Symbolism Of Puja

Symbolism Of Puja

In Hinduism we come across a standard technique of worship called puja or pooja. Unlike the elaborate sacrificial ceremonies, it might be performed by anyone except those that have incurred impurity as a result of menstruation or the dying of a member of the family, etc. As the most popular form of worship, "puja" is practiced in nearly each Hindu household even at present, either daily, often on certain days in a week or month, or on important religious, auspicious or festive events as required by tradition. A puja can either be a easy ritual worship or a really difficult one, depending upon the way it is performed. One might perform it to beat a problem, seek divine assist, or just to render devotional service to the household deities. For many people, puja is a part of the every day sacrifice (nitya karma).

Many interpretations may be given in Hinduism to the word "puja" which consists of two letters, namely, "pa" and "ja." In accordance with one interpretation, "pa" means "parayana" or continuous repetition of the names of God and "ja" means "japa" or steady mental recitation of the names of God. In response to this interpretation "puja" is essentially a kind of Hindu worship in which both parayanam and japam are practiced by the devotees.

In a puja ceremony, Hindus offer each flowers and water to the deity. Thus from this viewpoint, "pu" means "pushpam" or flower and "ja" means "jal." The letter "ja" may also mean simultaneously "japam." So in this context, puja turns into that type of Hindu worship, during which water and flowers are offered to God alongside with recitation of His names.

Lastly, puja has a spiritual dimension also. In keeping with this interpretation, puja signifies that type of worship by means of which we give beginning to or awaken the indwelling spirit in us. Here "pu' means "purusha," that means the eternal self and "ja" means "janma," that means to provide start to or to awaken.

In line with Hindu beliefs, in the course of the puja the deity, which is often an idol or a statue, involves life. This happens each outwardly in the object of worship or the deity and inwardly within the subject of worship or the devotee. The statue or the type of the deity is brought to life externally by means of the chanting of mantras or special invocations, or specifically speaking, by means of the efficiency of 'prana pratishta' or establishing the life breath in it. Similarly, the indwelling spirit in the worshipper is awakened because of his sincerity, concentration, devotion, and divine grace which is symbolically represented as 'prasad," grace or blessing from above.

How puja is conducted
Hindus perform pujas in numerous ways. The commonest type of worship follows a well-established sequence of actions, or procedure, which is approximately just like how a visiting visitor is customarily handled by a religious householder. Based on the Vedic tradition, visiting visitors are considered gods (athidhi devo bhava) and they are supposed to be treated with the same respect as gods are handled throughout an invocation or sacrificial ceremony. Thus, though the puja ceremony is a later day development, the concept of honoring the deity by paying respects and making choices is very a lot rooted in Vedic ritualism and sacrificial ceremonies.

Through the ceremony, the first step entails uttering an invocation, mantra or prayer, inviting the chosen god to visit the place of worship, which is indicated to him by specifying the directions, the time and the place name. This is mostly carried out either by a mediating priest or the worshipper himself. Once it is done, it is assumed that the deity has agreed to come and arrived on the designated place as requested. The worshipper then washes his toes with a symbolic gesture and affords him a seat with utmost respect.

These honors are prolonged to him as if he's physically present in front of the worshipper in person. Just we provide water or a drink to a visiting guest to quench his thirst as if he has walked in the brilliant sun for a very long time, the worshipper next offers him water to drink by putting a glass in entrance of the idol or dropping water with a small spoon or ladle. Once he's seated, as a mark of utmost reverence, love and self-give up, he once again washes his feet with ceremonial water.

After that, the idol is bathed with water, milk, honey, etc., and massaged with varied perfumes and scented pastes similar to turmeric powder, sandal paste and curd mixed with ghee to the accompaniment of assorted mantras which normally end with "samarpayami," that means, "I've offered." After the bathing ceremony, the deity is offered new garments to wear through the ceremony, which is symbolically represented either by a peace of cotton thread in simple ceremonies or real clothes in more organized ones.

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