An altar is much more than performing daily worship. It brings the positive vibes to the house, induces a sense of well-being and strengthens our faith in the Superior Power. So a proper planning is required for the best results and favorable ambiance:
For Buddhist altar a suitable space can be chosen to make a shelf. Such place should be above the head level and there should be no other shelf in the room higher than this shelf. A Shelf with proper support should be fitted with an idol of Buddha or an image of Buddha’s relics. In the rare case you are not able to get any of them you can choose to have a piece of paper with a mantra written on that. Similarly a Bodhi leaf or a picture of Buddha’s footprints is also acceptable. You can have a Buddhist teacher’s picture on the next level like laughing Buddha, Dalai Lama or any other teacher of similar stature. However there are other versions of the Altar as Japanese altar and Tibetan Altar, the basic planning remains the same. They differ a bit in details and ornamentation.
A Hindu altar should have the proper provision for incense sticks, images and idols on elevated platform and a small portion to store religious scriptures. It should be spacious enough to accommodate all members of the family as there are many festivals where the entire family needs to worship together. Also the space should be convenient to sit cross legged as most of the worship and prayers requires sittingin this way.
The basic thing to remember is to keep the area separate from rest of the house and away from the noisy surroundings. This area should serve its purpose to communicate with the God. You should plan an altar away from the hustle-bustle of the house.
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