In temples, during every day worship, they show the karpoora arathi to the diety and bring it to the devotees.

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In temples, during every day worship, they show the karpoora arathi to the diety and bring it to the devotees. The normal practice is that everyone accepts that (taking it to their eyes or head). But I have seen that in family as well as in few of our vaishnavite family circle, we never do that and rather just leave it when the Archakar brings the plate containing the arathi. The explanation given is that the karpoora arathi is done as to remove the a Dhrishti to the perumal and not to be taken by us. But I have seen many vaishnavites, saivites and others do that in many of the temples. What is the right procedure? What is the significance of accepting it or pitfalls in leaving it?

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Answer: In those olden days when electric lamps were not in use or not installed, the Main Deitys grabhagraham used to be very dark and only the oil lamps used to get light which was insufficient to view the Idols with clarity. Hence the Karpoora Harathi in the temples are offered by devotees who wanted to have a more brighter look of the Idols. While offering the karpoora harathi, the priest is supposed to explain the lords postures and its significance with each part from the Kreedam to the feet; thus devotees too get the meanings for each of the ornaments, postures etc. that are explained. (Once on completion of the Aarathi, the priest is supposed to drop the burning camphort at a pre arranged location or leave the plate as it is, but by doing so, he may not get his due share of the devotees offerings!)

By using the pure camphore keeps the sanctum sanctarium out of any sort of pollution and or other radiation quite apart from the camphor aroma that spreads in and around the Sannidhi. It is, thus, creating more conducive atmossphere for prayers, that again produces more positive vibrations/energies in and around the Grabagraha. (Usage of other impure camphore chemical mixed tablet format of camphor than the original and pure one is counter-productive).

It is certainly not an acceptable pracctice to touch or take it by your hands. Most of the Srivaishnavites who are aware of this, do not touch or take the same to their eyes/face or head. And it is holds no meaning. One need not condemn the practices, but educate the masses with the actual meaning that would automatically eradicate these ill found myths.

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