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Installation of Idols
1-3A wise man ought to construct in the north or east a platform for the installation ceremony with four archways and covered with the sprouts of auspicious trees. For the eastern side of the platform are laid down variegated garlands and flags; for the southeastern one, red ones; for the southern and south-western sites, black ones. They must be white in the west, pale white in the north-west, variegated in the north and yellow in the north-east.
4-5An idol, made of wood or clay bestows long life, prosperity, strength and victory; one made of precious stone tends to the weal of the world; one of gold bestows health; one of silver, fame; one of copper, increase of children; and an idol or emblem of Siva made of stone, acquisition of immense landed property.
6An image being hurt by a wedge destroys the headman and the family; one being damaged by a hole causes diseases, troubles and ruin.
7After smearing with cow dung the floor in the centre of the platform, covering it with sand and then with holy grass, the image should be placed with its head resting on a throne and feet on a pillow.
8-10The image with its head pointing to the east should be bathe with a decoction of Plaksha, Aswattha, Indian fig, Sirisha agd banyan mixed with all kinds of herbs bearing auspicious names (such as Jaya, Jayanti, Jeevanti, Jeevaputri, Punarnava and Vishnukranta, etc.), with sacred grass and the like, with clay dug up by elephants and bulls from mountains, ant-hills, river-banks at the confluences, and that of lotus-lakes, mixed with water from holy rivers along with the five products of cows and with scented water containing gold and gems, to the accompaniment of the sounds of various musical instruments and of the chanting of Punyaha and other Vedic hymns.
11The High-Priests should recite in the east hymns relating to Indra; and in the south-east, to Fire; and they should be honoured with monetary gifts.
12-13The Priest should worship the Fire with the hymns sacred to that God who is to be installed. The symptoms of Fire have been already explained by me on the occasion of dealing with the raising of “Indra’s Banner” (Adh. XLIII-32). A fire filled with smoke, turned to the left and sending sparks continuously is not auspicious. The priest’s failing in memory and moving forward are also inauspicious.
14When the image has been bathed, clad in a new garment, beautifully adorned with ornaments and worshipped with flowers and perfumes, the priest who installs it should lay it on a well-spread bed.
15After the sleeping idol has been properly consecrated with the materials for waking up, accompanied by dance and songs, the installation should be done at a time prescribed by the astrologer, i.e., in the bright half of the northern solstice.
16-18After worshipping the idol with flowers, cloths and unguents, along with the sounds of conchs and musical instruments, it should be taken into the sanctum sanctorum with all precaution round the temple, i.e., from left to right. Then giving copious oblations and worshipping Brahmins and those of the religious assembly, the idol should be placed in the pit of the pedestal in which a gold-piece, has been deposited. By honouring especially the installer, astrologer, Brahmins, the men of the assembly and the carpenter, one will get all blessed things in this world and heaven in the next.
19The installing priests of Vishnu are known as Bhagavatas; of the Sun as Magas; of Siva, as Pasupathas (ash-smeared ones); of the divine Mothers as those adepts in the rites of the Mothers’ circle; of Brahman, Brahmins; pf the Buddha, (all benevolent) of serene mindj as Sakyas; of the Jains) as naked monks. These different priests have to perform, according to the rules peculiar to each sect, the ceremony for the God, whose devotees they are.
20-21The installation of deities is favourable in the northern solstice, bright half of the month, when the Moon is posited in a Varga belonging to Jupiter, when the Ascendant is a fived sign and a fixed Navamsa is rising, benefics occupy the 5th, 9th, and the Kendra houses ; and malefics are in tlie Upachaya houses (3rd, 6th, 10th and 11th) and when the Moon is in any of the asterisms, viz., the 3 Uttaras, Kohini, Mrigasira, Anuradha, Revati, Sravana, Tishya and Swati and on any convenient day except Tuesday.
22Thus, have I expounded succinctly this subject conferring benefits on humanity; but in the work of Savitra, the consecration and setting up are treated at length separately—or the consecration and setting up of the Sun are separately expounded in detail in that Sastra.