Puja Rituals
Ayushya Homa
Ayyappa Puja
Bhagawathi Seva
Bhima ratha Shanthi
Mrithyunjaya Homam
Navagraha Homam
Shashtiabdha Poorthi
Satyanarayana Puja
Sri Suktha Homam


Puja Rituals

A puja can be performed for anyone the performer considers to be his conception of God, from a murti of Vishnu to a Siva linga. The worship consists of offering something to the object of worship, such as flowers and vegetarian food, and often lighting a candle or incense. The puja represents welcoming ceremony and thus is also performed for prominent guests to one's home. In the Vedic tradition a random guest is considered as good as God (atithi Narayana).

The Hindu Individual or Group Puja consists of meditation (dhyana), austerity (tapa), chanting (mantra), scripture reading (svadhyaya), offering food (thaal) and prostrations (panchanga or ashtanga pranama, dandavat). The individual also applies a tilaka mark on the forehead with sandalwood paste, and then a vermillion ("kumkum") dot (chandlo) in its centre. This signifies submission to the Almighty and also His Omnipresence.

Puja may be performed by an individual worshipper or in gatherings. The ritual may be observed in silence or accompanied by prayers. Sometimes a puja is done for the benefit of certain people, for whom priests or relatives ask blessings. A Hindu priest (called a Pundit) will chant prayers in Sanskrit or some other language while performing puja. One who assists the priest (pujari) in rituals is called tantra dharaka.

Large pujas request the presence of fellow believers and pray to the god or goddesses in question. This usually involves a full day ritual where people are present for the actual puja ceremony and have puja prasad (blessed food that should not be thrown out), and they may go home until later when there are songs or other performed in religious or general context, followed by an all-vegetarian dinner.