Most seekers who follow Bhaktiyoga (Path of devotion) for God-realisation begin their journey by worshipping a Deity. A temple at home is the basic requirement for puja (Ritualistic worship). Nowadays, the Devghar (Temple at Home) is designed as per convenience or as a showpiece without giving much thought to the scientific aspect in making it. In Spirituality, there are certain scientific aspects underlying every act being performed in a specific way. This article provides details such as the direction in which the Devghar (Temple at home) should be placed, its colour, shape, aesthetics and arrangement of Deity in it according to Spirituality.
1. What should be the features of the Devghar (Temple at Home) ?
A. What material should the Devghar be made of ?
As far as possible, the temple at home should be made of sandalwood or teakwood. Sandalwood is expensive and may not be viable for the average individual. Comparatively, teakwood is cheaper and has better ability to retain and emit sattvik (Sattva-predominant) waves. Eventually it is the bhav towards God that attracts the Divine waves to the top of the temple, which are further dispersed in the house as per the requirement.
B. What should be the colour of the Devghar ?
Though the modern trend is to paint the temple at home with different colours in the name of decoration, it is ideal to retain the original colour of wood, that is, pale brown. God operates through two Principles, namely saguṇ Principle and nirgun Principle. Pale brown colour symbolises the border between the saguṇ and the nirgun, meaning the transition phase of the journey from saguṇ to the nirgun. Human beings with Panchatattvās (Five Cosmic Principles) as their constituents fall in the saguṇ category and the formless God falls in the nirguṇ category. Since a simple religious act like worship of a Deity amounts to spiritual practice, it helps the individual in traversing from the state of saguṇ to nirgun, meaning, from duality to non-duality. Obviously, the pale brown colour of the devghar is complementary to this spiritual journey.
C. What should be the shape of the Devghar ?
A three dimensional body is determined by its width x depth x height. When deciding the shape of the temple at home from spiritual perspective, the dimensions can be determined from the information given ahead. These examples have been provided so as to understand the proportion. As per his convenience, a worshipper can make the temple at home in
a bigger or smaller size.
1. Sketch 1 : ‘The proportion of ‘width x depth x height’ should be ‘2 : 1 : 4’. Proportionately other measurements are given. Terminology of measurement – 2’ : 2 feet, 8” : 8 inches, 1’ 2” : 1 foot 2 inches The distance between two poles of the temple at home is considered from their periphery.
2. Sketch 2 : Shape of the temple at home (Proportion – 2 : 1.25 : 3)
Sketch 1 and 2 are useful for an average individual (or worshipper). The temple at home made as per sketch 2 is better from the perspective of its stability on the ground and attractiveness.
D. How should be the two sides of Devghar ?
The temple at home is made with the intention that the worshipper gets maximum Chaitanya from the worship of the
Deities. The two sides of the temple at home are left open so that the Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) emitted by the devghar is not blocked and the worshipper benefits directly. This is applicable to the temple at home that is located in a common room, where all the members have free access. When the temple is in a bedroom of a couple, its sides should be closed for the following reasons. During the menstrual cycle, women are not permitted to enter a temple; because the sattvikta in the temple is likely to cause distress to them. Similarly, during their menstrual cycle they are also likely to suffer from distress due the Chaitanya emitted by the temple at home. When two sides of the temple at home are closed, the quantum of Chaitanya emitted is relatively less; hence, it suits the bedroom of a couple.
E. Should the Devghar have a dome ?
The function of the dome is to attract and emit far and wide the waves of Chaitanya into the atmosphere. The level of bhakti (Devotion) and bhav (Spiritual emotion) in an average individual is not high. Hence, so that whatever little Chaitanya that is generated because of the worship of the Deity does not spread far and wide through the dome on the temple and the worshipper avail its benefit, it is appropriate for temple at home not to have a dome. The level of bhakti and bhav in individuals
with spiritual level above 50% is high and hence, the amount of Chaitanya generated as a result of their worship of the Deity is
also high. If such individuals have a dome for their devghar (temple at home), through the medium of this dome the Chaitanya spreads far and wide and that not only helps others, but also purifies the environment to a large extent. In this case, along with individual benefits, the broader benefit of the society is sought.
2. What should be the direction of the Devghar ?
‘The temple at home should always be in the east-west direction. When the temple faces the east, the waves emitted by the Deity get activated on the strength of kriyashakti (Energy of action) accumulated in the hollow in the east. This helps the nirgun (Non-materialised) waves of the Deity transform into saguṇ (Materialised) waves. When the kriya-shakti from the universe associated with the east-west direction manifests due to the waves emitted by the Deity, its direction is mostly upwards. The effect of the upward mobile waves on the environment lasts much longer than that of the downward mobile waves. Hence, for the effect of the sattvik (Sattva-predominant) waves emitted by the Deity to last longer, the direction of the temple at home should be east-west. On the other hand, when ichha-shakti (Energy of will) accumulated in the north-south direction gets activated, it flows downwards. This fl ow activates the tiryak waves (The Raja-Tama-predominant waves causing distress) in the environment. This causes obstruction to the sattvikta emitting from the Deity and as a result the benefit obtained by the individual when compared with the first arrangement is less.’
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Temple at home and implements used in the worship of God