General Guidelines :
1. Performing special rituals at your family deity temple, – such as lighting mavillaku, abhishegam, santhana kappu and annadhanam, will bring more benefits.
If there is a tank at the temple, take a bath in it or sprinkle the tank
water on your head before going for darshan. Always buy garlands for deities and prepare some fresh food (neivedhyam) to offer to deities as per traditional requirements.
2. Avoid non-vegetarian food and alcohol during Amavasya days, Thursdays, srardh days, full moon days, family deity visit days, for appropriate blessings and prosperity. The entire world will benefit if one is a vegetarian on Thursday and New Moon days.
3. If you have a long pending wish or desire unfulfilled, pray to your ishtadevata or kuladevata and take a vow to visit the deity after your wish is fulfilled. To offer thanksgiving, do Anga- pradikshana (circumambulation by lying flat on the ground and rolling your body around the temple instead of walking around it) for family matters or offering your hair (tonsure) for health issues. Also donate some money to the temple as per your wish and capacity.
4. Perform Giri Pradikshana at Tiruvannamalai at least once in a lifetime on a Monday, a full-moon day, or a Pradosham day. Get the blessings of Sri Arunachaleswarar, Mother Abhitha Kujambal at the temple and Bhagawan Sri Ramanamaharishi from the Adhistanam at Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai
5. To get adequate spiritual strength to tackle day-to-day issues and problems, once in three years, on a full moon day, visit any of the three great maha guru’s adhistanam or sannidhanam, such as Shirdi, Sri Ramanasraman, Appar Samadhi, GF’s adhistanam, Pattinathar samadhi, Mantralya or Pamban Swamigal samadhi
6. Visit any Shiva temple on Pradosham day. You must make 111 such visits in total, at least once in your lifetime, for attaining the path of salvation. For this, you will need an appropriate guru. This is also for good health and peace. Light a lamp at the temple during every visit.
7. In Vishnu Temples, One should not worship first Lord Vishnu’s idol before worshipping the Thayar ( Devi) – Therefore after worshipping Devi (Lakshmi) only you should worship Perumal). This is applicable to Tirupathi also.
8. In Shivji Temples one should not worship the Amman (Ambal) before worshipping Lord Shiva. You should first worship Shivji and then worship Ambal.
9. You should take Vibhoothi, Kumkum and other Prashads only from the Priest in duty, when inside the Temple and not from others.
10. One should use both hands to go near the lamp / Arathi Fire when shown after Arathi. Do not do this in one hand . After going near the fire both hands should be brought close to both the eyes respectively with devotion.
11. In Perumal Temple Theertham (Holy water) from priest to be collected by keeping both hands one over the other (right over the left preferably). The Theertham should not be accepted in one hand.
12. One should consume the Holy water given in Vishnu Temple fully without sprinkling on the head partially from what in hand. You can get Theertham separately from the priest for sprinkling over the head.
13. Do not go to temple without bath or with wet clothes or with unconventional clothes.
14. Do not do Prathikshanams for the Urchava moorthy while in procession. You can only bow your head to show respect and perform Namaskaram by hand.
15. One should not bow down or do Namaskarams to other Humans inside the Temple.
16. While leaving Shivji Temple one should compulsorily sit for few minutes near the temple entrance and then leave.
17. Never decorate your vehicles – two wheelers or 4 wheelers with the Garland or flowers received as Prashad at Temple after prayers / worship. They can be brought home and kept or decorated in home Mandir or at the house entrance.
18. Do not consume milk, honey or other Abhishegam materials coming out from the idols after Abhishegam at Temple. Only the turmeric water or the Prashads offered by the priest only to be consumed with devotion.
19. Any vows or promises made to Kuladevatha ( Family deity) or Ishta Devatha ( Favourite deity) to be preferably fulfilled within 6 months.
20. Prashads (Eatables) given at Sri Vishnu Temple to be brought home and distributed or consumed. However at Shivji Temples, they should be consumed at Temple itself and should not be brought home.
21. Do not visit temples wearing or taking inside any unholy things and leather items such as belt, purse, bags. This should be also followed during meditation, Japa, and other rituals.
22. While entering any temple offer respectfully prayers or Namaskaram to Temple tower and Dwarapalakas.
23. Separate Namaskarams
(Prostration) ) should not be performed for Parivara deities or Gods installed in corridors or Prakarams. For all deities and main deity together , offer the Namaskaram past near the Temple flag (Kodimaram) facing North in the end.
24. Never neglect your grama or village deities such as Iyyanar, Mariamman or Karrupannar or other deities while you visit your village or family deity periodically.
25. Feeding poor people after Dharshan at Remedial Temples more beneficial.
26. You should offer (put) your donation at Temple after receiving Prashad both to priest in his plate and in temple Hundi. Always give donations in numbers ending with 1 to a temple or good cause. (Example: 101, 1001, 1501, 10001 and so on). Avoid giving torn, damaged or mutilated, dirty or soiled notes for good cause. Such donations should be kept inside a clean envelope and handed over facing North or East with humility and devotion.
27. We should go around the Temple or any deity (circumambulations) minimum 3 times or in multiples of three (except 9 rounds for Navagrahas) only – all in clockwise direction This is called Pradakshina – “meaning going around with devoted mind”
28. Women should not keep tulsi leaves as Prashad on their head, other flowers OK for wearing on head.
29. Never talk or praise about other temples once inside a particular temple.
30. Do not do Atma Pradakshina inside temple and also not to do Pradakshinam when Abhishegam is in progress, curtain is covering the deity or procession of deity is in progress.
31. Never start seeing deities in the temple without worshipping Ganeshji first or come out of Temple without seeing other parivara deities.
32. When the Temple flag is down do not perform festivals or functions like marriage or other auspicious occasions inside or near the temple at least 200 metres.
33. Do not throw the Vibhoothi, or Kumkm or other eatables inside the Temple or ignore. Always apply or eat immediately. Excess can be shared with others instead.
34. Face North and do Namaskaram after (past) the Temple flag Facing North in the end. This is a must.
35. Do not discuss worldly or other family matters good or bad inside the temple.
36. Keep your mind on the deity, or family deity or favourite deity (can recite stotras or perform Japa) throughout the time inside the temple for maximum benefits.