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Puja

Puja is a sacred practice that Hindu people perform on different occasions to worship, pray or show respect to their deities. Puja is considered as an act of showing reverence to the almighty through invocations, prayers (mantra, slokas), songs (bhajans), and rituals. According to Hinduism, Pooja makes a spiritual connection between the deity and the devotee.

Usually Hindus pray once or twice in a day. There are many different types of pujas for inaugurations, marriages, birthdays etc. in the Hindu religion. Puja is generally observed after a shower. And it is recommended that rituals should be performed before eating to make sure sattvic (holy) qualities and concentration (dhyana) of the devotee.

The Idol Worship – Murti Puja
The image, icon or any other symbol of the god during puja becomes the means of gaining access to the almighty. Although, the idol is not the god itself but it is considered to be filled with the god’s celestial powers. The idols are created as containers for spiritual power that make the devotee to experience the direct communication with the god.

The idol acts as a medium to respect and honour, the god. Idol Worship doesn’t stand for blind faith but it shows the feelings of a devotee towards the god. The beautiful images of the divine which are always observed show that people consider God in the ultimate manner. The images serve as visual metaphors to express the invisible divine reality. This section covers the following puja:

Budha Puja
Budha Puja or Mercury Puja is dedicated to planet Mercury. Budha Puja on Wednesdays brings in manifold benefits like eliminating difficulties, healthy progeny, possession of fertile lands etc. Following things are associated with Buddha- the Mercury:

Chandra Puja
Chandra Puja is dedicated to Lord Chandra, the Moon God. Grah Shanti Chandra Puja (Moon Worship) is recommended to those, having malefic Chandra or wrongly placed moon as per the horoscope. The following list includes couple of things associated with Chandra.

Guru Puja
Guru or Brihaspati Puja is dedicated to planet Jupiter. Grah Shanti Guru Pooja (Worship of Jupiter) is recommended to those, having malefic guru or wrongly placed Jupiter as per the horoscope. Here is list comprising a couple of things associated with Guru / Brihaspati.

Hanuman Puja
Hanuman Pooja is really beneficial for all those who want to attain strength, wisdom and knowledge. The worship of Shri Hanuman ji, the monkey God cures all illness and gives courage to fight the illness. Hanuman Puja provides peace of mind as well. Following things are required for Hanuman Puja.

How to do Puja
Puja is a sacred practice of reverence, honor, adoration or worship from the devotee towards the Almighty. Puja could mean different things to different people. For Puja, all you need to have is a devoted heart full of love for the divine. The merciful God overlooks the shortcomings of men if they follow the path of spirituality with devotion.

Kali Puja
Kali Puja is a passionate prayer to the fearsome, ferocious goddess. The aim of Kali Puja is to seek the help of Maa Kali in destroying evil, both in the outside world and within us. It is believed that Kali Puja is performed to diminish ego and all negative tendencies that hamper spiritual growth.

Ketu Puja
Ketu (Dragon’s Tail) Puja is dedicated to planet Ketu. Grah Shanti Ketu Pooja (Worship of Dragon’s Tail) is recommended for those, having malefic Ketu or wrongly placed Ketu as per the horoscope. Following things are associated with Ketu (dragon’s tail):

Mangal Puja
Mangal Puja or Mars Worship is dedicated to planet Mars. Grah Shanti Mangal Pooja liberates one from debts, poverty and skin problems. Here is a list of things associated with Mangal (Mars).

Rahu Puja
Rahu Puja or the Dragon’s Head Worship is dedicated to planet Rahu. Grah Shanti Rahu Pooja is recommended for those, having malefic Rahu or wrongly placed Rahu as per the horoscope.

Satyanarayan Puja
Satyanarayan Puja can be performed on any day. However, Purnima (Full Moon Night) and Sakranti are considered as the most auspicious days for Satyanarayan Pooja. The appropriate time of Puja is regarded in the evening but prayers in the morning will also work.

Shani Puja
Shani Puja is done to appease planet Saturn. Grah Shanti Shani Pooja (Worship of Saturn) is sought for mental peace and to get rid of various diseases. Following things are associated with Shani (Saturn).

Shukra Puja
Shukra (Venus) Puja is done to appease planet Venus. Grah Shanti Shukra Pooja is recommended to those, having malefic shukra or wrongly placed Venus as per the horoscope.

Surya Puja
Surya Puja or Sun Worship is dedicated to Lord Surya. Grah Shanti Surya Puja or Sun worship is recommended to those, having malefic surya or wrongly placed sun as per the horoscope.

Tulsi Puja
Tulsi is a sacred plant which can be found in almost every Hindu’s home. Tulsi Pooja (Worship of Tulsi) is observed almost every day. Following things are required for Tulsi Puja.

Ganesha Mantras

Ganesha Mantras are known as Siddhi Mantra (the one with perfection). Each and every mantra is full of energy and power of Lord Ganesha. It is believed that mantras of Ganesha, when chanted with genuine devotion, give positive results. These mantras ward off all trials and troubles gracing the devotee with every success. All mantras are disclosed by the Almighty, through the Intelligence, Vision and Experience of the divinely illuminated and perfected sages and men of integral God-Experience.

Ganesha is the power of knowledge, success and fulfillment. It is believed that people get benefit out of these mantras when chanted with utmost devotion and faith. Success is not far when you have love and respect, faith and understanding, kindness and willpower in your heart and when you are in touch with that power which breaks up all restrictions, obstacles, problems ,difficulties and makes available to you the rays of success, prosperity and abundance. Some such Mantras are given below for the spiritual benefit of the readers –

Special Ganesha Mantras
• Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah
“Praise to Lord Ganesha”. This is the mantra of prayer, love and adoration. It is chanted to get Ganesha’s blessings for the positive starting of a project, work or simply to offer him the praise.

•Aum Gan Ganapatye Namah
This is Lord Ganesha’s mula (“root”) mantra .It is also known as his ”beej” Mantra. This mantra is used for Yoga Sadhana in which we pray to Lord Ganesha and merge ourself with the supreme knowledge and peace. This is a mantra from Ganapati Upanishad. One can always use it before starting any new venture so that success comes without any hassle.

•Aum Vakratundaya Hum
This is a powerful mantra from Ganesha Purana. When things are not in your favour, or when the minds of the people turn negative, depressed or discouraged, the attention of Ganesha may be drawn by this mantra to straighten their ways. The HUM symbolizes “Delay no more, my Lord, in straightening the paths of the crooked-minded ones.” This mantra is used many a times in the Ganesha Purana to reduce the violence of cruel demons. In addition, this mantra could also be used for healing any spinal problem, such as curvature of the spine or curved limbs. Dedicate 1,008 repetitions of this holy word to straighten and heal such deficiencies.

•Aum Kshipra Prasadaya Namah
Kshipra means immediate. If some danger or negative energy is coming your way and you don’t know how to get rid of that danger, with true devotion, practice this mantra for quick blessing and purification of one’s aura.
•Aum Shrim Hrim Klim Glaum Gam Ganapataye vara varada sarva janamme vashamanaya svaha
There are several beej (seed) mantras in this mantra. Among other things, it says, “Shower Your blessings, O Lord. I offer my ego as an oblation.”

•Aum Sumukhaya Namah
This mantra has a lot of meaning, in simple terms, it means you will be always very beautiful in soul, in spirit, in face, everything. By meditating on this mantra, very pleasing manners and a beauty comes on you. Along with that comes peace, which constantly works in your eyes; and the words you speak are all filled with that power of love.

• Aum Ekadantaya Namah
Ekadanta refers to one tusk in the elephant face, which means God broke the duality and made you to have a complete one-pointed mind. Whoever has that oneness of mind and single-minded devotion will achieve everything.

•Aum Kapilaya Namah
Kapila (red) means that you are able to give colour therapy. You are able to create colours around yourself and around others, soak them in that colour and heal them. As per the mantra you create, so will you create the colors. Another meaning is “wish cow,” the “cow of plenty.” It means that whatever you wish, that comes true. There is a wish-cow inside you. Whatever you wish, especially for curing others, comes true instantly.

•Aum Gajakarnikaya Namah
The ears of Ganesha, the elephant – god, are constant fanning, which means people can talk a lot, but you are not receiving inside anything other than what is important. It also means that you can sit anywhere and tune this celestial tube (the body) with seven channels (chakras) and all 72,000 nadis, to any loka and be able to hear ancestors, angels, the voice of God or the voice of prophets. That kind of inner ear you will develop through this mantra.

•Aum Lambodaraya Namah
This means you feel that you are this universe. It means that all the celestial bodies are within you. Like an entire tree is in the seed, the whole universe is in the sound of creation, which is Aum, and that Aum consciousness in you makes you feel that you are the universe. Therefore, if you say, realizing the oneness with the universe, “shanti to the world” every day, then the grace of God will come and there will be world peace, universal peace. It is the universe within Aum and Aum within you.

•Aum Vikataya Namah
This means realizing this world as a dream or a drama. When you are in that high consciousness, this whole world looks like a dream. All of us have taken a role. We have to play our role in life as wife or husband or children or citizens, all consistent with the role we have taken. When an actor bitten by a sponge cobra that is brought on the stage falls, the entire audience cries; but that boy who has fallen knows it was not a real cobra and he is not dead. Life is a drama –definitely life in this material world, this physical world of ego, is a drama. But inside, like the boy on the stage who is quite happy knowing that he didn’t die by the bite of the sponge cobra, like that, the truth never dies in us; it is immortal. So everything else you consider as drama. That consciousness comes to you by knowing this mantra.

•Aum Vighna Nashanaya Namah
This mantra invokes the Lord Ganesha to remove every hindrance in your life and in your works. By constant meditation on this mantra, all obstacles and blocked energy in your physical and cosmological bodies are released.

•Aum Vinayakaya Namah
Vinayaka is the name of Ganesha in the golden age. So by realizing this mantra, your life will have a golden age. In your office, in your work, you’ll be the boss. Vinayaka means something under control. Vinayaka means the Lord of resolving problems.

•Aum Ganadhyakshaya Namah
This mantra is very important. Suppose you have a group, a country, neighbours, or any kind of group therapy, group healing or a whole country requiring healing, then you have to bring that entire group to your mind’s arena and say this mantra. A group healing takes place by this mantra.

•Aum Bhalachandraya Namah
In Sanskrit, bhala means the forehead center. Chandra means the crescent moon. Bhalachandra means that chakra from where the nectar drips. That is the secret of all healing. It is to feel yourself as Shiva, identifying yourself with the Truth and feeling constantly that you are carrying the crescent moon, the symbol of growth and nectar of peace.

Vishnu

Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate (orTrimurti). The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Shiva.

Brahma is the creator of the universe and Shiva is the destroyer. Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the universe.

His role is to return to the earth in troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil. So far, he has been incarnated nine times, but Hindus believe that he will be reincarnated one last time close to the end of this world.

Vishnu’s worshippers, usually called Vaishnava, consider him the greatest god. They regard the other gods as lesser or demi gods. Vaishnava worship only Vishnu. Vishnu monotheism is called Vaishnavism.

What do the ancient texts say about Vishnu?

In the Rig Veda, which is the holiest of the four Vedas, Vishnu is mentioned numerous times alongside other gods, such as Indra.

He is particularly associated with light and especially with the Sun. In early texts, Vishnu is not included as one of the original seven solar gods (Adityas), but in later texts he is mentioned as leading them.
Vishnu ©
From this time, Vishnu appears to have gained more prominence, and by the time of the Brahmanas (commentaries of the Vedas), he is regarded as the most important of all gods.

Two of Vishnu’s incarnations, Rama and Krishna, are also the subject of the epic stories Ramayana and Mahabharata, respectively.

What does Vishnu look like?

Vishnu is represented with a human body, often with blue coloured skin and with four arms. His hands always carry four objects in them, representing the things he is responsible for. The objects symbolise many more meanings than are presented here:
•The conch: the sound this produces ‘Om’, represents the primeval sound of creation
•The chakra, or discus: symbolises the mind
•The lotus flower: an example of glorious existence and liberation
•The mace: represents mental and physical strength

Vishnu is usually represented in two positions.
•Standing upright on a lotus flower with Lakshmi, his consort, close by him
•Reclining on the coils of a serpent, with Lakshmi massaging his feet. They are surrounded by the Milky Ocean.

Vishnu rides on the King of Birds, Garuda, who is an eagle.

What are Vishnu’s incarnations?

Vishnu has appeared in various incarnations nine times on this earth, with the tenth predicted.
1.Matsya (fish) •Some Hindus believe that this is the similar to the biblical representation of Noah

2.Kurma (turtle) •Churning of the Ocean

3.Varaha (pig/boar) •In this avatar, Vishnu recovered the stolen Vedas

4.Narasimha (half lion, half man) •Vishnu managed to vanquish a demon who had gained immunity from attacks from man, beast or god

5.Vamana (dwarf sage with the ability to grow) •In this story, the evil demon Bali had taken over the earth and had pushed all of the gods from the heavens as well. Vishnu took the form of a dwarf, who tricked Bali into giving him as much of Bali’s empire as he could cover in three steps. Vishnu as Vamana grew so large that with one step he had covered the earth, with the second the heavens, thus returning the ownership to the gods.

6.Parasurama (fierce man/hunter) •Vishnu rids the earth of irreligious and sinful monarchs

7.Rama (greatest warrior/ideal man) •As Rama, he kills the demon King Ravana, who abducted his wife Sita

8.Krishna (mentally advanced man) •Krishna is the hero of the Mahabharata, an epic poem. He also delivered his famous message, known as the Baghavad Gita.

9.Buddha (the all knowing one) •who appeared in the 5th century BCE. In some traditions, Balarama replaces Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu.

10.Kalki • Expected towards the end of this present age of decline, as a person on earth, seated on a white horse.

Vishnu’s incarnation as the fish Matsya ©
Vishnu in Hindu mythology

The churning of the Milky Ocean is the story that explains how the gods finally defeated the demons and became immortal.

In the story, Vishnu advised the other gods to churn the Milky Ocean in order to recover a number of lost treasures, including the elixir of immortality and Lakshmi, the goddess of success and wealth. Both of these items would enable the gods to defeat the demons who had taken taken over the universe.

Knowing the gods would be unable to churn the great ocean themselves, Vishnu struck a deal with the demons. He told them they would get a share of the treasures, including the elixir of immortality, if they helped to churn. They agreed.

Vishnu told the gods and demons they should use Mount Madura as a churning stick, and the giant serpent, Vasuki, as a rope.

Vishnu managed to persuade the demons to hold the head of the snake, which was spitting furiously, while the gods held the tail end. The serpent was then coiled around the mountain. Each side alternately pulled the rope then allowed it to relax, causing the mountain to rotate in the water.

Before they could regain the treasures, however, there were many problems they had to face.

As the gods and demons churned, the mountain began to sink into the soft sand bed of the sea.

At the request of the gods, Vishnu incarnated as a turtle. He placed the mountain on his back to act as a foundation stone, thus allowing the churning to continue. Some reports say it was churned for a thousand years before anything came up.

When the elixir of immortality finally rose to the surface, the demons rushed to grab it.

But Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini, a beautiful woman who captivated all the demons. By sleight of hand she changed the elixir for alcohol and returned the precious liquid to the gods.

The churning also brought Lakshmi forth from the ocean. She came as a beautiful woman standing on a lotus flower. Seeing all the gods before her, she chose the god she felt was most worthy of her. Vishnu and she have been inseparable since.

Shiva

Shiva is the third god in the Hindu triumvirate. The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Vishnu.

Brahma is the creator of the universe while Vishnu is the preserver of it. Shiva’s role is to destroy the universe in order to re-create it.

Hindus believe his powers of destruction and recreation are used even now to destroy the illusions and imperfections of this world, paving the way for beneficial change. According to Hindu belief, this destruction is not arbitrary, but constructive. Shiva is therefore seen as the source of both good and evil and is regarded as the one who combines many contradictory elements.

Shiva is known to have untamed passion, which leads him to extremes in behaviour. Sometimes he is an ascetic, abstaining from all wordly pleasures. At others he is a hedonist.

It is Shiva’s relationship with his wife, Parvati which brings him balance. Their union allows him to be an ascetic and a lover, but within the bounds of marriage.

Hindus who worship Shiva as their primary god are members of the Shaivism sect.

What does Shiva look like?
Shiva ©
In his representations as a man, Shiva always has a blue face and throat. Strictly speaking his body is white, but images often show him with a blue body too.

Shiva is represented with the following features:
•A third eye •The extra eye represents the wisdom and insight that Shiva has. It is also believed to be the source of his untamed energy. On one occasion, when Shiva was distracted in the midst of worship by the love god, Kama, Shiva opened his third eye in anger. Kama was consumed by the fire that poured forth, and only returned to life when Parvati intervened.

•A cobra necklace •This signifies Shiva’s power over the most dangerous creatures in the world. Some traditions also say that the snake represents Shiva’s power of destruction and recreation. The snake sheds its skin to make way for new, smooth skin.

•The vibhuti •The vibhuti are three lines drawn horizontally across the forehead in white ash. They represent Shiva’s all-pervading nature, his superhuman power and wealth. Also, they cover up his powerful third eye. Members of Shaivism often draw vibhuti lines across their forehead.

•The trident •The three-pronged trident represents the three functions of the Hindu triumvirate.

While other gods are depicted in lavish surroundings, Shiva is dressed in simple animal skin and in austere settings, usually in a yogic position. Parvati, whenever she is present, is always at the side of Shiva. Their relationship is one of equality.

Even though Shiva is the destroyer, he is usually represented as smiling and tranquil.

Other representations

Shiva is sometimes represented as half man, half woman. His figure is split half way down the body, one half showing his body and the second half that of Parvati’s.

Shiva is also represented by Shiva linga. This is a phallic statue, representing the raw power of Shiva and his masculinity. Hindus believe it represents the seed of the universe, demonstrating Shiva’s quality of creation. Worshippers of Shiva celebrate Mahashivratri, a festival at which the Shiva linga is bathed in water, milk and honey and worshipped.

Who is he linked with?

Shiva’s consort is Devi, the Mother-goddess. Devi has taken on many forms in the past, including Kali, the goddess of death, and Sati, the goddess of marital felicity. Her best known incarnation is Parvati, Shiva’s eternal wife.

Hindus believe Shiva and Parvati live in the Kailash mountains in the Himalayas.

Lord of the dance

Dance is an important art form in India, and Shiva is believed to be the master of it. He is often called the Lord of Dance. The rhythm of dance is a metaphor for the balance in the universe which Shiva is believed to hold so masterfully.

His most important dance is the Tandav. This is the cosmic dance of death, which he performs at the end of an age, to destroy the universe.

According to one Hindu legend, Shiva almost signalled the end of this universe by performing this dangerous dance before its time. This is the story.

One day, the father of the goddess Sati decided to hold a prayer ceremony. At this prayer ceremony, all the gods would be invited and offerings would be made to them.

But Shiva had married Sati against the wishes of her father and he was not invited. Sati was deeply offended on behalf of her husband.

In anger, Sati prayed intensely and jumped into the sacred fire that was burning on the day of the ceremony.

During this time, Shiva had been in the midst of deep meditation. But when Sati jumped into the fire, he awoke in great anger, realising what his wife had done.

The story becomes less certain at this point, but it is believed that Shiva started the cosmic dance of death. The whole universe was about to be destroyed before it was time.

The gods who were present at the prayer ceremony were very concerned. In order to pacify him, they scattered the ashes of Sati over him. This did the trick. He calmed down and did not complete the dance. But he went into meditation for many years, deeply upset over the death of his wife, ignoring all his godly duties.

It was not until Sati was reborn as Parvati that Shiva finally came out of meditation. Through her love and patience, she taught him about family life and the importance of moderation.

Shiva and Parvati are held up as the perfect example of marital bliss by many Hindus, and one is rarely depicted without the other.

Who is Brahma?

Brahma is the first god in the Hindu triumvirate, or trimurti. The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Vishnu and Shiva.

Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, while Shiva’s role is to destroy it in order to re-create.

Brahma’s job was creation of the world and all creatures. His name should not be confused with Brahman, who is the supreme God force present within all things.

Brahma is the least worshipped god in Hinduism today. There are only two temples in the whole of India devoted to him, compared with the many thousands devoted to the other two.

What does Brahma look like?
Brahma, 1820 British engraving ©
Brahma has four heads and it is believed that from these heads came the four Vedas (the most ancient religious texts for Hindus). Some also believe that the caste system, or four varnas, came from different part of Brahma’s body.

He has four arms and is usually depicted with a beard.

Brahma’s consort is Saraswati, goddess of knowledge.

Why is Brahma not worshipped so much?

There are a number of stories in the Hindu mythology which point to why he is rarely worshipped. These are two of them.

The first view is that Brahma created a woman in order to aid him with his job of creation. She was called Shatarupa.

She was so beautiful that Brahma became infatuated with her, and gazed at her wherever she went. This caused her extreme embarrassment and Shatarupa tried to turn from his gaze.

But in every direction she moved, Brahma sprouted a head until he had developed four. Finally, Shatarupa grew so frustrated that she jumped to try to avoid his gaze. Brahma, in his obsession, sprouted a fifth head on top of all.

It is also said in some sources that Shatarupa kept changing her form. She became every creature on earth to avoid Brahma. He however, changed his form to the male version of whatever she was and thus every animal community in the world was created.

Lord Shiva admonished Brahma for demonstrating behaviour of an incestuous nature and chopped off his fifth head for ‘unholy’ behaviour. Since Brahma had distracted his mind from the soul and towards the cravings of the flesh, Shiva’s curse was that people should not worship Brahma.

As a form of repentance, it is said that Brahma has been continually reciting the four Vedas since this time, one from each of his four heads.

A second view of why Brahma is not worshipped, and a more sympathetic one, is that Brahma’s role as the creator is over. It is left to Vishnu to preserve the world and Shiva to continue its path of cosmic reincarnation.



  • Narasimhaye: If you are able to talk to your or sister and your girl cousins, you will be able to speak to any girl you like. Don't be shy. Try to be confident in
  • arjun: sir please help me I cannot talk to any girl I'm not frank and I am very afraid of doing things I think what the world will think I don't have confide
  • Narasimhaye: I meant do Puja , not pika sorry.