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Deity Worship

The question arises as to if a yogi should do deity worship. The answer is that it depends on the need for it and also on the stage of advancement. Isolated yogis are not expected to do classic full deity worship. That is done in temples under opulent circumstances with time laid out for the ceremonies,

Deity worship is painstaking, detailed and requires precision focus and actions, which usually a yogi cannot commit unless he was familiar with it from childhood. That would require being born in a family where from birth he heard sacred Sanskrit mantras, and became familiar with worship procedures, handling of sanctified articles, saying special prayer for each action committed and respecting senior priests who may or may not be related to him.

What to do if one did not take a body in a priestly family?

One should then apply for training in a lineage which is expert at deity worship. Provided they accept one as a student, one should learn their methods gradually and get their permission to do worship on one’s own.

Alternately what someone without training may do is to get an image, a sculpture, a poster, or some art format of the deity which one is attracted to and feels to worship.

One should make a commitment to oneself or to the deity, to do certain actions where the deity is the daily focus. For instance, one can agree to present at least one flower if not more, daily. Or one may agree to do that and also offer five minutes or more of one’s time to sit before the deity quietly or to do so while saying prayers in Sanskrit or in any other language.

One may be committed to clean the area where the deity is located on a daily or weekly basis as much as one feels one can maintain. In time, doing this, one may add more obligations, provided one maintained the previous commitment and did not skip nor neglect it in any way.

Above are a pair of Radha and Krishna deities. Before them and behind them are flowers which were specially picked to offer to them. The flower before them is changed on a daily basis. That has a pleasing fragrance which is preferred.

Every action which is added by the yogi will involve more time for the daily involvement with the deity. Hence one should not whimsically make promises which one cannot maintain.

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