Priests in Hindu temples usually come from families with long heritage of priesthood. They are well-versed in Sanskrit language in which most of he Hindu scriptures are written. One of the major duties of priests is to perform worship of the deities (called pooja) on behalf of devotees requesting such a service to the deity of their choice. Each deity is worshipped in a different way-- rituals are different and different Sanskrit Mantras are chanted. Typically temple priests do not engage in preaching (which is done by Swamijis, or Hindu monks). They will, however, explain the meaning of the pooja if asked. Towards the end of the pooja, an oil lamp with one or several wicks is lit (called Aarati), and with ringing of bells and gongs and chanting of mantras the Aarati is waved slowly in front of the deity around in a vertical oval traversing the whole deity from head to foot. At the end of this ceremony, the Aarati is taken to the people attending the pooja to absorb the spiritual vibrations.
Temple Priests perform daily poojas to the deities in the temple in the morning and evening to maintain the sanctity and the spiritual atmosphere in the temple.
Pandit Pavan Kumar Vangala