[Advaita-l] worship

jagannathan mahadevan jagannathan.mahadevan at gmail.com
Sun Jun 25 12:40:19 CDT 2006


It was illuminating to know the meaning behind some of the procedures
of pUjA to a deity.

I have a doubt which I have had for a long time. Is a pUjA normally
perfomed only for one deity? I suppose it is so from what I have read
in the threads-kindly correct my impression if wrong. We do have
different deities on our altar for worship. Is mere presence of the
deity's picture or mUrthi in the altar necessitate a pUjA for the
deity? Also is there a pUjA vidhAnam for living saints?

Thank you very much in advance,

On 6/24/06, S.N. Sastri <sn.sastri at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is this phrase correct in sanskrit ?  If yes, how would you translate it in
> English ?
> " devobhutva devam yajeta "
> Sylvain
> It is correct. The meaning is that one should worship a deity only after
> becoming (i.e. looking upon oneself as) that deity. This is a general rule
> applicable to all pUjAs. SrI Sankara says in his bhAshya on VishNu
> sahasranAma: One should look upon oneself as vishNu while offering praise,
> prostration, etc. to vishNu. He quotes a verse from the MahAbhArata which
> says: One who is not vishNu should not sing about vishNu,  one who is not
> vishNu should not do pUjA to vishNu, one who is not vishNu should not
> meditate on vishNu, one who is not vishNu cannot attain vishNu. The reason
> is that the jiva and God are in essence the same Brahman, though as jiva and
> God they are different because of the different limiting adjuncts, which
> are, however, not real from the pAramArthika standpoint. This ultimate truth
> has to be borne in mind by the worshipper. At the beginning of every pUja
> there is what is called 'bhUtaSuddhi'. In this the worshipper is asked to
> look upon his limited human body as burnt off and consider himself as having
> got a divine body. It is only with this divine body that he becomes entitled
> to worship the deity.
> Another important item at the beginning of every pUjA is nyAsa. In this the
> bIjamantra of the particular deity is chanted while touching various parts
> of the body including the fingers. By this the identification of the
> worshipper with the deity is brought about.
> Then the worshipper transmits the divinity within him to the image or
> picture worshipped. It is only by this that the image or picture gets
> divinity. Thus what is actually worshipped is the divinity within the
> worshipper, which is the same as the supreme Brahman. The image or picture
> is only a symbol for the worshipper to fix his mind on. Not knowing this,
> some people say that Hindus are idol-worshippers. The idol is only a symbol
> for the supreme Being who is the indwelling self in every living being and
> who is the actual object of worship. At the end of the pUja the divinity
> transmitted to the image or picture is withdrawn. If the idol itself was
> treated as the deity it would not be thrown into the sea afterwards as is
> done with the idols of GaNapati and DurgA after the pUiAs.
> S.N.Sastri
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