Why is pran pratishtha important before an idol becomes a deity?
Pran pratishtha means infusing life into an idol. Without breath - pran - a human body is nothing. Similarly, an idol is a piece of metal, wood or stone until life is infused into it. This is done through a detailed ceremony by chanting mantras requesting God to reside in the idol. Once this is done the idol becomes a deity. Thereafter, it must be bathed, clothed, given ornaments, food, incense sticks and articles of prayer, followed by arti in the morning and evening.