Puja is a ritual which Hindus perform, as the first thing in the morning, every day. Puja is worshipping the Deities of one's choice daily. It involves idols or pictures of Deities, Aarties, Yantras, and Mantras. The word Puja is derived from the Sanskrit root word 'puj' which means to worship or to honour. It also means to collect luminous elements with intelligence or to shine. In Shiv Purana, puja word is derived from the root word ‘puh’ which means to get the fruit of enjoyment, and ‘jayate‘ means “ is born”. Thus, according to Shiv Purana, puja means to achieve the fruits of joy that are born by worshipping God.
Puja is like hosting to divine guests in our home and paying devotional homage to them. It may refer to a spiritually celebrated event too. This kind ofPuja in many ways is similar to inviting a divine guest and offering various devotional and Vedic sets of hospitability to them. They are invocated ( ahvanam), offered a seat ( Asanam), offered water to drink ( achmaniyam), food to eat( Naivadyam), garlands (pushpam), ornaments, sandal, fragrance ( gandham), etc, and offered Aarti and prayers in the honour of divine guests. They are then thanked for accepting the puja and for their blessings before sending them to their original place. All the offerings to the Deities are later taken as Prasad by all the people present in the puja.
Power of Puja
Puja is performed as a means to get connected to the Supreme Self. The person performing puja tries to come closer to the Supreme power by the means of strotrasor mantras. The mantras or the strotras make a person feel free from all the worldly distractions and they make a person fully devoted towards the Deity or the Deities one is worshipping.
Puja brings positivity in one’s life and wards off all the negativity. A positive mindset will yield positive results and thus one will be away from obstructions of physical means of appeasements and hypothetical relations.
Pujas are complex systems of beliefs that bind faith and our values. Puja is an integral part of faith and values are attached to life. Thus puja combines faith with values, enhancing values of life making a person a humble, strong, and powerfully positive entity. An individual with high and strong values is not easy to be defeated by worldly disasters.
Puja makes a person emotionally and spiritually strong. Such a person excels in every field and aspect of life. It is not easy to disintegrate a person of strong mentality and integrity.
Memorizing mantras and strotras make the brain of a person sharp, increasing his memory manifold. Children can get benefitted the most if they are made to do puja. This will enhance their academic performance and overall wellbeing. A person develops and growsintellectually by practicing chanting of mantras and strotras.
Finally, while performing puja, the body, mind, and intellect, all get aligned and are focussed on the deity. This is the perfect combination to attain self-discipline. If a person is overwhelmed with stress, negative thoughts, and is confused, can’t find a way out of his problems, he should certainly do puja. All the positive effects of the puja will show him the new ways out of his troubles.