Ketan asked Ravi, "What do you do in the temple?"
Ravi said, "I worship Jina and do prayer and recite Rosary.
It will be interesting for you to go, too. Nobody should feel shy
about going to the temple. After all, it is our worshipping
place". Ketan asked, "If there is any particular
procedure to follow while in the temple?" Ravi said,
"People do different things in different way and I will
explain Dashtrik (ten essential things) which should be done by
When we go to temple, we wear simple or special clothes just
for the temple. We do not wear silk or leather articles. We take
a bath before going to temple, and if not, then at least be in a
clean condition. As we get close to the temple, and if we could
see the idols of Jinas from outside, then say "Namo
Jinanam" while placing folded hands over slightly bent
forehead which means "I salute Jina". Before entering
the temple, we take off shoes. After this, we do the ten
different things in a given sequence and each of these ten things
has three different ways of doing them. Therefore, some people
call them "Dashtrik". These ten things are:
- Nissihi (renunciation)
- Pradakshina (circumambulation - going around the
- Pranam (salutation)
- Puja (worship)
- Avasthachintan (contemplation upon the various states of
- Dishatyag (do not look here and there, but look only at
the Jinas idol)
- Pramarjan (cleaning the ground before sitting down)
- Alamban (support)
- Mudras (postures for meditation)
- Pranidhan (be absorbed)
- Nissihi (Renunciation): Nissihi means renunciation
(give up). It is said three times in the temple. The
first "Nissihi" is said while entering the
temple to discard all the thoughts relating to worldly
affairs (Samsar). The second "Nissihi" is said
while entering the actual area of the Jina idol (gabharo)
to discard thinking of such things as the cleaning of the
temple and its management. The third "Nissihi"
is said right after finishing the worship with physical
substances (dravyapuja) and at the beginning of psychic
- Pradakshina (Circumambulation): We keep the holy
substances always on our right side. Therefore, we
circumambulate (go around) Jina idols three times keeping
them on our right side, that is from our left to the
right. While going around, we remind ourselves that
Arihants are precious, that they are our mentor, and that
one day we will be like them. This contemplation of the
Arihants would help us overcome attachment and hatred.
Three circumambulations should also remind us that there
are three remedies to overcome attachment and hatred;
they are right jnan (gnan), right darshan, and right
charitra. Therefore, we should also contemplate how to
acquire them. Some feel as if they are going around
- Pranam (Salutation): We salute the idols of
Arihants three times. 1) The first salutation is offered
at the time of first seeing the idols of Arihants
(usually at the time of entering temple) with placing the
folded hands over slightly bent forehead and saying Namo
Jinanam. 2) The second salutation is done with folded
hands and bowed body as we enter the gabharo. 3) The
third salutation is done while performing the glorifying
prayers (Chaityavandan - psychic worshipping) while
touching the ground with five limbs (2 knees. 2 hands and
the forehead) bent down. This is called
- Puja (worship): There are three kinds of worships
offered: 1) The first worship is called Angapuja. This is
done by touching the different parts of an idol of
Arihant with water or milk, sandal wood paste and
saffron, and a flower. 2) The second worship is called
Agrapuja, which is done by placing incense, lamp, rice,
fruit and sweets in front of idols. First and second
worships together make the worship by eight kinds,
Ashtprakari puja. These two are called physical worship.
3) The third worship is called Psychic (Bhava-puja) which
is done by chanting glorifying prayers (Chaityavandan).
- Avasthachintan (Contemplating on the different states
of Arihants): After completing the physical worship,
one must carry out this contemplation. The male person
should stand on the right side of idol of Arihant (that
is the left side if facing the idol) while the woman
should stand on left side of it (that is the right side
if facing the idol). Standing this way, we should
contemplate on the three different states which Arihants
went through. They are 1) Pindastha avastha, 2) Padastha
avastha, and 3) Aroopastha avastha.In Pindastha avastha
we contemplate on his a) Janmavastha, b) Rajyavastha, and
Janmavastha: Oh Lord, during your third last life, you
observed any of twenty factors to acquire Tirthankar Nam Karma
like psychic compassion towards all living beings, etc. When you
were born to be a Tirthankar, all of 56 goddesses of directions
and 64 Indras performed oblation to you. How great you were that
even at such occasion, you did not feel proud of what was
happening around. Your loftiness is blessed.
Rajyavastha: Oh Lord, you had the status of a Prince. You had
the princely power and grandeur, and yet you were neither
attached to them nor felt hatred about them. You were like a Yogi
who is detached. Glory to your self-abnegation (renunciation).
Shramanvastha: Oh heroic Lord, you renounced the worldly power
and luxury without any hesitation, became a monk or nun (sadhu or
sadhvi). You carried out heroic endeavors for the attainment of
spiritual elevation, bearing the most bitter obstacles and
calamities. At times, you carried out incomparable and arduous
spiritual austerities and penance. You stood for days absorbed in
deep meditation. By doing so, you destroyed all the terrible
ghati karmas. Glory to your austerity. Glory to your bravery.
Glory to your tolerance.
Padastha Avastha: In this, we contemplate the state of his
life as a Tirthankar. As Tirthankar Arihant, you acquired the 34
super specialities (atishay) and offered us spiritual sermons on
Tattvas filled with 35 virtues of the speech. You then
established the four-fold Jain sangh, tirtha, and Jain Shasan.
You explained the noble doctrines of Jiva tattva and Ajiva
tattva of the universe. You showed the path of salvation
comprised of the right faith, right knowledge, and right
character. You expounded the immortal philosophical doctrines
like Anekantvad , Syadvad, and Naya, etc.
Aroopastha Avastha: In this, we contemplate on the pure form
of Jina. O, Paramatma (supreme being)! You have destroyed totally
all your Karmas, and you have become bodiless, formless, pure,
awakened, liberated, and perfect. Having attained this state, you
are absorbed in infinite knowledge and indescribable bliss. You
embody countless virtues. Your state is absolutely free from
stains, distortion, and agitation. In this state, death, disease,
distress, or poverty, and all such adversities do not exist. O
Lord, thou art blessed !
- Dishatyag (Do not see here and there but see only the
Jinas idol): Now we perform the Psychic (bhav)
worshipping known as Chaityavandan. This should not be
impaired by anything. We start the Chaityavandan in our
mind and it should not be shaken even to the slightest
extent. Our eyes and mind must be fixed on the idol and
we shall not look around, until it is over.
- Pramarjan (Cleaning the ground before sitting down):
Before sitting we should clean the ground three times
with our upper cloth, so that no small insect may be hurt
by sitting there.
- Alamban (Support): Having sat down, we must keep
three supports in our mind: l) The image of the Lord, 2)
The sutras we utter, and 3) their meaning. Our mind
should be concentrated on these three things.
- Mudra (Posture): Among the eight steps of
meditation, the right posture is the third step. The
right posture is very much necessary to attain the
sublime concentration during Chaityavandan.
- Yoga Mudra: During chaityavandan and the recital
of the sutras, we must sit straight with both palms
together and the fingers of one hand in the spaces
between the fingers of the other hand, and the elbows to
the sides of our stomach.
Muktashukti Mudra: We must
keep our hands in the posture of an oyster shell, with
both hands together so that there is a space between the
two palms where the fingers meet. This posture is used at
the time of recitation of the sutras "Javanthi Cheyi
Ayam", "Javantkevi Sahu", and "Jai
Jin Mudra: At the time of Kayotsarg, we stand up in
such a way that there is a distance of 4 inches between
the two feet at the toes in the front while the heels
almost touch each other. Our hands should be hanging
down. Our eyes should be fixed on the tip of our nose.
Jina stood in Kayotsagga with this posture.
- Pranidhan (be absorbed): We should concentrate our
senses, our body, our voice, and our mind on carrying out
Chaityavandan and we should not let them wander.
The precautions to be taken in respect of pooja or worship:
- We must respect the idols of Arihants as Jina in reality.
In case, the idol of Arihant has to be carried from one
place to another; it should be carried in reverence
holding straight with the support of the both hands
- At the time of worshipping Arihants with substances, you
may bring the necessary substances from your house.
- The flowers selected should have naturally fallen down,
and should not be plucked for this purpose. The buds of
the flowers should not be removed. When making a garland
of the flowers, a needle should not be used for stringing
them together and they should not be washed.
- While using a brush to clear the things stuck to the
idols of the Jinas, it should not make even the slightest
noise. We may clean with a wet thick cloth to remove the
saffron etc. Do not rub the idols roughly.
- The flowers, the decorations, and the smearings which are
used for various parts of the idols of the Arihants
should not be allowed to fall to the ground. In case they
do fall down, they should not be used again and they
should be kept in a clean plate.
- In case, we have to rub the saffron (Keshar) we must
close our mouth, and when we finish we should wash our
hands and the slab.
- You must recite the hymns and sutras relating to the
Chaityavandan in such a way, that we do not disturb the
concentration and devotion of others.
- While reciting Chaityavandan, we should not engage in any
other activities, including forming the swastika, etc.
- When we get out of the temple, we should not turn our
back towards the idols of Arihants. Rather, we shouls
walk backwards few steps first and then turn sideways.
(Members of some Jain sects do no worship in temple.)