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
Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.