Prana pratistha (Sanskrit: prāṇa pratiṣṭha) is the Hindu theological term for a rite or ceremony by which a deity is infused or brought to inhabit a murti or icon of that deity. According to Gavin Flood, "A ritual of consecration in which the consciousness or power of the deity is brought into the image awakens the icon in a temple."[1] According to orthodox Hinduism it is only after this rite is properly performed that worship should be offered to the murti.

The Sanskrit word pratiṣṭhā, which in general usage means "resting" or "position", used in connection with a murti is translated by Apte as "the consecration of an idol or image".[2] The corresponding adjective pratiṣṭha means "installed" or "consecrated".[3] A special type of consecration is used for festival icons (Sanskrit: utsava vigraha) for the purpose of parading the deity for the community to receive the vision (Sanskrit: darśaṇa) of the deity.[4]

Another term used for consecration in the Jain tradition is añjana śalākā, the "eye-opening" rite by which a qualified practitioner "enlivens" a murti for worship.[5]


  1. For quotation on the effect of consecration see: Flood (2003), p. 7.
  2. For "the consecration of an idol or image" for pratiṣṭhā see: Apte, p. 653, column 1, meaning 13.
  3. For the meaning of pratiṣṭha as installed or consecrated see: Apte, p. 653, column 2, meaning 4.
  4. For technical term utsava vigraha for consecration of festival icons, and role in providing darśaṇa see: Flood (2003), p. 7.
  5. For añjana śalākā, the "eye-opening" rite, see: Cort, John E. "Overview of the Jain Purāṇas", in: Doniger, p. 197.


  • Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965). The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-0567-4.  (Fourth revised and enlarged edition).
  • Doniger, Wendy (editor) (1993). Purāṇa Perennis: Reciprocity and Transformation in Hindu and Jaina Texts. Albany, New York: State University of New York. ISBN 0-7914-1382-9. 
  • Flood, Gavin (Editor) (2003). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. ISBN 1-4051-3251-5. 

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