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Hindu Worship: Puja Aim: To know what puja is and to understand why it is important for Hindus.

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Presentation on theme: "Hindu Worship: Puja Aim: To know what puja is and to understand why it is important for Hindus."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hindu Worship: Puja Aim: To know what puja is and to understand why it is important for Hindus.

2 Puja What you will learn: What Puja is. Why Hindus carry out Puja.
What are the advantages of puja in the home. What are the advantages of puja in the temple.

3 Puja Write down the things you do as a matter of routine from the moment you wake in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night. What is so important in your routine that you would feel totally lost if you forgot to do it? Anything?

4 Hindu Worship Hindus believe their religion affects everything they do, so everything in their life is worship. Particular forms of worship may include repeating names of God, listening to or reading the holy books, or making offerings.

5 Puja Puja is the most common form of worship.
It can be very simple or complicated. It involves making an offering to an image or picture of one of the gods or goddesses. An image is called a MURTI, which mean form. A murti is intended to help people worship as it shows a quality of Brahman

6 Puja Puja is a daily routine for Hindus.
Puja is an act of daily worship. Puja is made at least once a day, usually in the morning. It is a simple form of worship using Mantras (prayers) and making offerings. At the end of Puja, any food offered to the god - usually rice - is shared out amongst the worshippers. This food is known as prashad.

7 The Practice of Puja Hindus are normally devoted to one God Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh, Kali etc. but they may worship other gods as well. At the heart of a Hindu home, and the focus of worship is the shrine.


9 Shrines A shrine is a special holy place.
A Hindu house always has a shrine where the murtis or pictures are kept. Sometimes it is very simple, just a shelf on a wall, while other shrines may be beautifully decorated. If the house is large it may be in a special room otherwise it is usually in the kitchen or mother’s bedroom. The murti is surrounded by flowers and perfume.

10 The Practice of Puja Worship at home takes place at least once a day.
The point is to spend time in the presence of God so Hindus prepare for it and perform it carefully. If there is a murti in the shrine it is washed, dried and touched with special coloured powders. It may have flowers hung around it.


12 The Practice of Puja Food, water and flowers are offered but the gifts do not need to be large or expensive, a grain of rice or flower petal are enough. While they are making puja Hindus repeat mantras - usually verses from holy books. They may begin with sacred word Aum. Worshippers do not wear shoes.

13 The image of the god is “awakened” by the lighting of a flame (Agni) and by the sound of the prayer (Mantra), the playing of music (Raga) or the ringing of the bell.

14 Incense is burned and Arti performed before the image – this is when the tray of candles is passed round and their fire and light becomes the focus of worship.

15 The worshipper will then put his/her hands together and raise them to the forehead or the breast. A drop of holy water is drunk.

16 A Picca (or Tilak) mark is placed on the forehead, and worshippers leave with their prashad.

17 All five senses have been awakened to begin the day.
Q. In what ways are the five senses awakened during puja?

18 Worship in the Temple

19 Worship in the Temple In India, every village will have a temple or Mandir. Some of the temples are very grand but many are very simple. They are usually shaped like mountains as this is where the gods dwell and a mandir is seen as the meeting point between heaven and earth. Mandirs are usually associated with one particular deity and will often have larger and more spectacular murtis

20 Worship in the Temple

21 Worship in the Temple The shrine housing the image is the holiest part of the temple and will be placed directly below the spire. This is called the garbha griha. Although people are not permitted to touch the murti, people will often walk around them, or even prostrate themselves before the deity. Seeing the deity is known as Darshan

22 A Garbha Griha

23 Worship in the Temple Puja in the mandir is conducted by priests (Brahmins) and their helpers. But much of what happens during Puja in the temple is similar to what happens at home… Shoes are removed Bells are rung Images are cleaned and prepared Incense is burnt and food is offered as prashad

24 Worship in the Temple The key part of worship in the temple is the Arti ceremony As the worshippers sing Bhajans (hymns) A lighted lamp is waved in front of the deity to take on some of their power. Then the priest emerges from the garbha griha and allows them to pass their hands over the flame and then over their faces and heads to take on some of the power.

25 Q. Explain what happens during puja in a temple.
• Shoes are removed as a mark of respect. Gifts (food, fruit, flowers, etc) are taken to the shrine room to be laid before the statues as offerings to the deities. Bhajan – the singing of special hymns to show devotion. Havan – the lighting of a small fire (wood and ghee) to sacrifice to the deities. Arti – a tray containing five lights is waved in front of the statues by the Brahmin to bless the deities. The flames are taken round worshippers who run their hands over the flames before wiping their hands over their heads. Hindus believe that when they do this they receive the power of God. A tilak is placed on the forehead to show that the person has been to worship.

26 Puja takes place on a daily basis
Puja takes place on a daily basis. Do you think daily worship is helpful for Hindus living in Scotland today? Helpful Maintains religious traditions in increasingly secular society. Maintains Hinduism in a non-Hindu country. Enables Hindus to express themselves and their religious sentiments freely. Not helpful Daily puja is too time consuming – work demands etc. Daily puja has no place in an increasingly secular society. Daily puja might lead to feelings of resentment/alienation.

27 Puja in the Temple or Puja at Home?
Hindus do not need to go to the Temple (Mandir) for Puja. They can worship at home. However, many Hindus like to visit the Temple and can do so at any time during the day. In Britain many Hindus worship in the Temple on a Sunday morning and on special festivals.

28 Puja in the Temple or Puja at Home?
Q “Is worship in the home more important than worship in the temple for Hindus.” Why would Hindus want to meet in the temple? Why would worship at home be more important than worship in the temple? Would it make any difference if the Hindu were living in Britain or India?

29 What have you learnt about puja?
Do you know what Puja is? Do you know why Hindu’s carry out Puja? Do you know the advantages of having puja in the home? Do you know the advantages of having puja in the temple?

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