Puja

Dashain 2023

During Puja

Worshippers take off their shoes, wears clean cloth, takes bath and with pure devotionbecomes ready for Puja. They usually begin with the sacred word ‘Aum’ then repeat prayers (mantras) and the name of their favourite gods or goddesses.

Offerings such as fruit, incense, water and flowers are made. Blessed food, which is known as ‘prashad’, is eaten once the worship has finished.

more than 10 puja samagari and services

Puja Samagri

Each shrine contains a puja tray, which holds several important items

Bell – The worshippers ring the bell to let God know that they are ready to worship

Incense and incense holder – The incense burns and gives off a pleasant aroma, which purifies the air around the shrine.

Kum kum powder – When mixed with water, this powder makes a red paste. Hindu worshippers use it to mark their foreheads as a sign of respect to the gods. They also mark the foreheads of the gods on their shrine.

Diva lamp – The lamp is lit as a symbol of God’s presence

Water containers and spoon – To show respect, water is offered to the gods on a spoon.

The 🕉 Aum Symbol

The Sacred word ‘Aum’ is a sound symbol for Brahman.This word is chanted over and over again during worship.

Puja is the name for Hindu worship. Puja can take place in the home or in the Mandir (the proper name for a Hindu temple).

All five senses is central to Hindu Puja

Sight

The murtis (statues of the Gods and Goddesses), lamps and brightly coloured decorations.

Smell

Incense and flowers

Sound

Chants, bells or a conch (Sankha).

Touch

Washing the murti, and placing coloured dots of powder as a sign on blessing on people’s foreheads

Taste

Sharing prasad (blessed food – usually fruit or sweets).

Hindus worship one God who they believe is a spirit, but believe this can take many different forms, representing all the things we can learn from God.

One form of puja is the arti ceremony, which is an offering of fire. An arti lamp has five wicks to represent the five traditional elements (earth, air, fire, water and space). The lamp is waved in front of the deity while the bell is rung. Following this the people present each pass their hands over the flame and then over their head to receive God’s blessing.

In the puja tradition, devotees treat their chosen deity as an esteemed guest in their home and heart. They extend hospitality, serve with love, and courteously bid farewell to the divine. This practice creates a profound connection between the devotee and the Divine, seeking blessings throughout the entire process.

A Profound Simplicity

Hinduism also embraces simplicity in puja. Even a humble offering, such as a leaf, flower, fruit, or water, can be immensely pleasing to the Divine when presented with unconditional love and devotion. This emphasis on simplicity highlights that puja can be accessible and meaningful to all, regardless of the scale or complexity of the ritual.

Guidance from Sacred Texts

Specific instructions for pujas can be found in the karmakānda of the Vedas and various Smrti texts. Each of the 18 Puranas, for example, details the preferences of the deities they praise and how they should be worshiped. These texts provide insights into the colors, flowers, and foods that particular deities favor, enriching the puja experience.

In conclusion, Hindu rituals, especially puja, are a gateway to profound spiritual experiences. They serve as a means to connect with the divine and offer a tangible way to remember and revere the sacred in our daily lives. Whether through a daily 16-step puja or a heartfelt offering of a single leaf, these rituals are a testament to the enduring spirituality and devotion of the Hindu tradition.

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