31 Dec

Source of the above image of  Vishnu : Wikipedia commons

Images of Hindu Gods are divided into 3 main classes

1) Chala (Movable)

The movable images are made of metals and are easily portable .They can be of 3 types namely :

a) Kautuka beras  meant for archana.

b) Utsavaberas   meant to be taken out in procession.

c) Baliberas   meant for abhishekhams or bathing.

2) Achala ( Immovable)  Mula vigrahas or Dhruva Beras.

They are permanently fixed in the shrines.Normally are big and heavy idols of stone or   metals. They can be of 3 postures

a) Sthanaka  Standing

b) Asana        Sitting

c) Sayana      Reclining

Only the image of Vishnu can be of the above 3 postures namely standing, sitting or reclining i.e no other God can be worshipped in a reclining position as the main deity.

3) Chalachala ( Both movable and immovable)

The devotees according to their desire of gaining the following qualities carve the image of Vishnu in the following 4 categories namely

1) Yoga or  Spiritual

2) Bhoga or enjoyment

3) Vira or Bravery or Military conquests

4) Abhicharika or Magic and spells.

Some people classify the images according to their character i.e

a) Ugra or Raudra ( Terrific)

b) Shanta / saumya ( Peaceful)

The Ugra forms are terrific looking Gods e.g UgraNarasimha,Vishwarupa of Vishnu, Vatapatrasayin, Parasurama etc.

The Ugra form of God’s temples are not meant to be constructed in midst of the town but invariably on the outskirts of the town.

The Yoga form of God’s temple must be built at a far away from the hustle-bustle of the towns i.e at a place where one can attain tranquility of mind in a tranquil environment e.g bank of a river.

The Bhoga form of Vishnu’s temple is to be built in midst of the town as it is meant to fulfil the desires of his devotees and grant happiness.

The Vira form of Vishnu’s temple can be both inside or outside the town.

The Abhicharika form of Vishnu which is invoked to inflict death and other miseries through magic and spells is better to be constructed in forests, fortresses, mountains etc i.e outside the towns.

The Sayana form of Vishnu may face any direction.If the temple faces north, the head of the reclining image should be to the east; if it faces south, the head of the reclining image must be to the west; in temples facing east or west, the head must be to the south.

The results attained if the head of the reclining Vishnu is to the

1) East    worshipper gets peace.

2)West   worshipper gets prosperity.

3) South worshipper gets victory.

4) North worshipper gets abhicharika results.

Again Agamas say that the Ugra form of Vishnu or Shiva give different results if their temples are in the following directions / positions in the town / village

1) Worship in the East             Village will be ruined.

2) South- East                             Affect women of the place.

3) South                                         Ghosts will trouble the people.

4) South-West                             Population will dwindle through sickness.

5) West                                           Mental Unhappiness, bad conduct will become

                                                           rampant  among the people.

6) North-East                              Grant prosperity , happiness and good for children.

If a Ugra murti is in the midst of a town a Shantamurti should be set up before the Ugra God to counteract it’s fierce effects.Some experts opine a water tank be dug in front of the temple.

A Shanta murti can have it’s temple in the midst of the town and it will grant happiness, long life, good health , prosperity etc to the people.

The different Gods grant different results when worshipped namely :

1) Vishnu                                                                                   Increase in population.

2) Indra                                                                                      Prosperity.

3) Subramanya / Murugan/ Karthikeyan                 Valour and keeps children

                                                                                                        in good health

4) Surya ( Sun )                                                                       Removes all ailments

                                                                                                        Physical and mental.

5) Kama  ( Cupid )                                                                  Beautiful body.                                                                   

6) Ganesha                                                                                Removes obstructions and 

                                                                                                        grants siddhis.

7) Durga                                                                                     Victory and success.

Reference :  Elements of Hindu Iconography  by  T A Gopinath Rao

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Mobile Phone   :  011   91   9449923900  ( TIME ZONE   :   5 hr 30 mins East of GMT) Mangalore , India (contact between 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM  IST )

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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Articles


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