Feeling The Essence Of Puja

Feeling The Essence Of Puja

Puja is honour and gratefulness. Puja is an expression of what the Divine is doing for you. Puja is a mixture of imitation, honour, playfulness and love.

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 08:40 PM IST
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Honouring is a sign of divine love. That honouring is called puja. The ceremony of puja imitates what nature is already doing for you. The Divine worships you in so many forms. In puja, you offer everything back to the Divine. Flowers are offered in puja. The flower is a symbol of love. The Divine has come to you in love through so many forms: mother, father, wife, husband, children, friends. The same love comes to you in the form of the Master to elevate you to the level of divine love, which is also your own nature.

Recognising this flowering of love from all sides of life, we offer flowers. Fruits are offered, because the Divine offers you fruits in due season. You offer grain, because nature provides you food. A candle light and a camphor light are offered. A physical lamp represents you. It is not enough to just light one lamp. We need lots of lamps to be lit for knowledge to blossom and for the darkness to be dispelled.

You have to light up with vibrance, with joy and full of prana (life force) and that is the real festival. And this can only happen with knowledge, not just with comforts, gadgets, money or friends. In the same way nature continually revolves the sun and moon around you. Incense is offered for fragrance. All the five senses are used in puja, and it is performed with deep feeling. Through puja, we say to God, "Oh, whatever you give to me, I give back to you."

Puja is honour and gratefulness. Puja is an expression of what the Divine is doing for you. Puja is a mixture of imitation, honour, playfulness and love. Usually when you love something, you want to possess it. And in the process of possessing, you make the beautiful thing ugly. Puja is contrary to that. Puja means honour and worship, offering one's self. You appreciate, you adore, you recognise beauty. Worship is just the opposite of wanting to possess.

The word puja means that which is born out of fullness ( Pu – fullness, Ja – born out of). Just being grateful is also puja.

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