Why are temples and deities important to Hindus?
Of all living things only mankind has established places of prayer. It is immaterial in what country an individual lives or to what class, community or religion one belongs. It also does not matter whether an individual calls the place of prayer a temple, mosque, church or gurudwara. The purpose of all is one - to remind mankind of the Supreme Spirit. They are places where mankind finds the comfort of spiritual support and is taken away from the turmoil and tribulation of everyday life. The building of new places of worship confirms that mankind finds solace within them and uses these places as stepping-stones to personal fulfillment.
All places of prayer are worthy of reverence and offer an atmosphere of spirituality and inner peace. With a deity installed, it attracts special attraction. One can pray individually or in groups. One can chant mantras, sing devotional songs, pray, meditate or perform arti. With an established deity, regular offering of prayers and oblations, use of incense sticks and other religious activities, the environment in a place of prayer is strongly charged with positive vibrations. There is no place for negativity. The positive vibrations counteract any negative vibrations that individuals may bring in. Therefore, on entering a place of worship one can feel the flow of peace within. One goes to a place of worship with optimism. In such an environment one is ready for special rituals, offering prayers and expressing faith. The benefits are felt immediately and one finds fulfillment.