From the Agamas
Placement of Deities within a Village
Understanding the differing benefits of worship of each Divinity
Now I will speak on the appropriate location for the Deities to be allocated in villages, towns and other settlements according to the system maintained traditionally from the remote past. The location for Vishnu is the northeast of the village center. In the west, on the north side of the east-west line, a place for the temple of Siva is to be allocated. The temple of Siva may be in the middle of the village, or in the northeast or in any of the eight directions of the village. The village in which temples for both Vishnu and Siva have been built is a place of celebrity and auspiciousness. The village which has a Siva temple alone is with much divinity and uniqueness. The location for all other Deities could be allocated from the places recommended in the Agamas as desired by devotees and experts. Such places are now being told in this Agama.
The location for the shrine of the Sun should be in the West or East or between the east and the northeast. The same places are recommended for the shrine of Indra also. The location for the shrine of Shanmukha should be in the west or east. In this Agama, it is maintained that the location for the shrine of Ganesha should be in the west or southwest or between the northwest and the north. The location for Ganesha may be in other directions also.
The location for the Goddess Durga is said to be in the south or southwest or northwest; it may also be between the east and the northeast, or between the south and the southwest. O, Sages deeply devoted to Lord Siva, the location for the shrine of Sarasvati is to be in the west.
The shrine for the seven Mother Goddesses is to be in the north-east or north, or in between the northeast and the north. The location for the shrine of the Goddess Motika (a form of Kali) is to be in the southeast. The same location is recommended for the shrine of Kamadeva. The Goddess Jyeshtha is to be installed near the bank of the temple tank, or may be installed in some other place outside the temple.
The location recommended for the seven Goddesses is also applicable to Skanda. The location allocated for Skanda is also applicable to Kamadeva and Surya. For all Deities who are not mentioned here, the location may be allocated as desired by the experts. In a village where more than 1,000 brahmins live, there may be a temple for Vishnu at the center of that village. With regard to the village specifically dedicated to the worship of Siva, the exact rules and regulations for the rituals, such as installation and so forth, should not be ascertained by scriptures other than the Saiva Agamas.
The daily worship of Vishnu creates the welfare and healthy growth of the people. The daily worship of Surya nullifies any unfavorable effects inflicted by the planets. The worship of Indra bestows valor and efficacy upon the people. The daily worship of Skanda will bring into effect all the best things to the youngsters. The worship of Shasta (Ayappan) inspires and impels the people of the village to accomplish the works undertaken by them.
The worship of Kamadeva bestows elegance and gracefulness to all those who are living in the village or city. The worship of Uma, Siva-Sakti, appreciably bestows commendable success in all the endeavors. If Motika is duly worshiped, She becomes favorably disposed to ward off the diseases which afflict children. By the worship of Lord Ganesha, all the works undertaken by the people get accomplished without any impediment.
The worship of Jyeshtha (sister of Goddess Lakhmi) enables Her to be favorably disposed to ward off diseases which would afflict the village. The worship of Lakshmi bestows riches and wealth upon the people. It also drives away misfortune and poverty.
The worship of Sarasvati constantly bestows eloquence and command of language. O twice-born sages, the worship of the seven Goddesses continuously yields all prosperity and success.
Lord Maheshvara, Siva, abundantly bestows all auspicious benefits that are obtainable by the worship of all other Deities. Therefore, Lord Siva is to be worshiped daily by all those who are desirous of auspicious and eternal benefits.
Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar, of the Adisaiva priest lineage, is an expert in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit, specializing in the Vedas, Agamas and Shilpa Shastras. This excerpt is from his recent translation of the Kamika Agama.
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