8 July 2007

Pradakshina Practice

The practice of pradakshina is very highly regarded in India. It consists of making the circuit on foot of a sacred place, a temple, a statue or of some person who is the object of reverence. The circuit is always clockwise, starting from the east towards the south, so that what is thus venerated is always on one’s right hand. In the great Temples people may perform a series of pradakshina in each of the three, five, and sometimes seven courts which surround the central sanctuary, one within the other. People sometimes take a vow to carry this out for forty-eight consecutive days, with a view to obtaining certain blessings or else in thankfulness to God for his mercies.

On great festivals the temple-murtis (images), mounted on their colossal cars, themselves make the pradakshina of their own sanctuary, accompanied by the crowd of their worshippers.

[Swami Abhishiktananda]

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