Dear Sri. Muralidharan,
Thank you for your kind reply. I couldn't agree with you more and that is what we have been doing for many years before temples were established in our city but how can one explain this to friends/temple priest who keep asking why we are not supporting the temple activities. We are made to look like weirdos....!
With kind regards,
Kalyan
We have stopped going to temples - Re: Readiness for Navagraha Homam

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Dear Kalyanam,
For Brahmins, temple worship is optional. Nitya karmas like sandya vandana are needed and are mandatory. So also all pitru karmas and following the Grahasta Dharma like welcoming guests etc are very important. Retirement is an excellent time to do all this Dharmas! No exemptions are given for NRIs! In fact going to Milecha desa or/and doing Pitru karmas there are prohibited!
However sastras are kind to give the following concessions:
1. Follow all sastras in your own village.(this is a full day program every day!)
2. Follow half of it when going out of your village.
3.Follow 1/4 when you live in a town.
4. Follow 1/8 when you are traveling.
But most of us do not follow even 1/8 even in our own homes!
Temple visits, theertha yatra and bathing in sacred rivers are good as these places have great concentrated spiritual energy. However It should be noted that visit to temple is not a substitute for sandya and other mandatory karmas.
If you do not like a temple, then you can safely skip it and go for other temples or in-house worship. Doing nama smaran- chanting holy names like Govinda, Srirama, Narayana, Namashivaya etc- is supposed to have excellent benefits. No use in blaming someone for some temple's mismanagement and wasting our time.
Regards,
V.Muralidharan.