I opened the site today I was expecting something new you would have posted. As I expected it was there the significance of pradakshinam. I felt like doing the pradakshinam right away. It is almost five years I have not visited any temple. All your posts make me home sick.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  9. AbhiSing

    AbhiSing Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chitramma

    Very interesting thread today. Especially about the namaskarams. I will be careful to face north from now on.

    Expecting the thread about newyear.
    Thanks and Regards
    Vijee
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Thankyou for the feed back.
    That you feel homesick does make me sad !
    In Madurai Meenakshi Kovil, there is a deity Siddhar. Till I got married, I used to do 108 pradakshinams regularly for exams etc. Even now, when I go to Madurai, I cannot leave the temple without doing atleast 12 no:s !
    I personally feel, you must exert physically when asking for boons to God in the temple. So instead of dropping money in the hundi, I prefer to do pradakshinam.
    Hope & pray you visit a temple soon, Vidhi !
    Love,
    Chithra.

     

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