Puja: Worship in Hinduism, Puja is a ritual performed to host, honor and worship deities, to celebrate particular moment or event. Puja (alternative spelling pooja; Sanskrit: “reverence” or “worship”) involves Idols (Murtis), Prayers (Mantras) and Diagramed presentation of God /Goddess (Yantras).
The word Pūjā (Devanagari: पूजा) comes from Sanskrit, and means reverence, honor, homage, adoration, and worship. Puja rituals are performed in Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism also.
Temple (Mandir) pūjā is more detailed than at domestic versions and usually done in several times in a day.
During puja an idol or other representation of the god serves as a means of getting access to the divine energy. This idol is believed to be filled with the deity’s cosmic energy and a focal point for worship and communicating our desires with the god. For spiritual Hindu, the idols artistic merit is important, but is secondary to its spiritual content.
Flocks repeat their favorite God and Goddesses’ names, repeat mantras. The Offering to deity includes Water, Fruits, Flowers and incense. Some Hindus, [not all], worships wearing a holy thread (over the left shoulder and hanging to the right hip), this is of cotton for the Brahmin (priest), hemp for the Kshatriya (ruler) and wool for the Vaishya (merchants).
In Hinduism the spiritual rites are divided into three basic categories:
These are daily performed rituals and consists the offerings prepared at the home shrine or performing the puja at the family deities.
These are important rituals and performed certain times in the year, like festivals celebrations and Special prayer and so on. [Ganesh Chaturthi, Deewali Lakshmi puja and Saraswati puja on Vasant panchami]
These rituals are “optional” but highly desirable, and performed getting satisfied of a desire (kamya pooja) – e.g. health, wealth, blessing a child, for mental peace and making a Pilgrimage of Spiritual place and so on.
The foremost intend of any Puja is to experience the personal contacts with the divinity. Generally, special communication with a God /Goddess is made through the interference of a priest by performing a strictly followed ritual in the temple or home. During Puja, the Divine existence is invoked and the devotee get obtains blessings, keep harmony with cosmic forces, thereby vanishing and overcoming the Sorrows [Sins] of life and bringing Spiritual evolution.