more ads

Kamat's Potpourri

Indian Culture .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

The Concept of Pradakshina

by Vikas Kamat
First Online: July 16, 2007
Page Last Updated: April 04, 2014

According to a Hindu legend, once Lord Shiva wanted his two sons to get "worldly experience" and asked them take a "tour of the universe". While Shanmugam spent decades traveling the world on his peacock, lazy son Ganesh just walked a full circle around his father and is believed to have explained "since the world is contained within you, I have already encircled the world"!

This funny story is the essence of the concept of Pradakshina or circumambulation in Indian culture. You take something sacred, something powerful and encircle it in devotion, symbolic of its consummation. For example, the newly weds walk around the fire, housewives circle the temple of Tulasi, and devotees circle the sanctum sanctorum in a temple. The act of Pradakshina has the connotation of honor.

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
The Circumambulation
The Circumambulation
Woman performs a Pradakdhina to the Tulasi plant

Types of Pradakshina

While walking is the most common offering of Pradakshina, some devotees roll as well. Extreme vows of Pradakshina involve self-humiliation in temples by rolling over the temple trash and in wet clothes. The path of Pradakshina is always clockwise.

Folks who cannot walk around the temple (for accessibility problems, crowds or other reasons) often perform "auto-pradakshina" by going around themselves -- this is like glorifying the God within oneself.

Many people take vows to perform pradakshina rounds if their requests for divine help at the time of need are met. So it is common to see Hindus perform 10, 108, or 1000 rounds after a successful surgery, after a wedding or after the birth of a male child.

See Also:

  • Hinduism Potpourri -- Hindu mythology, point of views, pictures of deities, sages and stories.

 

 


Sub-cultures

Kamat's Potpourri Indian Culture Sub-cultures The Concept of Pradakshina

Research Database

© 1996-2014 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

    Top of Page