Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Jul 2 09:50:31 CDT 1998

On Wed, 1 Jul 1998, Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:
> 1) If one desires to do pUjA, but does not know the rules how to do the
> pUjA exactly. Is is better not to do the pUja at all instead of doing it?
> 2) If one knows how to do the pUjA correctly but due to limitations, makes
> approximations to it. Is is better not to do the pUjA at all instead of
> doing it with approximations?
> 3) I agree the form is very important. But is not intention to do more
> important?

 There is a reference to a story in which the Prajapati's yajyam in deemed
without any mistakes whatsoever. The question is should they do the
Prasyaschittam. (atonement) After a lot of debate, I believe Yajnyavalkyar
says, it has to be done, because, even with the utmost care, there is
scope for mistake as Lord Narayana, the One who is pleased with all this
is a mayaavi and just for fun, is prone to have changed something without
anybody noticing, for example, one dharba-grass may be made pointing in a
slightly different direction than it should be. If that happens, although
He is the one who did it, Siva refuses to solemnise the yajnyam as it has
a defect (supposedly for fun again!!). So, all these problems are avoided
by doing a prayaschittam.
 At our elementary level, the prayaschittam goes like: mantra hiinam
kriyaa hiinam bhakti hiinam hudhAsana | etc etc.
 hiinam is a misdoing, mistake. This mistake is accepted, and one
surrenders to Him to forgive it.
 That said, I believe the order in which ask forgiveness is of relevance.
The primary mistake here is considered to be mantra hiinam. Then kriya
(that the actual doing, substances used etc - form if you will), and then
 All this tells me that, all three are important (mantram, kriya, and
bhakti), but just because one or more is lacking, do not neglect it. In
fact, worship by a specific puja is considered as waking up the sleeping
tiger. Once you accept the responsibility to do the puja, say for example,
the panchayatana puja, forsaking it even for a day is neglecting it. It is
more important to keep the discipline up than give it up because of
concerns of not being able to do it right. If every body started thinking
that they will do it once they know it WELL, then there will be no
yajnyams at all!!


                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 Kandavar Vindilar      : Those who have seen (Brahman) have not spoken
  Vindavar Kandilar     :   those who speak (about It) have not seen (It)
    satyakAma, satyasaMkalpa, Apatsakha, kAkutsa, shrIman nArAyaNa
        puruShottaMa, shrI ranganAtha, mama nAtha, namostute.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list