Until a particular day, the sculptor goes on chiseling that piece of stone, but after a certain day, it becomes invested with divinity, and we start performing abhisheka, archana, deepaharati etc. for that deity; it acquires divine power and it obtains chaitanya.
We see divinity in our idols and, therefore, we do abhisheka, alankara or decoration, naivedyam, haarati and many other upacharas.
Some people say that the places of worship, which belong to other religions, are quiet, but our Hindu temples are full of noise.Of course, this is true.
Actually, there are two types of noises in our temples. One is the desirable type of noise such as ringing of bells, the sounding of musical instruments like nadaswaram and the shahnai; the recitation of namavalli archana, recitation of mantras and so on.
Of course, there is also the undesirable type of noise in the form of people indulging in idle gossip and purposeless talk. It is our duty to see that this idle talk, which results in undesirable noise, is totally eliminated from our temples.
In other places of worship, this type of fanfare that we have in our temples, is not there, because they do not recognize idol worship or worship of God in the saguna form and they believe in worship of God in his attributeless and shapeless form only.
In our temple, a huge temple bell is rung at the time of puja. This is done so that the evil spirits may go away from temple premises, and all abuses or other bad sounds may be stifled from being heard.
In our houses, we do not have such a huge bell, but we ring only a small bell at the time of puja. But we do not offer musical instruments and other upacharas to the deity, but only akshata or unbroken rice. (Continued..)