ASHTĀVIDHĀRCHNA (eightfold worship): [ಅಷ್ಟವಿಧಾರ್ಚನ]
The devotee in the primary stage of his spiritual journey has an anthropomorphic conception of God. So his worship of Parashiva resembles the treatment of an honourable guest. The worship involves
1. Washing the Ishta-Linga with water
2. Applying to it sandalwood paste
3. Rice grains mixed with turmeric and vermilion
4. Scented flowers
5. Burning the incense
6. Oil lamp
7. Offering food and
8. Betel leaf, areca nut and lime and other ingredients to chew.
The Sharana's are of the opinion that man can protect himself by means of eight shields or covers against pain and suffering which the human existence is perennially subjected to. These eight covers are Guru, Linga, jañgama, pādōdaka, Prasāda, vihüti, mantra and rudraksha (see GURU, LINGA, JANGAMA, PĀDÖDAKA, PRĀSADA, VIBHÜTI, MANTRA and RUDRĀKSHA) .