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Parikrama
Parikrama
or Pradakshina refers to circumambulation of sacred places in Hindu, Jain or Buddhist
Buddhist
context, and the path along which this is performed. Parikrama
Parikrama
means "the path surrounding something" in Sanskrit, and is also known as Pradakshina ("to the right"), representing circumambulation.[1] Both words are mostly used in the context of religious deities in a temple, sacred rivers, sacred hills and a close cluster of temples, and "doing a parikrama" as a symbol of prayer is an integral part of Hindu
Hindu
worship.[1][2][3] In Hinduism
Hinduism
and other Indian religions, the Parikrama
Parikrama
inside temples or sacred sites is traditionally clockwise.[4][5] Most Hindu
Hindu
temple structures include various Pradaksina paths. Pradaksina paths are defined.[6] as:

Circumbulatory or pathway around the shrine of the temples by keeping time is a common form of prayer in India.It includes Narmada,Shetrunjaya,Girnar. This pathway made of stone around the shrine is called Pradakshina path.

There could be one surrounding the main deity, other paths could be broader being concentric to the main path. However, it is not uncommon to find non-concentric parikrama paths in a single temple structure. At times the outermost parikrama path covers the whole village/town/city, thereby implying that the length of the path can stretch.[2] Parikrama
Parikrama
is done around sacred fire ( Agni
Agni
– the fire God), Tulsi plant[7] (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and Peepal tree.[8] Parikrama
Parikrama
of Agni
Agni
or Agni
Agni
Pradakshina is a part of the Hindu
Hindu
marriage ceremony.[9] Some of the Parikramas are Narmada River, Govardhan hill, Vrindavan, Vraj Mandala, Dwadash Madhav parikrama Tirthraj Prayag, Ayodhya, Girnar, Chitrakoot hill, Varanasi, Mathura, and Mathura- Vrindavan
Vrindavan
yugalabandi in Kartik ..... Typically, Parikrama
Parikrama
is done after the completion of traditional worship (puja) and after paying homage to the deity. Parikrama
Parikrama
is supposed to be done with a meditative mood.

The pathway made of granite stone around the shrine is called the Pradakshina path.[10]

Pradakshina around the sacred fire is a part of the Hindu
Hindu
marriage ceremony.[11]

Parikrama
Parikrama
is also practiced in Buddhism,[4] Jainism[12] and Sikhism.[13]

Contents

1 Buddhist
Buddhist
practice 2 Similarity and difference with Islam 3 Hindu
Hindu
practices

3.1 Shiva temples 3.2 Hindu
Hindu
locations

3.2.1 Narmada parikrama 3.2.2 Govardahan hill parikrama 3.2.3 Vrindavan
Vrindavan
parikrama 3.2.4 Vraja
Vraja
Mandala Parikrama 3.2.5 Ayodhya 3.2.6 Girnar
Girnar
Parikrama

3.3 Symbolism 3.4 Shayana Pradakshinam 3.5 Number of Pradakshinas

4 See also 5 References

Buddhist
Buddhist
practice[edit]

Buddhist
Buddhist
monks and devotees circumambulating a stupa

Pradakhshina round a stupa in China

In Buddhism
Buddhism
circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual since early times. Sacred structures such as stupa or images have a pradakhshina path around them. The chaitya is a distinct ancient type of building that only survives in Indian rock-cut architecture, a hall with a stupa at the far end, always built with a rounded apse-like end, to alllow pradakhshina.[14] A mandapa (prayer hall), added in the front transforms the original stupa into the stupa shrine — as a sacred entity which requires a circumambulatory path around it for the purpose of worship. The whole structure is planned in such a way that it becomes the centre of the mandala and symbolically represents Mount Meru.[15] Buddhist
Buddhist
faithful may perform pradakhshina by prostrating themselves at every step, thus greatly prolonging the process. The most extreme pradakhshina is that of the sacred Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash
in Tibet, a mountain trek some 52 km (32 mi) long, at altitudes between 15,000 ft (4,600 m) and 18,200 ft (5,500 m). This may also be undertaken by Hindus and Jains, and some pilgrims progress by prostration, taking some weeks. Similarity and difference with Islam[edit] Like Parikrama
Parikrama
in Hinduism, Muslims perform circumambulation around Kaaba
Kaaba
during their Hajj
Hajj
which they call tawaf.[16] The circumambulation during Hajj
Hajj
is done in a counterclockwise manner.[17] Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist
Buddhist
traditions, in contrast, circumambulate a shrine or sacred site clockwise.[4][5] The only exception is during paying last respects to a dead body during a cremation or event marking a funeral, where the traditional circumambulation in Indian religions is counter-clockwise.[5] Hindu
Hindu
practices[edit] A legend related to goddess Parvati (Shiva's wife) and her two sons illustrates the importance of Pradakshina or Parikrama. It is said that the goddess asked her two sons to circumambulate the universe to gain worldly knowledge. While her first son Kartikeyan spent decades to go round the world on his peacock, his second son Ganesha
Ganesha
walked a full circle around his mother and justified his action by stating that the World
World
was contained within the figure of the mother. This legend justifies the importance that Hindus attach to the practice of Parikrama, and also the importance of motherhood in Hindu
Hindu
psychology. Another (patriarchal) version of the same story replaces the figure of Parvati with Shiva himself. [7] Shiva temples[edit] In Shiva temples, the devotees start the Pradakshina as usual from the front and go clockwise till they reach the gomukhi (the outlet for abhisheka water) from the Sanctum Sanctorum. As usual the clockwise perambulation is maintained outside of the Bali stones. The drainage outlet for the ritual ablution offered on the Shiva Linga with water, milk, curd, coconut water, ghee, ashes (bhasma)etc. is not to be crossed. So the worshippers have to return in anti-clockwise direction till they reach the other side of the drainage outlet to complete the circle. During this anti-clockwise perambulation, the devotee should tread a path inside of the Bali stones. The Bali stones are always to be kept the right side of the devotees. After reaching the drainage oulet, they have to return to the front in the clockwise direction keeping the path outside the Bali stones. Thus one Pradakshina is completed. Hindu
Hindu
locations[edit] Narmada parikrama[edit] The importance of the Narmada River
Narmada River
as sacred is testified by the fact that the pilgrims perform a holy pilgrimage of a Parikrama
Parikrama
or Circumambulation
Circumambulation
of the river. The Narmada Parikrama, as it is called, is considered to be a meritorious act that a pilgrim can undertake. Many sadhus (saints) and pilgrims walk on foot from the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
at Bharuch
Bharuch
in Gujarat, along the river, to the source in Maikal Mountains ( Amarkantak
Amarkantak
hills) in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
and back along the opposite bank of the river. It is a 2,600-kilometre (1,600 mi) walk.[18] The Parikrama
Parikrama
is also performed along the southern bank from its source ( Amarkantak
Amarkantak
hills) to the mouth (Bharuch) and returning along the northern bank, and it is considered to be of the highest religious efficacy.[19] During the Narmada Parikrama, devotees have to pass through a place called Shulpaneshwar ki Jhari, a religious place in Gujarat
Gujarat
with links dating back to the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
epic story. The legend says that the Pandavas
Pandavas
returning victorious from Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra
war were intercepted at Shulpaneswar by Eklavya
Eklavya
and his group of tribal Bhils
Bhils
and looted them (Pandvaas) of all their belongings. Since then it is a custom that pilgrims on a Narmada Parikrama, while passing through this place, expect to be stripped of all their belongings leaving them with the bare essentials to carry on till some philonthropists give them donations on the way to carry on. With construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat
Gujarat
on the Narmada River, the Shulpaneshwar Temple has submerged under the reservoir, necessitating the pilgrims to take a circuitous route to continue on their journey.[20] Govardahan hill parikrama[edit]

Govardhan Temple starting point of Govardhan Parikrama

Govardhan hill
Govardhan hill
which has great religious significance in view of its association with Lord Krishna, presently at its highest point is just 25-metre (82 ft) high and is a wide hill near Mathura Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a narrow sandstone hill known as Giriraj which is about 8 kilometres (5 mi) in length.[21] After Krishna
Krishna
protected the inhabitants of Vraj
Vraj
Vridavan from the wrath of Indra, he counseled them to worship Govardhana hill
Govardhana hill
and they did by way of a Puja (worship) and a Parikrama
Parikrama
(circumambulation) around the hill.Thus, a festival in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, by Krishna
Krishna
came into vogue as 'Govardhan Puja' when Mount Govardhan is worshipped, the day after Deepawali (festival of lights) is celebrated. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook 56 (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food to God) to Krishna. This ceremony is called 'ankut' or 'annakuta' which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as 'prasada' to devotees. Thousands of devotees bring offerings for Giriraj. Followed by this pooja, the devotees perform the Govardhana Parikrama.[21]

Krishna
Krishna
lifting the Govardhana hill

Govardana Parikrama
Parikrama
[circumambulation — going 21 kilometres (13 mi) around the hill] is a sacred ritual performed by many believers as spiritual purification. There is no time limit for performing this Parikrama, but for those who perform the dandavata (full prostration) Parikrama, an arduous form which may take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. Dandavata Parikrama
Parikrama
is performed by standing in one spot, offering obeisances like a stick (danda) by lying flat on the ground and then continuing, contiguously, till the entire route is covered. It is also said that some sadhus ( Hindu
Hindu
holy men) perform 108 obeisances in one spot before moving to the next. This can take a number of months to complete.[21] This ritual of Parikrama
Parikrama
is considered to be even better if is it done with milk. A clay pot filled with milk, with a hole at the bottom, is carried by the devotees in one hand and a pot filled with dhoop (incense smoke) in another. An escort continuously fills up the pot with milk till the parikrama is completed. Parikrama
Parikrama
is also done with candy being handed out to children, en route.[22] The divine tree 'Kalpavriksha' planted by GreenMan Vijaypal Baghel at each Kunda of this parikrma route, not only Kalpavriksha, he is planting with dedication much more others traditional & medicinal flora's species around holy Govardhan hill
Govardhan hill
likely 'Tridev Vriksha', paras peepal, Rudraksha, Kadmba, pakad, vat vriksha etc who have spiritual and religious values to make Green Parikrma. Parikrama
Parikrama
of Govardhana hill starts at the Manasi-Ganga Kund (lake) and then after having darsan of Lord Harideva, from Radha-kunda village, where the Vrindavan road meets the parikrama path. After parikrama of 21  kilometres, covering important tanks, shilas and shrines such as Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda, Dan Ghati, Mukharavinda, Rinamochana Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara and Punchari, it ends at Mansi Ganga Kund only.[21] Vrindavan
Vrindavan
parikrama[edit]

Parikrama
Parikrama
by ISKCON
ISKCON
devotees

Vrindavan
Vrindavan
Parikrama
Parikrama
is a spiritual walk undertaken by devotees around Vrindavan
Vrindavan
town in Uttar Pradesh. It has no particular start or end place. As long as you end at the same place you start, the purpose is served. One possible path is to start from the famous ISKCON
ISKCON
temple, covers a distance of 10 km (6.2 mi)in about three hours. It is generally done on Ekadasi (eleventh lunar day of the waxing and waning of Moon). The route followed is from ISKCON
ISKCON
temple, walk close to the Krishna
Krishna
Balarama
Balarama
Temple, the Krishna- Balarama
Balarama
tree, Gautam Rishi's Ashrama (located on the left while on the right is Varaha Ghata), the Kaliya Ghata, Madana Mohana Temple with red sandstone tower, small wooden bridge, to Imli Tala, the Imli Tala tree, Sringara Vata (on the right), the Kesi Ghat
Ghat
(one of the famous Monuments in Vrindavan), the Tekari Rani temple, the Jagannatha temple and the small temple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
and in the final stretch cross the Mathura- Vrindavan
Vrindavan
road. After crossing this road, after another 1 km walking, reach the starting point of the Parikrama. During the Parikrama, one chants the mantras ( Jap
Jap
or Hymns ) within, uses body power (Tap) to accomplish the Parikrama
Parikrama
and keeps a fast (not eat anything) (Vrata) till the Parikrama
Parikrama
is completed.[23] Vraja
Vraja
Mandala Parikrama[edit] Since 500 years Vraja
Vraja
Mandala Parikrama
Parikrama
has been performed during October–November months. It is 84 Krosh long, taking 1-2 months depending on the route and speed visits twelve forests, known as vans, and twenty-four groves, known as upavans. The twelve forests are Madhuvan, Talavan, Kumudvan, Bahulavan, Kamavan, Khadiravan, Vrindavan, Bhadravan, Bhandiravan, Belvan, Lohavan, and Mahavan. The twenty-four groves are Gokul, Govardhan, Barsana, Nandagram, Sanket, Paramadra, Aring, Sessai, Mat, Uchagram, Kelvan, Sri Kund, Gandharvavan, Parsoli, Bilchhu, Bacchavan, Adibadri, Karahla, Ajnokh, Pisaya, Kokilavan, Dadhigram, Kotvan, and Raval. Ayodhya[edit] In the temple city of Ayodhya
Ayodhya
in Uttar Pradesh, India, Panchkosi Parikrama
Parikrama
is performed over a two-day period. Devotees first take a holy dip in the Saryu River
Saryu River
and then do a Parikrama
Parikrama
of 15 km along the periphery of the city. It is said that over two hundred thousand devotees including around 50 thousand sadhus from Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Mathura and Kashi (Varanasi) participate in the parikrama, and full security arrangements are made for the religious occasion.[24] Girnar
Girnar
Parikrama[edit]

Pilgrims on Girnar
Girnar
Parikrama

Lili Parikrama
Parikrama
or Girnar
Girnar
Parikrama
Parikrama
is a seven-day festival held at Mount Girnar
Girnar
in Junagadh
Junagadh
district of Gujarat, India. The pilgrimage involves a climb of 10,000 steps to reach the top to the sacred Mount Girnar
Girnar
venerated by both Hindus and Jains. The Jains call it Mount Neminath. Devotees from all over the country participate in the festival. Of the seven peaks of Girnar, five are important viz., Ambamata, Gorakhnath, Augadh, Guru
Guru
Dattatreya and Kalika. Bhavnath Shiv temple, Bhartruchari cave, Sorath Mahal, Bhim Kund and Shiv Kund. Devotees visit these sacred places during the parikarama.[25] Symbolism[edit] The temple structure reflects the symbolism of the Hindu
Hindu
association of the spiritual transition from daily life to spiritual perfection as a journey through stages. Parikrama
Parikrama
paths are present through which worshipers move in a clockwise direction, starting at the sanctuary doorway and moving inward toward the inner sanctum where the deity is enshrined. This represents translation of the spiritual concept of transition through levels in life into bodily movements by the worshipers as they move inwardly through ambulatory halls to the most sacred centre of spiritual energy of the deity.[26] Shayana Pradakshinam[edit] Shayana Pradakshinam is done by prostration in a lying posture. It starts with a Sashtanga Namaskara in front of the sanctum sanctorum. In Sashtanga Namaskara, the devotees have eight parts of their bodies touching the ground. Thus forehead, chest, shoulders, hands and knees touch the ground. The folded hands will be directed always towards the deity. In this pose, the devotees circumambulate on the Pradakshina path. The relatives and friends of the devotees help them to roll around. Number of Pradakshinas[edit] For each deity, the minimum number of Pradakshinas to be done are specified.[citation needed]

Ganesha: 1 Shiva: 3 Vishnu: 4 Ayyappa: 5 Subrahmanya (Karthikeya): 6 Durga, Devi: 4 Peepal Tree: 7 Soorya : 2

The Swayambhu Agama says that doing Pradakshina 21 times to any deity is sanctified.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parikrama.

Circumambulation Pilgrimage 48 kos parikrama of Kurukshetra Dwadash Madhav Parikrama, Tirthraj Prayag

References[edit]

^ a b Bowker, John (1999). The Oxford Dictionary of World
World
Religions. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-19-866242-4.  ^ a b http://www.hindunet.org/faq/fom-serv/cache/31.html Why do we perform Pradakshina or Parikrama? ^ http://www.hinduism.co.za/kaabaa.htm Kaaba
Kaaba
a Hindu
Hindu
Temple?Hindus invariably circumambulate around their deities ^ a b c Deepak Sanan (2002). Exploring Kinnaur in the Trans-Himalaya. Indus Publishing. p. 234. ISBN 978-8173871313.  ^ a b c Linda Kay Davidson; David Martin Gitlitz (2002). Pilgrimage: From the Ganges to Graceland : an Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-57607-004-8.  ^ Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent — glossary ^ a b http://www.kamat.com/indica/culture/sub-cultures/pradakshina.htm The Concept of Pradaksina ^ Darbashayanam ^ Some reflections on fire in Hindu
Hindu
and other wedding ceremonies, and on Agni
Agni
Pradakshina, circling the fire. ^ "Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent - glossary". indoarch.org. Retrieved 2007-01-10.  ^ "Some reflections on fire in Hindu
Hindu
and other wedding ceremonies, and on Agni
Agni
Pradakshina, circling the fire". Retrieved 2007-01-11.  ^ Cort, John (2011). Jains in the world : religious values and ideology in India. New York Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-19-979664-9.  ^ Pashaura Singh and Louis Fenech (2014). The Oxford handbook of Sikh studies. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-19-969930-8.  ^ Michell, George, The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India, Volume 1: Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, p. 66, 1989, Penguin Books, ISBN 0140081445 ^ Chitkara, M. G. (1994). Tibet, a reality. APH. pp. 37–45. ISBN 978-81-7024-639-8.  ^ World
World
Faiths, teach yourself - Islam by Ruqaiyyah Maqsood. ISBN 0-340-60901-X page 76 ^ Morgan, Diane (2010). Essential Islam a comprehensive guide to belief and practice. Praeger. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-313-36025-1.  ^ Narmada Parikrama ^ Dhar District - Geography Archived 2008-10-15 at the Wayback Machine.. Gyandoot.net. Retrieved on 2013-12-23. ^ Parikrama ^ a b c d http://www.girirajji.com/goverdhan-parikrama.html Goverdhan Parikrama,Govardhan Parvat Parikrama,Govardhan Hill Parikrama, Parikrama
Parikrama
of Goverdhan, Parikrama
Parikrama
of Govardhan Parvat, Parikrama
Parikrama
of Govardhan Hill ^ Know Thyself: July 2006 ^ Of Vrindavan ^ Ayodhya ^ throng Mount Girnar
Girnar
for the 7-day fest ^ Michell, George (1988). The Hindu
Hindu
Temple. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 66. ISBN 0-226-53230-5. 

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Worship in Hinduism

Main topics

Aarti Bhajan Darśana Deities Festivals Homa (Yajna) Kirtan Mantra Murti Tilaka Utsava Vrata Yatra

Rituals

Puja

Abhisheka Bhog Naivedhya Panchamakara Panchamrita Parikrama Pranāma Prasad Pushpanjali

Homa

Yajna Agnicayana Agnihotra Agnikaryam Aupasana Dhuni Kaamya karma Pravargya Purushamedha Putrakameshti Viraja Homa

Other

Achamana Archana Ashirvad Ashvamedha Darśana Karmkand Kumbhabhishekham Nitya karma Ngejot Panchayatana puja Prana pratishta Sandhyavandanam Shuddhi Shrauta Upakarma

Prayer Meditation

Ajapa japa Bhajan Brahmamuhurtha Jagran Jai Sri Ram Japa Kirtan Om Sandhyavandanam Shaktipat Stotra Third eye Yoga

Mantras

Om Hare Krishna Om Namah Shivaya Gayatri Mantra

Objects

Puja thali Altar Banalinga Banana leaf Biruda Coconut Dhunachi Dhuni Dhupa Diya Cāmara Garland Ghanta Joss stick Kalasha Kamandalu Khirapat Kindi Paduka Palki Panchamrita Pandal Pinda Prayer beads Rangoli Shankha Tilaka Upanayana Uthsavar Yagnopaveetham

Materials

Agarwood Alta Camphor Charu Ghee Incense Kumkuma Marigold Milk Panchagavya Rudraksha Sandalwood Sindoor Soma Tulsi Turmeric Vibhuti

Instruments

Dholak Harmonium Karatalas Khol Manjira Mridangam Tabla

Iconography

Lingam Murti Om Pindi Shaligram Swastika Yoni more...

Places

Ashram Dwajasthambam Ghat Kalyani Matha Temple Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
sites

Roles

Guru Pandit Pujari Rishi Sadhu Sannyasa Swami Yogi more...

Sacred animals

Nāga Nag Panchami Nagaradhane

Sacred plants

Trees

Akshayavat Ashoka Banyan Kadamba Kalpavriksha Parijaat Peepal Sacred groves

Fruits and other plants

Bael Kusha grass Lotus Tulsi (Tulasi chaura Tulsi
Tulsi
Vivah)

See also

Firewalking Sanskara Temple dance

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South Asian wedding

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Hinduism

Aum Chakra Dharma Gurus and saints Karma Mantra Moksha Yoga Worship<

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