The temple being the heart of the Almighty is a representation of our spiritual growth and makes us feel connected to the power of Almighty. Visiting the temple has a certain code which makes us understand this connection with the Almighty and how all our senses get all focussed on the Almighty and nothing else.
Out of the various rituals of worship, the Parikrama or the Pradakshina is the circumambulation which we take around the temple, the deity or by self as a way of worship in our Sanatana Dharma. The word Pradakshina means “to the right” Hence one needs to go from the left hand side so that the deity is on the right side when we go in a circle around the deity. The Pradakshina is not only done around the temple, but also the sacred plants like the Tulasi, the trees like Peepal and many more. It is also done at home as a self-round believing that the heart is the embodiment of the Almighty and we offer our worship to it.
The less known reason to do a Pardakshina around a temple is that it removes all the sins and makes us pure in heart and soul for the worship of the Almighty. The word Pradakshina when divided into Pra – removes sins, Da – gives what is wished for, Kshi – destruction of sin, Na – attaining salvation. Hence it is done as a ritual in a silent and a meditative mood with folded hands visualising the deity in mind focussing totally on the chant of the deity’s name which wards away our ego and pride.
The Pradakshina is done in a clockwise direction for a special reason. The Almighty exists in the centre of the universe and when we take a circle around it all our minds and thoughts get focussed on the Almighty. The Supreme Being is the centre and the gravity of the universe and all life gets attracted to him. Just as the planets go around the life source of the sun in a clockwise direction, the Pradakshina is the symbol of our life existence of which the Almighty is the life source.
When takes a Pradakshina, it washes away all the sins. The number of Pradakshinas to be taken is also of much importance. Each deity has a specific number of rounds, For Suryadev the number is seven representing his seven horses, For Bhagwan Ganesh, it is three, For Bhagwan Vishnu, we need to take three rounds, for Shri Hanuman it is three, and for Bhagwan Shiv the Pradakshina is only half a Pradakshina. This is because the water outlet after we which do the Abhishek of Bhagwan Shiv is a continuous force of energy and life through which the water passes, and one should not cross the outlet in the order of Pradakshina which will lead to loss of energy and strength of life. Hence Bhagwan Shiv is done only half a Pradakshina.
The Pradakshina is one of the most and sacred ritual of worship. The first round washes all the sins of the mind, the second one removes the mistakes committed through speech and the third one removes all the impurities of the body. The Pradakshina removes away all the pride and ego of one’s mind and makes us feel the presence of Almighty within us and around us.