Ma's India Blog: The Sacredness of Puja Mas India

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


What a wonderful word is “puja,” pronounced “poo-ja” It has a soft comforting sound indicating its meaning also. In Sanskrit the word puja means the act of worship, or however one divines one’s worship. The person who performs the puja is called a “pujari.” The spiritual significance of puja is to offer one’s unworthiness or obstacles in one’s path to any deity or Higher Self that one chooses. Puja can be a silent worship, or an outward chanting, or the recitation of any words or actions that indicate the spiritual offering of one’s self.

Doing puja is also the act of worshipping. When one does puja, one brings one’s mind and spirit to the occasion. In that regard, it is wise to have a place within your home or office on which you hang pictures or place sacred symbols. You might call those symbols “puja articles.” Now typical puja articles, and the most simple of with which you can not do without, are a candle, a bell, a stick of incense and of course something with which to light the candle. The puja article of a “bell” can be a simple ringing bell. Or it can be a bell known as a tingsha. Tinghshas are wonderful in that they are two brass plates sounding together to produce a long resonant sound that reverberates in the body well after it has been struck.

One of my favorite sounds is the tingsha because it is similar in feeling to the sound of Om in that it produces the same inner reverential feeling, It is as if one clasps one’s hands together in a reverential attitude and pranams or bows before one’s deity during the puja. Also similar to the feeling of sacredness is the sound produced by the Tibetan Bell Bowl, another similar puja article. As one rolls the stick around the rim of the bowl, one is transported by its melodic otherworldly sound into spiritual reverence. As one lights the candle,rings the bell, and lights the incense, one can then call upon the deity for whomever you feel spiritual regard.

Another wonderful puja adjunct is the offering to be made to the special deity. It is sometimes customary to offer fruit or cookies or other confections to the deity. After the puja is done, the confections or fruit become prasad or blessed fruit because it is customary to think that your deity has taken notice and blessed your offering.

Choosing a sacred deity or Guru upon which to gaze on one’s puja becomes a wonderful adventure. One might be drawn to, for example, a picture of Nityananda, Ma Jaya or Neem Karoli Baba because that particular Guru is somebody with whom you might resonate most deeply. In that regard, one might wish to place the statue of Ganesh alongside Nityananda as another puja item because it was felt that Ganesh was Nityananda’s vehicle or the form through which he blessed people in many ways. Other ways in which to do puja is through song or chanting, and reading relevant scriptures, prayers for the well being of others or other acts of charity that one performs in every day life. Pujas may be performed by some who have ongoing difficulties, grief or sorrow in their lives and sometimes it is merely to give thanks for continuous health and prosperity.
Whatever the reason one has for doing puja, the unsaid desire is to perform puja all day long carrying the name of your God within your heart. Om Namah Shantih!!!

Find these and more puja items at Ma’s India Spiritual Gifts.

by: Mas India icon18_email-9610327icon18_edit_allbkg-1326626

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