The Heart of the Family
"The Hindu religion teaches that each person must try to grow spiritually. For this reason, almost all Hindu homes have a small family shrine. Before the family moves to a new residence, an image of God (a murti, where God comes to live) or a picture of an image of God is brought into the house with honor and respect and placed in a family shrine.
"The shrine is the heart of the family. Every day, in the morning and evening, family members offer to God a lighted lamp, incense, and prayers. On special occasions, such a birthdays, wedding anniversaries, the first day or school or of a new job, and on religious holidays, the family decorates the shrine with flowers and lights. One some occasions, they invite close relatives and friends to their home and offer prayers and various delicacies to God and enjoy the blessed food as prasadam.
"The family shrine provides peace and comfort in sad times and adds joy in happy times. We know that God is always with us, everywhere."