Friday, June 8, 2012

Pray in Peace - Designing A Praying Room For Your Home

In almost every Indian home, a separate room is allotted to perform 'Pooja' or prayer. Whatever a person's religion is, every household has a 'Pooja' or prayer room. This room is where generally people keep the deities and God's Idols. 'Pooja' rooms are decorated with these idols in silver or chrome frames, with lots of flowers and miniature jewelry or simply idols are painted in beautiful colors and are made of clay. In addition to the idols, there are many items kept for worshiping in the 'Pooja' room. The 'Pooja' room is also used by some for meditation. Even if there a space constraint in the house in any Indian Home, a small space, anywhere in the house is reserved to perform all kind of traditional rituals and pooja.


A typical 'Pooja' room is decorated with pure simplicity. So allocating to set up a 'Pooja' or prayer room is your home needs certain constraints to be followed when setting up. Situate the room in accordance with tradition. If possible, a 'Pooja' room should not adjoin rooms that see frequent everyday use, such as kitchens, wash and bathrooms. A prayer room should feel tranquil and remote, so try to place it in a quiet part of your home. The northeast corner of the home is associated with good fortune and prosperity. So it is suggested this part of the home be used for the purpose.


Painting the room in pleasant neutral shades like soft white, pale yellow and barely blue would create a meditative atmosphere. Display statues and images of icons and deities in the 'Pooja' room. Most people use pedestals, altars, shelves or stools, covering the surface with a swatch of cloth, velvet or an Indian textile. You can invest in a carved wooden shrine, or an elaborate brass shrine for a more formal 'Pooja' display. Ideally, the idols should be lightweight, unbroken and under six inches tall. Indian religious tradition warns against displaying more than one image of the same deity.


Adorn the icons, taking care not to cover representations of their faces. Instead, scatter flowers, flower petals, beads and shells on the cloth around the icon. You can hang miniature garlands of flowers, pearls and beads around the bases of statues. Place small bowls, plates, incense burners and silver containers near the images of deities. You can burn candles, oil lamps and incense sticks or cones while in the 'Pooja' room. Use the bowls and plates to place water and sweets in front of the deities. Keep your containers stocked with sandalwood, camphor, candles and water.


Keep your 'Pooja' room clean and free of clutter. Do not place photographs of dead people in a 'Pooja' room. Do not hang bells from the ceiling of a 'Pooja' room. Instead, hang miniature bells from shelves or niches inside cabinets. A 'Pooja' or prayer room is the most vital part of every person's home as it is considered as the altar of sanctity, peace and evolution of one's instinctual self. So, when setting up this divine room in your home, make sure to follow all the constraints to give the whole house a divine glow and a pious ambiance.
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