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Significance of Pooja in Hindu Religion

Why Hindus do Pooja?

Hinduism is a religion which values worship or ‘Pooja’. This is precisely why every individual who practices the Hindu faith engages in daily morning prayers as a symbol of surrendering one’s body, mind, soul, desires, actions, thoughts and time to God. Blessings are sought each morning because it is considered as the best way to start off a new day.

Everyday worship and special occasions

This daily ritual generally takes place at one’s home, however on special occasions that are either considered auspicious or have a significant meaning in the lives of individuals, worshipping in a pooja mandir is the norm. At home individuals and families worship in a specially assigned space where religious iconology and other sacred items are placed, whereas at temples individuals and families worship alongside priests. Priests lead the process of worship and are usually the ones chanting the invocatory incantations.

Birthdays, anniversaries and significant new ventures are some of the occasions when families collectively visit temples to offer prayers to the form of divinity they believe in and respect most. A pooja or worship session follows a particular structure that is believed to yield positive results when followed to a precision. Elaborate and complex prayers are offered by priests on behalf of families within their home or at a temple.

Temple / Mandir for Home

Worship of hindu god statues

Hindus worship idols and often place small to medium sized idols of various gods and goddesses in the specially assigned Pooja space within their homes. However, the Hindu god statues present in temples are magnanimous and grand and several feet tall. These statues are where gods reside hence; they are treated accordingly and are adorned, offered prasad (food offerings), dhupam (incense), deep (small oil lamps), flowers and many other pooja items (also known as puja samagri).

Hindu individuals believe that achieving the blessings of their much loved gods becomes easier by regularly worshipping them daily as daily prayers help establish a direct link between devotee and divinity. Additionally, all senses of the human body are engaged in prayer which is why daily worship is considered a state of total surrender. Many believe that Gods bestow upon them their blessings directly and remove the impurities that have accumulated in their minds and bodies through wrongdoings. Pooja is certainly a way of asking forgiveness of the almighty.

Hindu god statues – Shiva & Family

Varying hindu rituals

Hindus belong to various castes, sub castes, communities and sects and no two of the aforementioned categories perform the same ritual in the same manner. The variations may be subtle but are certainly noticeable. Traditions and rituals pertaining to worship also vary from one community to the other.

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