Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Gurudeva, taught his monks the value of Jyotisha, Vedic Astrology. Knowledge and awareness of the movement of the planets and their influence on our lives, personal character and projects is a sacred heritage from our Vedic Rishis. This knowledge is a powerful tool for living a better life, making improvements and staying in tune with Rrta Dharma, the cosmic order.
On the other hand, Gurudeva did not believe in the worship of the planets as if they were Deities like Siva, Ganesha or Murugan.
Some devotees in other countries have complained that in some temples, the main focus of worship has become “sani puja,” where devotees, on Saturday, flock to aratis given to the images of the planets for help with their exams, overcome financial problems etc., all the while completely forgetting about the fundamentals of Saiva Siddhanta, communication between the three worlds and spiritual evolution, which are the true aims behind Hindu temple worship.
This will not be the case at Iraivan. The Navagraha Mandapam will not be physically attached to the temple. It will be a teaching pavilion and not a place of worship. It will be off to the side as a separate pavilion. The priests of Iraivan will not be doing abhishekams or aratis to these images. These icons of the planets are on rollers and will be moved around to their actual astronomical daily position.
Thanks for asking the question. The answer has truly educated me further in my understanding of what I have seen when visiting another Hindu temple.Jupiter is beautiful and I am sure the image will enhance the beauty of where it is placed.Aum
"Stand strong for Saivism." The nature of life for Saivites is to turn work into worship, to turn the secular into the sacred. Each day give a little extra warmth, humanness and upliftment to others. Every day is a holy day, all day long. We want to follow our religion even in our dreams. If we help someone, we're worshiping. Wherever we are, that's a place of worship. "To the Saivite Hindu all of life is sacred. All of life is religion."