Every religion can be termed as a complex system of beliefs that binds both faith and values together. Not only is it unique in its way, but also acts as a source of confidence and peace for many of us. Puja is one of the most integral parts of this belief system and is a procedure that has been followed for ages.
We perform pujas every day and special pujas like Ganesh Puja or Navratri Puja at festivals and important occasions of our life. Performing puja on such days not only makes it memorable but is also auspicious at the same. While the elders understand the significance, the younger generation might find it hard to understand why we need to perform puja.
Understanding the roots of our faith, the bond between the devotee and the deity becomes stronger, and one gets to learn the importance of puja. However, we tried to answer the most common question asked – “what is puja and what is it important.”
Read on to learn and discover how puja can be beneficial for yourself and your family.
What is Puja?
Puja wrote as "pooja" is derived from Sanskrit, which means "adoration", "reverence", and "worship." The word is also defined in various ways by the pundits and the acharyas. As per one interpretation, the word "puja" comprises the two letters "pa" and "ja." The letter "pa" stands for repetition of the Hindu sacred texts ceremonially, and "ja” refers to the recitation.
In simple terms, puja is a ritual that is followed every day in most Hindu households. Offerings are made to the deity, to receive blessings in return. During the puja, the devotee repeats or japs the sacred chants which connect him/her to God and help attain peace.
Puja in the Morning
Daily puja is mostly performed in the morning as these hours are known to be sacred, auspicious, and fruitful. As puja involves the recitation of slokas or mantras, performing the same during the calm and peaceful morning hours is considered apt. Pundits also believe that the Godly bodies are very receptive to the prayers performed during the mornings.
How to prepare yourself for daily puja?
Most of the homes have a special place for performing puja. If there is none, you can pick a place that is free from distractions and is peaceful.
Use a fresh piece of cloth or a mat. Sit facing East or North.
Clean the space as well as the idols by sprinkling just a few water drops. You need to use a separate cloth to clean the idols and apply kumkum.
You need to place two dreams (oil lamp) on both sides of the mandapam. One deepam should face the sun i.e., the east and the other should face north. Once done, light the lamps using cow ghee, or oil.
After you light the lamps, you can recite stotras or slokas as per your convenience or tradition.
While reciting the slokas, you can decorate the idols of the god with flowers, offer naivedyam and incense sticks.
You can then end the puja with aarti. While performing aarti, you need to ring the bell as it is believed that it “wakens” the gods.
Why is it important to perform puja?
Performing pooja every day not only renews your faith but can also help bring your family together for an auspicious start of the day. There are many benefits of doing puja every day and a few of them are listed below.
Helps start your day on a very positive note
Performing puja every day brings contentment and peace to your soul. As you start your day with slokas or mantras and puja, you are filling your mind with positivity. Such a routine helps you stay calm the whole day, enabling you to take care of various chores and challenges with confidence.
Brings your family together
When you perform puja with all the members of your family together, it becomes a ritual over time. This way, your family comes together every morning, where no one is distracted, and is very happy and thankful for being united.
Generates positive vibrations
The chants and the mantras fill the house with very positive vibrations. As you ensure to clean the house and take bath before performing puja, the house is clean. When you light the camphor or incense sticks, their magical aroma fills the house with harmony. The positive vibrations created flow through the house for the rest of the day as well. You can increase the same by playing audios of slokas during the morning and evening every day.
Helps you face problems and handle challenges
Puja improves our focus and reaffirms our faith in God. It helps us stay balanced and calm, and gets rid of negative thoughts, fear, temper, etc, preparing us for challenges. It increases your faith to remain strong and brings inner peace. The reaffirmation you get by performing puja and talking to God act as your pillars of strength. Preventive puja like Hanuman Chalisa Paath or Navagraha Puja can help remove obstacles and lead a peaceful life.
Performing puja every day helps you lead a balanced, peaceful, and worry-free life. You can also perform special pujas at home for various occasions. These special pujas or homams are done as per the Vedic rituals and are performed by purohits, and are performed for one deity in particular by invoking Agni. If you have a special occasion or wish to perform a special puja/Homam at home, ensure to approach a Vedic pundit for the same.