What's Puja?

What's Puja?

Puja is worship. The Sanskrit term puja is utilized in Hinduism to check with the worship of a deity through observance of rituals including each day prayer choices after a bath or as various as the following:


Sandhyopasana: The meditation on God because the light of knowledge and knowledge at daybreak and dusk
Aarti: Ritual of worship in which light or lamps are offered to the deities amid devotional songs and prayer chants.
Homa: The offering of oblations to the deity in a duly consecrated fire
Jagarana: Keeping vigil at night time amidst a lot devotional singing as part of spiritual discipline.
Upavasa: Ceremonial fasting.

All these rituals for puja are a way to achieve purity of mind and specializing in the divine, which Hindus imagine, could be a fitting stepping stone to knowing the Supreme Being or Brahman.

Why You Want an Image or Idol for a Puja
For the puja, it is vital for a devotee to set an idol or icon or an image and even symbolic holy object, such as the shivalingam, salagrama, or yantra before them to help them contemplate and revere god by way of the image. For most, it is difficult to concentrate and the mind keeps wavering, so the image might be considered as an actualized type of the best and this makes it simple to focus. Based on the idea of ‘Archavatara,’ if the puja is carried out with utmost devotion, during puja god descends and it is the image that houses Almighty.


The Steps of Puja within the Vedic Tradition
Dipajvalana: Lighting the lamp and praying to it as the symbol of the deity and requesting it to burn steadily until the puja is over.
Guruvandana: Obeisance to at least one’s own guru or spiritual teacher.
Ganesha Vandana: Prayer to Lord Ganesha or Ganapati for the removal of obstacles to the puja.
Ghantanada: Ringing the bell with appropriate mantras to drive away the evil forces and welcome the gods. Ringing the bell is also essential during ceremonial bath of the deity and providing incense etc.
Vedic Recitation: Reciting Vedic mantras from Rig Veda 10.63.3 and 4.50.6 to steady the mind.
Mantapadhyana: Meditation on the miniature shrine structure, usually made of wood.
Asanamantra: Mantra for purification and steadiness of the seat of the deity.
Pranayama & Sankalpa: A short breathing train to purify your breath, settle and focus your mind.
Purification of Puja Water: Ceremonial purification of the water within the kalasa or water vessel, to make it fit for use in puja.
Purification of Puja Objects: Filling up the sankha, conch, with that water and inviting its presiding deities corresponding to Surya, Varuna, and Chandra, to reside in it in a subtle form and then sprinkling that water over all of the articles of puja to consecrate them.

Sanctifying the Body: Nyasa with the Purusasukta (Rigveda 10.7.90) to invoke the presence of the deity into the image or idol and providing the upacharas.
Offering the Upacharas: There are a number of items to be offered and tasks to be performed earlier than the Lord as an outpouring of love and devotion for god. These include a seat for the deity, water, flower, honey, fabric, incense, fruits, betel leaf, camphor, etc.
Note: The above method is as prescribed by Swami Harshananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Bangalore. He recommends a simplified model, which is talked about below.

Simple Steps of a Traditional Hindu Worship:
In the Panchayatana Puja, i.e., puja to the 5 deities – Shiva, Devi, Vishnu, Ganesha, and Surya, one’s own household deity should be kept within the middle and the other 4 round it within the prescribed order.

Bathing: Pouring water for bathing the idol, is to be done with gosrnga or the horn of a cow, for the Shiva lingam; and with sankha or conch, for Vishnu or salagrama shila.
Clothing & Flower Ornament: While offering cloth in puja, completely different types of fabric are offered to completely different deities as is acknowledged in scriptural injunctions. In the day by day puja, flowers might be offered instead of cloth.
Incense & Lamp: Dhupa or incense is offered to the feet and deepa or light is held earlier than the face of the deity. Throughout arati, the deepa is waved in small arcs earlier than the deity’s face after which earlier than the whole image.
Circumbulation: Pradakshina is completed 3 times, slowly in the clockclever direction, with hands in namaskara posture.
Prostration: Then is the shastangapranama or prostration. The devotee lies down straight with his face going through the floor and hands stretched in namaskara above his head within the direction of the deity.
Distribution of Prasada: Last step is the Tirtha and Prasada, partaking of the consecrated water and meals providing of the puja by all who have been part of the puja or witnessed it.

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