INDIA, November 5, 2012 (Kashmir Times by M.J. Raju): The advent of Ganesh Chaturthi marks the start of the Indian festival season with the Dusserah and Diwali coming within the next 60 days. One room in Hindu homes that would get maximum use now, would be the puja room.
Ancient India was deeply rooted in spirituality. Earlier, the practice of building a puja room inside a house was not there. There used to be a separate place outside the house for the family deity. It was known as Kudumbakshethram or family temple. Only in brahmin houses you would have a puja place set up inside the house. They were called Thevarapura. A great deal of sanctity was observed in these houses through which many rituals evolved.
In olden days, the puja Room was an annex in itself, being planned as meticulously as the main house and elders ensured that many basic principles embedded in Hinduism were followed. You would find in almost all the Indian Hindu Homes, a separate room is kept for puja or praying. In this room the Deities are kept. Puja rooms are decorated with lots of flowers and miniature jewelry or statues are simply painted in beautiful colors and are made of clay. In addition to the statues, there are many items kept for worshipping in the puja room. The 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 Puja.
Vaastu Shastra stipulates certain conditions for the location of the puja room. The guidelines suggest the puja room should be in the East, North or North-East corner. The puja room should always be on the ground floor, never in the basement, never be in the bedroom and should not be on the upper floors. If you do not have space for a puja room, you can have a mandir in the North-East corner of the kitchen, with the Deity facing west.
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