Puja: Ritual Worship
Puja in the Temple
Puja refers to worship, particularly of the sacred image. Each sampradaya (denomination) has elaborate rules for its performance, and the practical details vary considerably. Puja usually involves bathing and dressing the deity and offering various auspicious items, such as water, perfume, and flowers. It often culminates in the offering of food, and is immediately followed by the arti ceremony. Puja generally includes a minimum of 16 devotional acts.
Puja at Home
Worship offered at home is usually a scaled-down version of the grand temple services. It may be offered daily or just once a week, whereas scheduled temple worship must continue daily from early morning to late evening. Puja is usually considered an act of devotional service to God or the chosen deity.