“It’s an uphill task to be an Archagar”
The Archagar treats the deity in the temple with utmost care. He does the invocation of the God through pooja and creates the necessary environment for worship, produce the necessary high vibration and call for God through the ‘murthi” inside the ‘moolasthanam’. He communicates with God through the murthi, which is the focus of worship for devotees.
There is no doubt that the Archagar is a properly trained and qualified spiritual person. He is the only person eligible to perform pooja in the sanctum sanctorum. The strict rules of the Agamas state that a saivite priest can work as Archagar only in a saivite temple. He cannot perform in a vaishnavite temple. For the same reason, a vaishnavite Archagar cannot perform rituals in a saivite temple.
The Siva agamas classifies the person doing pooja under five categories, namely Acharya, Archagar, Sthaniga, Pasakar, and Paricharagar. Sivachariyas performing pooja in temple are believed to be the descendants of five Rishis who learned the Agamas from Siva, who are from different caste. Every person who are appointed as Archagar in a temple should know the principles and practice of Agamas, following which he has the right to perform pooja.
Finally and above all, the Archagar must have had Dikshai (initiation) from his Guru, which was initiated during his period of apprenticeship.
But, in this modern world, you come across Archagar who are self-proclaimed. They have no guru and have had no Dikshai. There initiation is made from internet sources and the devotees do not care. They also do not care if a Tantric priest performs pooja in a temple govern by agamic rules.
…(to be continued)
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