[Advaita-l] Worship

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Tue Jun 27 00:12:34 CDT 2006

Jagannathan Mahadevan wrote on June 25, 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?

pUjA need not necessarily be for only one deity. In the panchAyatana pUjA
which is very common, pUjA to five deities, GaNeSa, SUrya, VishNu, Siva, and
Devi is performed. Actually these are not to be looked upon as totally
different. They are all worshipped as different aspects of the supreme
Brahman. Sri Sankara, in his devotional hymns, treats the particular deity
to whom a hymn is addressed as the highest. In SubrahmaNya bhujanga he says
that he knows no God other than SubrahmaNya. In Saundaryalahari he praises
Devi as supreme. In SivAnandalahari Siva is said to be supreme. The idea is
that all these deities are really the one supreme Being. Every one can
choose his ishTa devata, favourite deity, for worship. Merely because there
are pictures or vigrahas of many deities on the altar it is not necessary
that pUjA should be done for each of them.

Generally pUjA is not done for living saints, but disciples may choose their
own ways of worshipping their guru.

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