A Reader asked:
Which direction should the statues face, in a temple, and do we have to face east while praying?
It is believed that statues should face the North or East. However if you are going to pray and face the statues you would have to sit in the South or West. That is the reason why Pandits sit alongside the Murtis. My strong suggestion to you is not to be superstitious. Make sure to place them in your heart.
A Shiva Lingam should face the North and Nandi could be inside or outside the temple but facing the Shiva Lingam.
It is said that :
‘Kaliyuga kewal naam adhaara
Simar simar nar utarai paara’
Which means that in Kaliyuga one ought to only concentrate on taking the Lord’s name, and it is by means of remembering the Lord that one would be able to cross the Ocean of Samsara (the world and all its desires and attachments)
The Reader’s next question is:
In which order should one place the statues?
I feel that you should put your Ishta Devta or the one who you pray to the most, or the one after whom the temple is going to be called, in the center.
Remember to place the Divine family together. Shivji, Ma Parvati and Ganeshji. You could place Ganeshji in the center and next to Ma Parvati, you could place Ma Durga or/and Ma Laxmi or/and Ma Saraswati. Place Balaji next to Ma Laxmi and Krishna or/and Vishnu or/and Sri Ram. Then you may place the rest as and how you feel inspired.
Next, he has asked:
Which flowers to offer to whom and which ones to avoid?
All flowers have great energy, but it is believed that the Deities have their favorites and maybe their allergies!!??
Red flowers are offered to the Matas. MaLaxmi loves the Lotus flower. Krishna loves the peacock feather and He says in the Geeta that whosoever offers him a flower or even a Tulsi leaf, and hear comes the catch, with Love, He accepts. So no parsad is complete unless a Tulsi leaf is added to it. However, I have heard that Tulsi is restricted to Ganpati. He loves the green grass or Durva instead. To Shivji, orange and white flowers are offered and also the Bheel patras.
A garland made of Tulsi is popularly placed on the necks of Sri Ram and Seeta, Ma Radha and Shri Krishna, Balaji and also Shirdi SaiBaba.