IMPORTANCE OF PUJA
Pooja is the process of worshipping God with pure mind and heart. Pooja is done everyday at home and in temples. Those who know the procedure of pooja will do it at home everyday in the morning, and some people do it in the evening too. The duration of a basic pooja is anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 hours. It all depends upon the type of pooja one performs. In the temples regular pooja is done in the morning and also in the evening. In addition to regular pooja many special poojas take place in the temples during the day and evening. Special poojas are performed on the days of festivals like Diwali, Ram Navami, Dassehra, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chathurthi, etc.
Mainly a pooja is of two types – A Simple Pooja and Detailed Pooja. The beauty is that God would be please by the quality of the pooja and not the time frame of the pooja. So, a devotee can receive the grace of God by performing either of these poojas according to his/her capacity.
A Simple Pooja
A simple pooja is a very basic one in which a devotee says some prayers glorifying God’s attributes and thanking Him for everything that he/she has been given in this life. These prayers are the in the form of chants and verses from the Holy Scriptures like the Vedas, Bhagavat Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavtham, etc. Depending on the length of the prayer, this pooja will take only 5 to 15 minutes. Every faithful Hindu performs this prayer everyday in the morning after the shower and before eating food. When performing this pooja usually a devotee stands or sits in front of God’s idol or picture.
A Detailed Pooja
In a detailed pooja a devotee worships God in several steps, and all these steps demonstrate his/her love and devotion to God. The duration for this pooja is anywhere from 30 min to 3 hours. A detailed poojas contains 16 services (Sanskrit: ShodashaUpachara) offered to God with love and devotion. These steps are similar to how we honor and treat our beloved guests during their visit to our place. Though there are poojas that have less and more than 16 steps the “shodashaupachara” pooja is a standard practice in temples and also on special occasions. Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print.
Puja means worship,devotion and reverence. Puja is believed to be derived from the word ‘pu-chey’,or worship. The term puja is now used to include all forms of worship, ranging from the simple daily offerings of flowers, fruit, leaves, rice, sweetmeats and water to the deities in homes or temples, to the sacrifices in temples dedicated to Kali, Durga and other female deities.
There are three kinds of pujas: “Dhirdha”, “Madhya” & “Laghu”. Puja ritual of idols of God has become in recent times a great of faith and belief in Hindu Religion. Puja is not only performed in temples but also in most of our homes. we worship God in our meetings before we start our days’ programme of Jagran/Bhajan/Kirtans/ Ramayana and /or study of scriptures. The object of the puja ritual is to create and setup thoughts of spiritual forces in and around us. This is best achieved by chanting of some Mantra ,Bhajan or Chalisas, The benefit of puja is to remove obstacles. The pujas are performed on behalf of those who request them by us. Some of the benefits for doing specific pujas include: Obtaining happiness and peace by getting rid of malefic forces. Removing troubles that prevent us from starting on a spiritual path or business Gaining material spiritual, prosperity and abundance. Creating positive vibrations in the house, when starting new ventures such as a new job,business. Removing obstacles if suffering from losses, when starting a new business or investments.Improving the general health of body and mind, for a speedy recovery from illness.Increasing leadership skills. We can enhance the benefit of the Puja by doing spiritual practices. Some of the commonly observed practices include Meditation, Mantra Japa , Silence, Prayer, Fasting or Repeating God’s name, charity. These vows can be done for one day or as long as you wish. The result of these actions is to enable us to imbibe more deeply the spiritual energy invoked by the Puja and to help purify us.
Benefits of a Puja
According to our sacred texts, Puja
Puja establishes a bridge between the worshipper (the lover) and the deity (the loved). It facilitates flow of love-energy in both ways. This energy not only sanctifies the self but also re-vitalizes the body’s resources, making one experience, what is called HOLY BLISS. Thus, both the worshipped and the worshipper benefit from Puja.