11. Why do we do pradakshina (circumambulate)?

We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and
essence of our lives. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing
our daily chores. This is the significance of pradakshina.
Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center.
This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His
grace flows towards us without partiality.

12. Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?

The reason is not, as a person said, to avoid a traffic jam! As we do pradakshina,
the Lord is always on our right. In India the right side symbolizes auspiciousness. So as
we circumambulate the sanctum sanctorum we remind ourselves to lead an auspicious
life of righteousness, with the Lord who is the indispensable source of help and strength,
as our guide - the "right hand".
Indian scriptures enjoin - matrudevo bhava, pitrudevo bhava, acharyadevo
bhava. May you consider your parents and teachers as you would the Lord. With this in
mind we also do pradakshina around our parents and divine personages.
After the completion of traditional worship (pooja), we customarily do
pradakshina around ourselves. In this way we recognize and remember the supreme
divinity within us, which alone is idolized in the form of the Lord that we worship

13. Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?

The Lord, the life in us, pervades all living beings, be they plants or animals.
Hence, they are all regarded as sacred. Human life on earth depends on plants and trees.
They give us the vital factors that make life possible on earth: food, oxygen, clothing,
shelter, medicines etc.
Hence, in India, we are taught to regard trees and plants as sacred. Indians
scriptures tell us to plant ten trees if, for any reason, we have to cut one. We are advised
to use parts of trees and plants only as much as is needed for food, fuel, shelter etc. we
are also urged to apologies to a plant or tree before cutting it to avoid incurring a specific
sin named soona.
Certain trees and plants like tulasi, peepal etc., which have tremendous beneficial
qualities, are worshipped till today. It is believed that divine beings manifest as trees and
plants, and many people worship them to fulfill their desires or to please the Lord.

14. Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

Is it to wake up the Lord? But the Lord never sleeps. Is it to let the Lord know we
have come? He does not need to be told, as He is all knowing. Is it a form of seeking
permission to enter His precinct? It is a homecoming and therefore entry needs no
permission. The Lord welcomes us at all times. Then why do we ring the bell?
The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It
produces the sound Om, the universal name of the Lord. There should be auspiciousness
within and without, to gain the vision of the Lord who is all-auspiciousness.
Even while doing the ritualistic aarati, we ring the bell. It is sometimes
accompanied by the auspicious sounds of the conch and other musical instruments. An
added significance of ringing the bell, conch and other instruments is that they help
drowned any inauspicious or irrelevant noises and comments that might disturb or
distract the worshippers in their devotional ardour, concentration and inner peace.
As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja) we ring the bell, chanting:

cotnd. 7

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