The term murti is derived from the Sanskrit word murta, meaning embodiment. A murti is therefore more than a physical representation of God or a meditational aid, but a receptacle (or vessel) for the living presence of the Deity. This is ensured by the meticulous design and crafting of the image according to ancient Hindu scriptures, and through a set of elaborate Vedic rituals performed by the enlightened guru, whereby each part of the image is ceremoniously infused with the presence of the Deity.
If the sanctum is the heart of the Mandir, the murtis are its very soul. All activities of the Mandir revolve around these Deities and are the focus of all forms of worship from the daily arti, thal and abhishek, to the weekly assemblies and year-round festivals, as well as darshan and other devotional acts of individual worshippers.