9    Temple Construction and fruits

Even a thought of constructing a Temple or a Water Body is adequate to demolish sins of long standing nature and to actually accomplishing the task is like establishing a right to reach Vaikuntha. The devotee who completes the temple construction also redeems the sins of his previous generations; indeed, his ‘pitaras’ would secure instant relief from the torments of hells and qualify for substantial dispensations.The person(s) responsible for this deed of extraordinary merit is eligible for ‘Yagna Phal’, ‘Samasta Tirthta Snaana Phal’, and ‘veera phal’or death on battle fields. If a miser takes up the deed of Temple renovation, let alone construction, would in his own life time qualify the fulfillment of his dream-like aspirations of muliplying his assets. The construction of even an ‘Ekayatan’ or single one room temple would attain Swargaloka. A ‘trayayatan’ ‘mandira nirmaan’ enables reaching Brahma loka. A ‘panchaayatan mandira nirmaan’bestows Shiva Loka and an ‘Ashtaayatan’, facilitates Srihari’ Sannithi’ while a ‘Shodayatana’ fulfils Purushaarthas, of Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha. A rich person’s lavishness in temple construction would indeed undermine the effort of a poor but motivated person’s temple consruction, thus proving that the motivation would have to emerge from ‘within’ rather than from fat money-pocket. Even when children for fun or playfulness build temples with sand would also qualify for salvation. Persons who undertake repairs, let alone construct temples new, are also eligible for attaining Mukti. Those who are responsible for constructing temples of Vishnu, Shiva, Surya or Devi become residents of those very Lokas and more significantly their family members too share the same benefit. Of what avail is the money earned by a rich person if even a temple is not constructed by him or her! Of what avail is such opulence not spared for the use of the poor, the Brahmanas, or for noble deeds! Just as death is certain, the riches unused for religious purposes too are certain to vanish sooner or later. That is why charity is one sure way of redeeming the sins of the past and providing a shield against the onslaught of sins of the future. And the crowning act of charity is to construct temples! Equally significant is to set up ‘Deva Pratimas’made of wood or bricks or stone or the best of all by metals. It is stated that ‘Deva Pratima Sthapana’ along with the relevant Mantras and accompanying formalities and regular worship is a far reaching deed of divinity. Lord Yama Dharmara Raja addressed the ‘Yamadootas’ and said: ‘Never bring human beings to ‘Narakas’ who constructed temples, or set up Idols of Devas, or were engaged in regular Pujas there. Aviod those persons from a distance who are connected with devotion of Bhagavan, especially taking the name of the Supreme while in sleep or consciousness, while sitting or walking, or in any other positions. Be far away from those who enter the temples and make offerings to Bhagavan of flowers, dhoop, clothings etc, in the service of Bhagavan. Never even look at those who built ‘Mandirs’ of Bhagavan of any name like Vishnu/ Shiva/ Shakti and other Forms or even the progeny or relatives of those illustrious devotees as there is no question of bringing those to Narakas at all. Dharmaraja said:

Ishtakachaya vinyaaso yaavantyaabdaani tishthati,

taadvarsha sahasraani tatkarturdivi samsthitih /

Pratimaakrud Vishnu lokam sthaapako leeyatey Harou,

Devasadyaprati kruti pratishthaakruttu gocharey

(The person who constructed the Temple should reside in Swarga for so many years as the totality of bricks used in it. He who made the Pratima would attain ‘Vishnuloka’and he who made the temple and established the Pratima would live in that loka forever!)    

After Agni Deva quoted Yama Dharma Raja about the far-reaching results of Temple Construction warning Yama dootas not to reach any where near those devotees who constructed Places of Worship, Bhagavan Hayagriva addressed Lord Brahma about the methodology of ‘Deva Pratishtha’in the Temples and enumerated twenty five ‘Tantras’ utilised in the process of ‘Pratishtha’or setting up the Devas; these Tantras are Aadi Hayasirsha Tantra, Trilokya mohana Tantra, Vaibhava Tantra, Pushkara Tantra, Prahlada Tantra, Gaargya Tantra, Gaalava Tantra, Naradiya Tantra, Shri Praschantra, Shalindya Tantra, Ishwara Tantra, Satya Tantra, Shounaka Tantra, Vasishthokta Jnaana Saagara Tantra, Swaayambhuva Tantra, Kapila Tantra, Taakshya (Garuda) Tantra, Naarayaneeya Tantra, Aagneya Tantra, Narasimha Tantra, Ananda Tantra, Aaruna Tantra, Bodhaayana Tantra, Ashtaanga Tantra, and Vishwa Tantra. Bhagavan Hayagriva explained the implications of ‘Deva Sthapana’as per Vaastu Shastra and decide the Placement of the Idols to be installed in the specified Temples.Then the procedure of ‘Shila Nyasa’ was described; for instance, a ‘Mandapa’has to be constructed first, then four ‘Kundas’be planned; Kumbha Nyasa or Kalasha Sthapana and Ishtikaa Nyasa be performed; Dwara and Sthambha construction be taken up; relevant Homas be executed with ‘Adhara’ and ‘Aajya bhaga’ Ahutis.  ‘Kalasha Sthapana’or installation of Kalashas (vessels) viz. Padma, Maha Padma, Makara, Kacchapa, Kumuda, Ananda, Padma and Shankha would be followed.  ‘Ishtika Sthapana’ (installation of bricks), cleaning of ‘Vaastu Kundas’ with cow’s urine, ‘Kunda Garbha Sthapana’, filling up the Kunda with bricks, construction of ‘Devaalaya Praasaad’ or the area around the ‘Temple’s Garbha’, Installation of ‘Deva Pratimas’, ‘Bhuta Shanti’, Shalagrama Vigraha Puja, ‘Pratima Lakshana’or features of the Idols and the Stotras of the Deities to be installed, ‘Adhiva -asan’ or ‘Saannithya -karana’ or straight-facing the devotees; ‘Avabhruta Snaanaas’ of the installed Deities, ‘Dwara Pratishtha’or installation of doors, ‘Dwaja -aropana’ot the hoisting of the Temple Flag ; digging of wells / water bodies in the Temple Region; ‘Griha Pravesha’, welcome to ‘Go-maata’into the ‘Devaalaya Praangana’(Temple surroundings), installation of  saplings of trees and of  Utsava Deities for ‘Parikramana’(taking the Deities around the Temple), ‘Bhojana Samaaraathana’ to devotees and multifarious other activities including setting up daily Puja activities in the morning through the Temple closures are all to be organised with the full back-up of Mantras.

While the above is a general frame work of Temple Construction, the procedure and back up of Mantras is more focussed as relevant to specified Deities viz Shiva, Vishnu, Devis, Vishnu’s Avataras, Gajaanana, Subramanya, Surya, etc. along with the features of the Idols, postures of being seated, or standing, or resting; details of hands and ornamentation, accompanying consorts etc.

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