Why are Hindu pujas (rituals) performed?
Hindu pujas are the world’s oldest religious practices. The aim of a Vedic ritual (Hindu puja) is to invoke the Divine and seek His blessings. A puja is performed on a particular day when the cosmic and divine elements are spiritually super-charged. A ‘Muhurat’, an exact auspicious time for a puja, is found out on that day and the puja is then performed with a proper method. If done this way, the puja attracts auspicious energies and generates positive results. Muhurat plays an essential role in the successful performance of rituals. It helps you find out the most auspicious timing. Pujas are performed for new ventures/business, new home, marriage, festive celebration and the like.
The performance of pujas such as Shiva puja, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Vastu Puja and other various Hindu ceremonies must be done in accordance with the Vedic injunctions. All the Vedic literatures such as Vedas, Puranas, Itihasa, Upanishands, the great epic Mahabharata and the Ramayana reference the performance of Puja/Pooja (prayer rituals) for pleasing the deities for their blessings.
In any Hindu puja, the most important things are various items, ingredients or paraphernalia that are used in Hindu rites, prayers and yagyas. Puja Items Ritual paraphernalia and vessels play very important role in Hindu (Vedic) rites, prayers and homas. Homas or Havans include an extensive use of supari, Bel fruit, ghee, Honey, Akshat (rice grains), Turmeric powder, Sindoor, Ganga Jal and Attar and so on. The Vedic scriptures like Rig, Yajur, Sama and Arthava mention mystical secrets of healing material as well as spiritual existence through cosmic energies.
The most essential part of a Hindu puja is the use of vessels and other items such as bowls for offering, Abishek vessels, oil lamps, Panchapatra, Bells, Haldi Kum Kum containers, Pedestal, Neti Patra etc. When a puja is performed with the correct pronunciation of Sanskrit mantras, energetic cosmic vibrations flow out of the sacrificial fire that has powers to equate planetary system in the Natal chart of the host (for whom the homa is performed) and rid him of Vastu negativities. Also, the host is blessed with fulfillment of all desires and enlightenment.
Blessings of the deities:
Hindu rituals are performed to worship the divine deities (Ganesh, Indra, and Vishnu etc.), nine planets and ancestors for their blessings which bestow protection, bravery, health, wealth, affluence and success.
If you are seeking to increase your awareness about yourself and the world, meditation is just the right key. This training of the ever fickle mind will help you in all scopes of life – physical, psychological and spiritual. Meditation helps you achieve a more calm, confident, empathetic and intelligent state of mind and heart. It will make you waive off negative emotions and see the world objectively, without the prism of unnatural bias and prejudice. When done regularly, meditation takes you to the space of stillness or the Presence that lies beyond your thoughts. Once you connect with that Presence even for a few seconds, you feel relaxed and blessed with infinite wisdom that bestows the light of knowledge. It will also give you the energy and strength to face the challenges of life.
There are various meditation items that help you immensely in meditation. Popular meditation items include:
Mediation dress is revolutionary productfrom Chakrayog. They are made of 5 Mukhi Rudraksha beads that energize your Vishuddha Chakra and increase your self-awareness. As a result, a higher state of consciousness is experienced. Rudraksha dress has been developed in line with the injunctions described in the Shiv Purana that talks about the wearing of different number of Rudraksha on different parts of the bod so that the body gets charged with shambhu tattvas. We at Chakra Ypg have made this complete dress with 5 mukhi Rudraksha beads of size 9mm. It includes one strand of 108 Rudraksha for chest, 11 Rudraksha each on wrists and arms, 6 beads on each ear, 5 Rudraksha on Naval, 32 Rudraksha on Throat, 550 Rudraksha beads. In total, there are 1111 Rudraksha beads.
For those seeking to attain peace and emotional stability through meditation, this is one of the best meditation accessories. A cap made of Rudraksha bead creates a soothing effect on the mind. It is made of five mukhi Rudraksha beads woven together in thread. It is excellent for meditation and peace of mind. A Five Mukhi Rudraksha bead represents Rudra Kalagni (Shiva), the ruler of Jupiter. Shiva in His Rudra Kalagni form enlightened Sage Sanatkumara on the application of Vibhuti (Three sacred lines on the forehead called Tripundra) and its significance. The three lines signify various sacred aspects such as three gunas (satva, rajas and tamas), AUM, three Vedas, three worlds and the like, all culminating into self-awareness. Five Mukhi Rudraksha bead enhances self-awareness, memory, speech and intellect. It activates Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra) which is connected with the vocal ability. Once energized, Throat Chakra helps you express your views clearly as well as influentially.
Bhagavad Gita in in Chapter 6 (Dhyan Yoga) mentions that yoga and meditation are best done on the mat. For instance Kusha Asan (woven mat of Kusha grass) is used as a ritual seat and finds mention in as far back as the Vedas. Kusha grass is regarded as purifying, and rings woven of it are sometimes worn in worship to keep the hands ritually pure. It is also an extraordinary insulator, both physically and metaphysically and hence most appropriate for meditation and japa. Religious texts state that by doing Japa without sitting on an Asana (a seat), one attains no fruit.
Japa mala made of Rudraksha semi chikna beads is also a great way to meditate. Semi Chikna Beads are hard, smooth and well defined as compared to regular Rudraksha beads. They are called semi chikna as they are in quality between regular and chikna (smooth beads). The mala is made using hand-picked, smooth, hard, round and lustrous 5 mukhi Rudraksha beads from Java (Indonesia) along with a beautiful tassel. The mala can be worn or can be used for Mantra Japa.
Benefits of doing japa on this mala:
• Blesses the wearer with health and peace
• Increases concentration, memory and creativity
• Helps aid meditation and Spiritual sadhana
Puja Dhoti and Shawls:
Mediation shawls are best for convenience and comfort. One can wear dhoti and wrap their body with a meditation shawl made of soft fabric and do meditation. If offers warmth, ease and better concentration. Cotton Dhoti made by skilled artisans of South India is Ideal to be worn/wrapped around waist daily or during puja ritual or temple visits or religious ceremonies. The soft and smooth texture of the dhoti makes it highly comfortable. Cotton helps absorb the positive energies in the surrounding, and also creates a sheath which protects you from negative energies that cause distress or distraction of mind. White Dhotis along with angavastra is of pure cotton and the border have auspicious marks of ‘Shivling and Trishul’, artistically hand woven in colours with Golden Silk thread by the artisans from interiors of Salem, Tamilnadu. Dhoti is worn and the angavastra is draped around the body during religious occasions.
Aromatic Incense Diffuser
Incense has been used in various cultures/civilizations since ages. An incense stick creates an aromatic atmosphere conducive to meditation and sadhana. It fills the place with mood-making aroma that rejuvenates your mind and body. Aromafume Incense bricks are enriched with various natural ingredients including Agarwood, aromatic woods, exotic flowers and beautiful aromatherapy essential oils. They are a combination of the age old art of natural handmade incense with a variety of contemporary fragrances.
Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp
The Himalayan Rock Salt Drop Lamp is a lamp made with a Heart piece of Himalayan Rock Salt. A candle has to be lit inside the lamp so as to make the lamp work as an ionizer. The Himalayan Rock Salt Heart Candle Lamp is made from the salt extracted from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The Himalayan Rock Salt Heart Lamp absorbs all negativities and propagates positive energy. Other benefits of the lamp includes that it helps kill bacteria, provides protection from Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) of different electronic gadgets, soothe body and mind and help an individual to relax or de-stress. The warm and soothing glow of the salt lamp also improves the decor of any room. Placement: It should be ideally placed in the West corner of a home/office.
• It removes negativity from environment
• It provides peace of mind by removing stress, fear and tiredness
• Gives relaxation and sharp mind
• Enhances harmony and goodwill between members
Peace and Harmony Rock
Those seeking peaceful atmosphere should use a natural green Jade gemstone rock. This spreads waves of harmony, love and peace in your environment. Green Jade dispels fear and dullness and attracts divine, compassionate and serene energies. Attached to this rock is a Gauri Shankar Rudraksha from java, which promotes harmony, peace, unity, love, and positivity. It can be placed on your desktop, living room or near entrance of home. It may also be placed in your shop for attracting customers. Best direction is North West ruled by air element.
Attars, Oils and Natural Waters
Attars (also known as Ittars) are natural perfume oils made from the extracts of flowers, herbs, exotic woods, etc. These 100% pure and natural perfumes are free of alcohol and chemicals. Attars are believed to attract angels and ward off darkness or evil spirits. Saints and spiritual aspirants would adorn themselves with the finest scents to assist them in during meditation. Essential oils are organic liquids that are extracted from plants, leaves, trees, herbs or flowers. These oils are typically extracted from the source plant through distillation used in aromatherapy, in Ayurveda practices and in the basic well-being of mental and physical health. They are also very popular as odor removers and in enhancing the atmosphere of meditation room. Floral waters arecondensate waters that remain after the extraction of essential oils from herbs, leaves, woods, barks and seeds by water or steam distillation. They have similar properties like essential oils but are much less concentrated. Floral Waters are mild and subtle in nature and thus are used directly without dilution. They refresh and revitalize your body, mind and spirit.
Books are the best companions. One can read more about mediation before they actually start doing meditation. Also one can listen to meditation sound in order to increases their concentration. Mediation CDs contain instrumental sounds made for increasing focus.