Simple Puja Instructions
Puja “Pu” means merit. “Ja” means to give birth. Therefore, “Puja” means, that which gives birth to the highest merit; which is ultimately the privilege to sit in the presence of the Divine.
Though puja stems from Hindu spirituality, one can incorporate this form of worship into any spiritual or religious sadhana (practice). Puja is typically done in the morning but it can be done in the evening (or both) as well. A pujari is a Hindu temple priest. The word comes from the Sanskrit word meaning worship. Hindu priests are responsible for performing temple rituals, including (pūjā) and aarti. Both men and women can be pujari.
Puja arises from the magnanimous spirit of hospitality that Hindu people are known for. When a guest visits a Hindu home they are received and treated as God. The traditional steps to welcome the guest are similar to the steps of puja. Puja is also done in the home as a daily morning rite. Family members will come together in their shrine room to honor their Ishta devata (family or chosen Deity) as their royal guest.
One performs Puja to their Ishta devata of choice. This can be any God, Goddess, Diety, or Guru.
Puja is your own intimate and personal interaction with your Ishta devata. Throughout the puja, one welcomes, makes offerings and chants sweetly to the Deity while humbly beseeching their blessings.
In more mystical terms, puja helps to open the channels to the superconscious, as well as to the inner Divine worlds. Performing puja can bring health, prosperity, peace and happiness to the officiant, family members, and entire world. From an emotional perspective it cultivates and strengthens one’s love for God, which is also known as bhakti.
Literally translated, aarati means 'that which takes away pain'. The puja and aarati service is highlighted by the waving of the aarati lamp to the aspect of the Divine you are honoring. The flame symbolizes the burning away of ignorance in order to perceive the Divine at all times and in all things. The puja and aarati service is an ageless tradition of the Sanatan Dharma (eternal religion) as it exists in India. It is a welcoming service to the particular Divine Being who is invoked. The aarati prayers appeal to the Divine Being for fulfillment of all desires and to dispel the darkness of ignorance veiling the transcendent Self.
Performing a Simple Puja and Aarati
Please download these documents to get the instructions and aarati: