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POOJA-A Ritual of Worship in Vedic Hinduism

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A Pooja is a ritual of Worship & Adoration of the GOD.(One Supreme Being) in the tradition of Vedic(Hindu) religion. Hinduism refers to Sanatana or Vaidika Dharma which means eternal principles
of Life as per the Vedas. One GOD as per the Vedas is the OneSupreme Being (Bramhan) ultimately responsible for Generation,Operation & Dissolution of everything..Freedom (Moksha) from Bondage and Desires is the Ultimate aim of Santhana Dharma. The 3 Paths need to be intergrated in Vedic Hindu spiritual approch are Devotion,Knowledge & action. A pooja even in single form is a synthesis of these 3 paths. A pooja is based on devoted & knowledgeable actions.

A Pooja also connects all the senses dealing with Sound,Touch,Sight, taste and smell to sacredness through components such as Sculpture or pictures of Gods,Chants,Prayers,Bhajans,Flowers,incense,milk,water etc. A Pooja provides a spiritual experience not only to the performer but also to the participants. A pooja also can be seen as a loving act of treating an invited guest to one's Home. As one treats his guest with respect and
love by various offerings are made to God.

A pooja has 2 main parts namely internal(mental) & external(ritualistic).
The internal (mental) worship is very important after which one begins to perform the external part.I external worship the various offerings can be classified into 16 offerings to GOD.
1. Invoking God into the altar through sculpture or picture.
2.A Seat 3. Washing feet 4.Washing Hands 5.Water for sipping 6.Sacred Bath 7.Sacred Cloth
8.Sacred Thread 9.Sandal Paste 10.Flowers 11. Incense sticks 12.Waving of oil lamp 13.Food
14.Betel leaves & Coconut 15.Waving of Camphor Light 16. Clockwise circumambulation & Prostration.Each of the above is offered with Mantras and Prayers in sanskrit. Also,Sounds of bell & conch are used in pooja.A specific manifestation of the Supreme Being is chosen for the Pooja depending on the wish of thecongregation or family. Usually a Hindu family maintains an altar or pooja room in the home as sacred space for performing pooja. In Hindu Temples priests perform Poojas.

A pooja at home or Temple is asynthesis of Devotion,knowledge and action that provides spiritual tranquility by connecting to Omnipresent God. In other words " the Worship of Deities and rituals should be carried out with child like loving mind by the devotees as little children play
with joy using their Toys as medium," Also in Bhagavad Gita (9-26) Lord Krishna says that " I will
accept from them even a leaf or a flower or a fruit or water,when it is offered with Love,Devotion & Purity of Heart.

------Reproduced from an article By Dr.M.G.Prasad
There was no Puja In the Vedic times. It was only Yagya.

Yagya - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Puja ritual is post Vedic. And most of the Gods/Goddesses we worship today like Rama, Krishna, Durga are post-Vedic. They are Puranic. The Wikipedia article covers some of the points.


The Puja rituals in Tamil Nadu temples is Agamic. Most of the puja rituals like Pranapratishta, Avahana etc. are Tantrik in origin. Puja gained popularity during the Epic/Puranic period when the concept of Ishta Devata or personal god came into vogue.
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