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Please allow me to preface the question because, as a foreigner who did not grow up with Sanatana Dharma, my practice probably differs from yours.

All of my life when traveling statues, stones, a shrine, and other objects specific to the culture of the area have made their way to me. I never set out to buy, for example, a specific statue. I would simply browse a local vendor and suddenly something would call out to me. Several pieces were given to me at a crucial juncture in my life. These are from places all over the word, but, for me, they all speak to different aspects of the divine—which I see as One.

So, I have recently moved and I started putting these pieces on a desk in the corner. Though I did not intend for it to happen as I was laying them out, I realized that I was intuitive building a kind of altar. For the week or two I have been in this new home I have kept up the altar and have certainly felt its effectiveness.

However, the surface on which everything sits (and in which my incense and other tools are kept) is a desk. My friend and neighbour needs a desk and I do not require this particular piece of furniture to be the piece of furniture on which the objects are aligned.


I have been looking at buying a mandir, but they clearly are meant to sit on top of another surface—otherwise everything would be too low to the ground. Is there a name for the table, shelf, or surface on which a home temple sits? What sort of thing should I be looking for? A simple end table from a large "big-box store" feels inappropriate.

  • Everything too low to the ground -- is not a problem.. the home mandir usually sits directly on the ground only and not on another object... on the other hand if deities etc. are placed too high then one can't sit and comfortably worship and one usually has to sit only while worshipping. – Rickross Mar 14 at 6:41
  • And, I assume by a home mandir you meant something like this – Rickross Mar 14 at 6:44
  • It should be something that you think pleases God. – Swami Vishwananda Mar 14 at 6:56

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