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How to procure a murti

bh. Leos

Task:
To get a qualified sthapati make a murti for a temple.

Place:
Jagannatha murti (wooden) - Puri
accommodation - Caitanya-candra asram next to Gundica
prasadam - from asram, Jagannath prasadam

marble murti - Jaipur (Makrama), etc.
accommodation - Priti Guesthouse
prasadam - Radha-Vinoda at 12h (arrange in advance)

Process:
Everything begins with inspiration from devotees and preparations for accepting the murti, i.e. arrangement for the required worship standard, and choosing size and material. They will influence the price of making, transport and worship.

Choosing the qualified sthapati:
Everyone should pray for success. Krsna controls everything. Even recommendations must be confirmed. Select one devotee to find the right sthapati and to settle the price. Consider using prashna to find out the reliability of a pre-selected sthapati.
Be self-confident but not arrogant, ekeha, responsible, reliable. Don't overhasten and don't rely on 'street advices'. Visit various sthapatis and ask around for at least 14 days. Find a pal/ally (e.g. a pujari you know) to help you. Talk with sthapatis informally or write them a letter with questions, what inspired them to make a specific unusual murti (e.g. Gaura-Nitai). The personality of sthapati will be reflected in the murti.

Making:
Don't pay the full price in advance (advance payment max. 1/2 price).
Suitable material is a white marble without dots, spots, skvrn etc. (watch for cheating with white varnish). The stone is chosen by the sthapati on his own risc ('one can't see into the marble').
Check the making process to avoid the danger of material's change etc. Reminding is considered ok in India.
Making lasts about 3 months depending on a size (in feet and inches).
Sthapati can also have already completed murtis for sale or half-made ones.

Getting the completed murti:
Carefully check if it's alright. Only the pure crystal must be seen. Watch for traces of color hiding problematic places. Use small defects to get a discount. (Where's the limit of what can be still accepted?)
Be there when the murti is packed and shipped to make sure everything is alright or get someone reliable to represent you.

sa evaM sthApayed viSNuM prAsAde vidhi pUrvakam
vargAt prAk cyavate nAsau yAvat taM nApi nazyati

Let the Vaisnava install the deity of Visnu in the temple according to the rules. As long as he does not deviate from the prescribed course of worship he keeps free from all calamity destructive of his wealth and welfare. (Parama samhita 21.51)

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