In Hinduism, pūja (or even pooja) is basically a ritual or ceremonial worship, where offerings are made to God with dedication to make his love and blessings.
Although outwardly it could seem like a mechanical ritual, it’s a hidden importance.
The action of puja is a symbolic offering of one’s entire head and body, ideas, desires, possessions and actions (in summary whatever one is and has ) to God as a sign of dedication and surrender, appreciating anything comes from return for a present from him.
Likely, it originated in the Tantric techniques of worship. But it has aspects of the Vedic sacrifices and Tantric rituals, that are liable because of its simplicity and international charm.
Currently, puja has become easily the most popular kind of divine worship in Hinduism. It’s also professionally practiced in most Hindu temples.
In the current world, Puja has replaced Vedic sacrifices because the fundamental characteristic of Hindu worship because it is simpler to practice by secular people, and also the mediation of a priest isn’t mandatory.
Although put followers of Hinduism take liberties with their methods of worship to share their love and dedication to God in their own ways, the conventional type of puja includes a certain form and construction, which is typically followed in several conventional families.
Some pujas have been conducted for a couple minutes while some might last for many hours.
How a puja is traditionally ran in Hindu families is in precisely the exact same manner a guest is invited into a home by the householder and handled with extreme respect.
We have elsewhere discussed both the outer features of puja and its own historic development.
Here we’ll go over the emblematic significance of puja and the symbolic significance of the several items that are utilized during the service.
The Significance of puja
The term”pūja” signifies love, worship, revere or treat with respect and honor. Pūjanam is the action of worship. Pūjitha means what can be worshipped, revered, advocated for worship or endowed with divinity. Pūjya is a honorary name used to denote individuals that are worthy of honor and respect in society. The priest that performs puja at a temple is pujari. It may be translated literally and symbolically. Listed here are both literal interpretations.
“Ja” means arrival. Therefore, puja means what cleanses or purifies the birth or existence of someone. It’s likely that in the distant past puja was utilized to find forgiveness through ritual cleanup to eliminate the sins of someone’s past and previous lives for peace and prosperity or a much better following birth.
As stated by a different literal interpretation, Pū not merely way to purify or cleanse but also to differentiate, think clearly or discriminate. “Ja” means symptom or origin.
Therefore, in line with this, puja is what contributes to the cleansing of the body and mind throughout the predominance of sattva and consequently into the discerning wisdom (buddhi).
According to our scriptures, differentiating wisdom appears as the brain becomes recognized in the contemplation of their God or the deity.
We are aware that puja is a vital facet of devotional worship and has the capability to stabilize the brain and give us knowledge by opening our eyes to the hidden truths of our understanding.
From a symbolic perspective, three additional interpretations of puja will also be possible. They aren’t found in standard texts, however, the abstract interpretations of the author just. They’re explained below.
To put it differently, puja means what awakens the Purusha or the spirit in the body or within an object of worship.
Throughout the puja service prana (life span ) is poured to the inanimate image of this deity, which is normally made from stone, clay, wood, etc., where it’s infused with life and becomes a living incarnation of the deity (arca).
Symbolically, the action of worship (puja) awakens the concealed deity within the body, that is itself or purusha and matches the devotee’s head with pure understanding or intellect.
After the picture of the deity is infused with the energy of God because of the constant worship by devotees, it turns into a strong cleansing object. Therefore, the pictures that are set up in the temples can also be known as vigrahas.
Therefore, according to the figurative interpretation puja implies what includes using water and blossoms and uttering of prayers and God’s names.
Thus, we might say that puja is a devotional ceremony, where flowers and water are offered to God, in addition to the recitation of His titles. “Pa” signifies”parayana” or the constant repetition of the titles of God and”ja” signifies”japa” or the constant mental recitation of these titles of God.
Therefore, according to the interpretation”puja” is basically a sort of worship where the two parayanam and japam are practiced by the devotees alongside the offerings.
Factors and importance of puja
In a puja service, we utilize specific items, mantras and methods of worship. Outwardlythey are supposed to propitiate or appease the deity who has been worshipped.
Inwardlythey are supposed to establish a deeper relationship with him and make his grace. The notion is that using these in our worship we get the goodwill and grace of God.
But, no puja ought to be run with irreverence or mechanical mindset, but with loyalty and sincerity only. It shouldn’t likewise be conducted for individual profit but to express our love, committing and devoting to God.
The scriptures say that should pujas aren’t sincerely ran in the prescribed way, they may create negative results or don’t produce desired outcomes.
The mundane intention of a puja would be to please the god and meet one’s appetite or conquer some issue.
The caliber of puja is contingent on the level and purity of loyalty as well as the devotee. As we know in the Bhagavadgita, just people having the predominance of sattva can worship God with purest dedication.
The devotion of the others may stay tinged with all the impurities of egoism, attachments and desires.
Every element of this has a goal and importance. It makes it possible to focus your mind upon God and acknowledge that your faith in Him at an increased state of loyalty.
By following the process, you express your devotion to the subject and your willingness to exude your own personal preferences in deference to God and as a marker of true surrender.
The offerer is ordinarily the devotee or a set of devotees. In complex pujas, one or more priests could do the puja in their behalf.
Throughout the puja, the deity consists of various offerings and handled with extreme respect just like a guest. They include meals too.
Symbolism of the various items That Are used in puja or Puja Kit
Together, they represent the items of their five senses. To put it differently, in the operation of a puja we participate all of the five senses along with the brain and the body.
The offerings are supposed to announce one’s allegiance to God and establish a direct connection with him on an individual level.
We discuss below the emblematic significance of a couple of vital offerings that are created during a puja ceremony.
Also Red Everything you Know about Shree Yantra
Ahvanam, the invite
The invitation marks the start of a puja. It signifies the bible and also the dutifulness where the ritual has to be run by the host.
The puja isn’t a mere mechanical ritual. It’s similar to a sacrament (samskara), which necessitates sincerity, respect and discipline.
In puja, you don’t only worship the gods in the skies with prayers. It’s not a remote practice. Rather, the worshipper invites the deity into his residence, treats him like a honorable celestial guest, gives him a chair and straight worships him like he’s seated facing him. This is a special strategy, which isn’t seen in any other faith.
The conventional host of this forfeit (yajamana) from the Vedic ritual becomes the worshipper or bhakta from the puja.
He prepares the ritual position also generates the kind of God with his body and mind. Since the destroyer, he completes the worship, by simply yanking the deity in the picture.
The puja isn’t a mere idol worship. The pictures that are worshipped inside are believed living incarnations of the deity. They’re treated as though the deity has descended from above and recognized himself inside.
The picture helps the worshipper focus his thoughts throughout the worship and sense intimate proximity to the deity. Symbolically it represents the materiality and most of pervasiveness of both God and his existence in inanimate objects.
Purna kumbha or Purna kalasa (the sacred vessel)
It’s usually positioned as the main deity or from the face of the main deity before beginning the puja. Symbolically it stands for mother goddess generally, or goddess Lakshmi particularly.
It is made up of a earthen or a metallic kettle, with either rice or water inside, together with leaves (of typically five specific types ) on its rim, using a bowl of rice, flowers and a coconut adorning its shirt.
The food that we provide to the deity stands for its components and also the gross body, which is constructed from food only.
We provide food to God as a sacrifice, since we feel that all of the food on the planet belongs to God and can be made by him. In addition, we believe him that the devourer or the god of Death, whose appetite is not satisfied.
By providing him food at a puja, we appease his desire and earn his defense against the impurities of decay, death, ignorance and delusion.
Food also signifies materiality and worldly possessions, and which we must renounce to attain liberation.
Flowers have aroma, colour, tenderness and beauty. They signify selflessness, self-sacrifice, detachment, concede, religion and positive feelings.
By providing them to God, a devotee admits the innocence and sincerity of his loyalty as well as the tenderness of his emotions, and makes his mutual love.
Flowers also signify whatever blooms in you, make it bad or good, intellect or delusion, and ignorance or knowledge.
The fruits that are extended in worship signify the sweetness of the soul or the loyalty of this devotee. By providing them to God one gets the right to go through the blissful condition of liberation.
Phal also signifies result, outcome, or whatever which ripens or is accomplished. By providing the fruit to God we symbolically provide him the fruit of all our activities and accomplishments.
Since the Bhagavadgita declares one ought to execute tasks as a sacrifice and offering to God without needing their fruit. By providing fruit from the pujas, we symbolically create this gesture. Overtime, it washes our sins away.
Arghyam, padyam or achamaniyam
Additionally, it signifies life (prana), comprehension, the blood and the water component in our own bodies. By providing it to God we unburden ourselves out of sinful thoughts and activities and foster sattva.
Sandal paste or odor substances are put on the deity through worship. The kind of aroma used in worship is contingent on the character and the taste of this deity. By implementing it we purify the picture and impart to it heavenly odor.
Symbolically gandha reflects attachments, desires (vasanas), preferences, latent impressions, possessions, qualities or gunas, pride and arrogance. By providing them to God we purify ourselves and keep free of bad influences.
Incense or frankincense is available to God as a part of their offerings. It’s supposed to cleanse the atmosphere and drive away bad spirits. We’re subject to those impurities in the deadly world, which cloud our understanding and consciousness and stop us from attaining liberation or understanding the truths. By symbolically giving them to God we cleanse our bodies and minds and foster discerning wisdom.
Our planet is a world of darkness and light. Our bodies and minds are vulnerable to bad impacts, darkness and delusion.
The light that’s offered to the deity from the puja symbolically represents wisdom, knowledge, purity and divinity.
By providing it to God we remind him to endow us with all these heavenly qualities and rescue us from the shadow of this deadly world and also the negative effects of our karma. We ask him to reveal the light and direct us in the ideal way towards liberation.
Saffron (kumkum) and turmeric powder
Both are employed in the worship to decorate the picture or set a mark (tilak) on our minds. From the worship of Devi as well as many gods it’s also employed as an offering. By providing them we hunt the predominance of sattva.
Kumkum also stands to the blood within the body. It’s the symbolic alternate for the blood of people or animals, whilst turmeric reflects the entire body energy (tejas). By providing them to God one expects strength, endurance and endurance.
The remains of the offering (Prasad)
Throughout the puja ceremony, the remnants of the food that has been offered to God is known as prasadam, which will be a combo of pra + sat, which means what matches the prana with truth and light (sat).
The notion is that if we provide the food to God it will become suffused with the light and purity of God and hence becomes holy. Symbolically, it reflects the graciousness, kindness and calmness of God.
Throughout the remains of this offering they get moved into the devotees. Last, by combining it with other people the host of this puja participates in charity and decent karma, which can be beneficial to him too to people who take part in the ceremony.
The puja service of Hinduism is a Profession announcement of love, dedication and allegiance to God.
It’s a chance to establish direct communication with the deity where both the brain and the body completely participate.
By practicing it frequently, one cultivates field, concentration, dedication, purity, and equanimity. It’s the easiest and simplest approach to earn the grace of God and attain liberation.