Dear Guruji / Anna, please clarify my doubts. Can we keep swami vikragams without worshipping it? Some people say you should not buy it from shops. Then how will we get?
For all puja Vigrahams made of metals like copper, bronze or framed pictures the presence of the Lord is invoked by avahanam and pranapratishta and in this case - the presence is there only till the end of the puja.
But in the case of Ayudams like Shoolam, Vel and Mudravadi and vigrahams made of panchaloka, silver , Gold its nityam sannihitam - so the positive charge is more and will retain the sannidyam - presence of the Lord is always there... This may sound very nice to hear but please understand that this has its own implications . These days people keep all sorts of idols made of plastic, porcelain, rubber, glass, wood etc., but as per shastras even bronze is secondary when compared to gold or silver or panchaloha.
When you have a puja vigraham at home, please understand that you are having a supreme entity at your puja room. And understand each devata right from Maha Ganapati to Lalithambika or Maha Sastha, all are having their own parivara devatas! So even a single trace of act like neglecting the deities, will earn the displeasure of the Parivara. Unless you have the urge and craving desire for the Lord, do not keep on adding the vigrahams.
Question yourself whether you need the Vigraham first of all? For what purpose? If you are planning for something like marriage, promotion, health, financial crisis, happiness, gruha dosham, kalyana dosham, vastu dosham, power etc. etc.? without proper upasana, keeping any vigraham, even if it is made of Chintamani Stone, is useless.
Do we need to setup a CT scan machine at home so that we can get rid of ordinary headache? A simple amrutanjan or crocin would achieve the purpose! So, if one does not understand the significance of the Lord from Guru and does not receive it from him, buying the idol from a shop alone will not bring any good things by its mere presence.
I do agree that for those who are serious about upasana may have an interest in having the Lors's vigraham at home.. But for others there is no pramanam that allows one to keep Vigrahams without the eligible qualification(means mantra upadesham). Puja Vigrahams (even if you order or buy...) should come only through his Guru (with his acknowledgement) and one needs to continue his upasana till then, awaiting the grace.
For certain cases a vigraham may reach you unexpectedly - this is again happening only because of Guru Kripa and nothing elase...
Please understand... Bhakti itself is not upasana... But bhakti combined with upasana is what is expected. Upasana is both physical as well as a mental process where the pradhanyam or importance is to bhaava. Japa is necessarily a mental process and puja, (though done physically) is another great mental process. The offering of various upacharams with the bhaava is what constitutes of puja. Thus when this bhaava is complimented by Bhakti, upasana is complete.
Bhaava + Bhakthi = Upasana
Thus, without upaasana (involving bhaava and bhakti), one should not venture into vigraham and complex representations like mudra vadi, shoolam etc. A non-upaasaka who enjoys the Lord with bhakti always has approachable photos, small idols etc. definitely with this open approach he may progress towards upaasana.
If merely keeping the vigrahams is going you to fetch all luxuries, then all handicraft shops must have turned to Kuberapuri...
I met person few days ago who has almost all vigrahams of all deities of hindu pantheon.(I gave a comment - Out of thirty three crore devatas, I think only one or two will be free from you). The pujas are done only once or twice a month whenever he goes home on vacation. All other days they sleep inside the box.... What is the point is collecting these vigrahams?
(Ananya bhakti has no reasoning... he may see the Lord in Picture, Paper or any idol made of any material... thats a totally different subject... But we cannot assume ourselves that we have ananya bhakti)
So, unless one has the Guru to guide properly and firm faith in Lord, one should be careful in such things.