How to Perform Pooja?

Pooja or Pujan as it is sometimes called,is the performance of Prayers in the Hindu relegion.The performance of these prayers are quite elaborate and the methodology varies according to the Gender of the diety being worshipped.

The person or persons who are listening to these prayers and participating in same,must ceremonously cleanse himself before taking part in the proceedings.Having consulted with their family priest,they must get all the necessary requirements for this event and perform the ceremony with faith and devotion.

Purification of the participant is first done by the Pandit (priest) and then the proceedings will commence.The Pandit recites the correspond ing Mantras and purifies the devotee’s seat.He then purifies the Samagree or the articles of worship.He washes the hands of the devotee and places a ring made from the sacred Khush Grass on the middle finger of the right hand of the devotee.Pandit Ji then solicits the blessings of the various Devtas and performs the invocation and the Pooja now officially commences.

The Vedas,the Puranas and the Shastras (the authorative texts)recommends that worship unto the Devtas(dieties) be done primarily utilizing the technique of Shodasoopchar. Shodasoopchar is the method of worship whereby which the worshipper performs a minimum of 16 steps of worship to the devtas,accompanied by the corresponding mantras.

The following are for Purushshuktam or Devta worship.Though it exceeds 16 steps of worship,It provides the requirements for a complete pooja.

Inviting of the Devta
The offering of a seat to the Devta
The washing of the Devta’s feet
Water for washing hands
Water for rinsing the mouth
Panchaamrita Snan
Bathing the murti with nectar comprising of dahee(curds),milk,ghee(cow’s butter),honey and sugar.
Udvartan Snaan
Devi pooja only
Offering scented water or perfume
Shud Jal Snaan
Bathing the murti with purified water
Offering of clothing
same as above
Offering of the sacred cord(Janew)
Offering sandalpaste
Sowbhagya Sutra
Devi pooja only
Offering Mangal Sutra or jewels
White rice coloured with Kum Kum
Mala or Pushpam
Offering of garlands of flowers or just flowers
Durva or Doob
The offering of dew grass
Sowbhagya Dravya
The offering of Kajal,Haldee,sindoor and Kum Kum.This can be offered separately or all mixed together.
The offering of incence
Deep Daan

The performance of Aartee or the waving of lights with a deeya(earthen lamp)or any similar instrument
Naivedyam or Madhuparkham
Offering Prasad most acceptable to that particular Devta or a composition of honey,ghee and sugar

Water for rinsing the mouth
Offering sooparie,desert
Offering betel-leaves(paan) with other spices for cleansing and scenting of the mouth
Offering money
Offering a light
Offering flowers