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Who is Lord Chandikeswara in Lord Shiva's temples?
Whats the purpose behind clapping in front of him?

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    According to siva agama, all Siva prasada belongs to chandikeswara. One must take his permission before taking prasada for oneself. People snap their fingers (clapping hands is not allowed) softly to gently wake him up from his constant penance, pay obeisance to him and take his permission for accepting prasada. – user1195 Nov 23 '15 at 15:12
  • @moonstar2001 If you're familiar with the Shaiva Agamas, you may be interested in my questions here and here. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 23 '15 at 15:33
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Lord Chandikeshvara is the person who maintains a record of the devotees - sort of like Chitragupta. Actually the real practice is not clapping in front of his Sannidhi. You have to rub your hands clean and pray to him. This symbolises that we are taking nothing but Lord Shiva's grace from the temple.

Reference: Smt Desa Mangayarkarasi's discourse (the YouTube link was deleted).

EDIT: This video is about a Telugu program called Dharma Sandehalu which also talks about the same practice of wiping one's hands in front of Chandikeshvara. (Video courtesy- TheDestroyer)

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