Sundar Narayan Mandir (Nashik) in India
The spiritual principles symbolically represented in Hindu temples are given in the ancient Sanskrit texts of India for instance Vedas and Upanishads, while their structural rules are described in various ancient Sanskrit treatises on architecture, Brhat Samhita, Vastu Sastras. The layout, the motifs, the plan and the building process recite ancient rituals, geometric symbolisms, and reflect beliefs and values innate within various schools of Hinduism.
India, a spiritual destination
A Hindu temple is a spiritual destination for many Hindus, as well as landmarks around which ancient arts, community celebrations and economy have flourished. A temple is a place for Tirtha pilgrimage and it is a sacred site whose ambience and design attempts to symbolically condense the ideal tenets of Hindu way of life. All the cosmic elements that create and sustain life are present in a Hindu temple, from fire to water, from images of nature to deities, from the feminine to the masculine, from the fleeting sounds and incense smells to the eternal nothingness yet universality at the core of the temple. In Hindu tradition, there is no dividing line between the secular and the sacred. In the same spirit, Hindu temples are not just sacred spaces, they are also secular spaces. Their meaning and purpose have extended beyond spiritual life to social rituals and daily life, offering thus a social meaning. Some temples have served as a venue to mark festivals, to celebrate arts through dance and music, to get married or commemorate marriages, commemorate the birth of a child, other significant life events, or mark the death of a loved one. In political and economic life, Hindu temples have served as a venue for the succession within dynasties and landmarks around which economic activity thrived. Hindu temples come in many styles, are situated in diverse locations, deploy different construction methods and are adapted to different deities and regional beliefs, yet almost all of them share certain core ideas, symbolism and themes. Almost all Hindu temples take two forms, a house or a palace. A house-themed temple is a simple shelter which serves as a deity's home. The temple is a place where the devotee visits, just like he or she would visit a friend or relative. In Bhakti school of Hinduism, temples are venues for puja, which is a hospitality ritual, where the deity is the honored, and where devotee calls upon, attends to and connects with the deity. In other schools of Hinduism, the person may simply perform jap, or meditation, or yoga, or introspection in his or her temple. A palace-themed temples are more elaborate, often monumental architecture.
Sundar Narayan Mandir is a temple on the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar bridge that was built in 1756 by Chandrachud. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idol of Lord Vishnu and it is built in so that the very first rays of the sun falls on the deity of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu is one of the most significant deities in Hinduism. He is the Supreme god Svayam Bhagavan of Vaishnavism is one of the principal denominations of Hinduism. He is also known as Narayana and Hari. As one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta tradition, he is conceived as "the Preserver or the Protector". In Hindu sacred texts, Vishnu is usually described as having the dark complexion of water-filled clouds and having four arms. He is depicted as a pale blue being, as are his incarnations Rama and Krishna. He holds a padma which is a lotus flower in his lower left hand, the Kaumodaki gada, which is mace in his lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha, a conch in his upper left hand and the discus weapon considered to be the most powerful weapon according to Hindu Religion Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand. Vishnu's many names and followers are collected in the Vishnusahasranama, also known as the "Vishnu's thousand names", one well-known version of which is found in the Mahabharata. The character Bhishma recites the names before Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, praising Vishnu as the supreme god. These sahasranama are regarded as the essence of all Vedas by followers of Vaishnavism, who believe sincere chanting of Vishnusahasranama results in spiritual well-being and greater awareness of God. The world is a form or a body of Lord Vishnu. The world constitutes of earth, twentyone heavens and twentyone hells. This world is like a small fragment in the infinite space called Mahat-tatva. This world is Lord Vishnu. So the world being God one should not destroy this world and try to find the hidden God in this world through faith.
The Vishnu Sahasranama, a tatpurusha compound, is a list of 1,000 names known as the Sahasranama of Vishnu, one of the main forms of God in Hinduism and the personal supreme God for Vaishnavas, the followers of Vishnu. It is also one of the most sacred and commonly chanted stotras in Hinduism. The Vishnu Sahasranama as found in the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata is the most popular version of the 1,000 names of Vishnu. Other versions exists in the Padma Purana, Skanda Purana and Garuda Purana. Each name eulogizes one of His countless great attributes. The Vishnu Sahasranama has been the subject of numerous commentaries. Adi Shankara wrote a definitive commentary on the sahasranama in the 8th century which has been particularly influential for many schools of Hinduism even today. Parasara Bhattar, a follower of Ramanuja, wrote a commentary in the 12th century, detailing the names of Vishnu from a Vishishtadvaita perspective. Madhvacharya asserted that each name in the sahasranama has a minimum of 100 meanings. Some of the Vishnu's other names are: Vishwam, Vishnu, Vashatkara, Bhuta Bhavya Bhavatprabhu, Bhutakrut, Bhutabhrut, Bhava, Bhutatma, Bhutabhavanah, Putatma, Paramatma, Muktanam Parama Gatih, Avyaya, Purusha, Keshava, Shrinidhi, Jayant, Aadityay, Bhavnaay, Veday. Vishnu is one of the most significant deities in Hinduism. He is the Supreme god Svayam Bhagavan of Vaishnavism, one of the principal denominations of Hinduism. He is also known as Narayana and Hari. As one of the five primary forms of God in the Smarta tradition, he is conceived as "the Preserver or the Protector". In Hindu sacred texts, Vishnu is usually described as having the dark complexion of water-filled clouds and having four arms. He is depicted as a pale blue being, as are his incarnations Rama and Krishna. He holds a padma, a lotus flower in his lower left hand, the Kaumodaki gada, a mace in his lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha, a conch in his upper left hand and the discus weapon considered to be the most powerful weapon according to Hindu Religion Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand.