Introduction of Rituals and Ritual
down the centuries have fostered
not merely bhakti, but also art.
Temples have been prolific
Symbols of the Hindu way of worship. The basic rituals
involved in the mode of worship, intended to instill more
and more divinity in the icons and to foster the spirit
of bhakti in the devotees have, over the centuries, nurtured
art, artefacts and culture. Each ritual utensil and jewel
in each of the the thousands of temples dotting the Indian
landscape proclaims the consummate skill and imagination
of the Indian artisans who, despite lack of sophisticated
implements or facilities, have wrought exquisite utensils
The Crafts Council of the Karnataka
Government has painstakingly collected details of these
ritual utensils and ornaments and published two volumes-Temple,
Treasures and Temple Jewellery--with delightful
colour and black and white photographs ,which throw light
on the cultural and artistic heritage treasured in these
temples and mathas and also the culture and history of
the ancient periods.
Starting with the March 2006 issue,
Tattvaloka will now and then publish extracts with beautiful
photographs and drawings from these two books with a view
to familiarising the readers with the hoary cultural past
of the nation.
Worship in temples has a twofold dimension. One is to
endow a spiritual power to the icon so that divinity resides
in it. 'This is achieved through daily rituals, performed
in accordance with agamic prescriptions. The second is.
'conducting events, such as festivals,to attract devotees
in large numbers to enhance the temple's reputation.
The daily rituals, known as nityakarmas,
are obligatory and do not vary. They are known as Upacharas
or services. It is in the making of the utensils and other
implements for the performance of these services that
art flourished. The artisans of the ancient days, despite
lack of equipment, manufactured the vessels using their
imagination with whatever material was available. The
result was surprisingly splendid and their skill is appreciated