According to Hinduism, a formal puja consists of meditation
(dhyana), austerity (tapa), chanting (mantra), scripture reading
(svadhyaya), offering food (thaal) and prostrations (panchanga
or ashtanga pranama, dandavat). People apply tilaka on their
forehead with sandalwood paste, and a vermillion dot (kumkum
Chand) in its centre. The centre of the forehead is considered
as the crucial point suggesting the omnipresence of the Divine.
Puja is generally concluded with aarti to the lord.
can be celebrated by an individual person or in gatherings.
The ceremony may be done in silence or accompanied by prayers.
Sometimes a puja is done for the benefit of certain people,
for whom people ask blessings.
of a Puja
Each and every sect, family or an individual have their own
way of doing Puja. Every time when you say ''samarpayami''
(I m offering), offer two akshatha with love and devotion
to the lord.
(Akshatha is uncooked rice; if possible color it with kumkum,
saffron powder, turmeric and a little bit of water. This can
be made for a week in advance and can be kept near the Alter)
A typical Puja involves the following 27 steps:
Samarpayami (Think or meditate on the Lord)
Aawaahanam Samarpayami (Offering invitation the Lord)
Aasanam Samarpayami (Offer a seat to the Lord)
Paadyam Samarpayami (Offer water to wash the feet)
Arghyam Samarpayami (Offer water to wash the hands)
Aachamaneeyam Samarpayami (Offer water to drink)
Snaanam Samarpayami (Give bath to the Lord)
Maha Abhishekam Samarpayami (Give main head bath to the Lord)
Pratishtaapayaami (Make him seated)
Vasthram Samarpayami (Offer clothes to the Lord)
Yajnopaveetham Samarpayami (Offer the Holy Thread)
Gandham Samarpayami (Offer sandalwood paste/powder)
Akshatham Samarpayami (Offer Akshatha/ Rice)
Pushpam Samarpayami (Offer Flowers to the Lord)
Ashthothtra Poojam Samarpayami (Offer the holy 108 names)
Dhoopam Aaghraapayaami (Offer Fragrance / Agarbatti)
Deepam Darshayaami (Offer light to the lord)
Neivedyam Samarpayami (Offer Food to the Lord)
Phalam Samarpayami (Offer Fruits to the Lord)
Taamboolam Samarpayami (Offer betel nut and leaves)
Dakshinam Samarpayami (Offer money to the Lord)
Maha Nirajanam Samarpayami (Offer aarti to the Lord)
Pradakshinam Samarpayami (Taking clockwise rounds of arti)
Namaskaram Samarpayami (Offer Prostrations)
Mantra Pushpam Samarpayami (Offer incantations and flowers)
Praarthanaam Samarpayami (Offer prayers, request your desires)
Kshamaapanam Samarpayami (Offer apologies & ask for forgiveness)