[Advaita-l] Rudra Prashna question - Adi Sankara Pooja

Venkata sriram P via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Thu May 8 00:36:37 CDT 2014

Adi Sankara has nothing to do with our puja.  All these paraphernalia is for our own upliftment only.  Every upachAra that is offered has got it's own bhAvanAtmaka-tattva.  The word "pUja" signifies "pUjya-bhAvana" towards one's own most respested person / deity.
All the shodashopachAras denote how senstitive we are towards a person with whom we are communicating.  When a most-respectable person visits our house, we invite him inside which is AvAhana; we offer a sofa/chair and see that he is most comfortable with it which is Asana-samarpaNa (or ratna-simhAsana); we offer them water to wash his feet & hands which is pAdya & arghya; we offer them juice / water etc. which is Achamana; we ask them to take bath and change clothes prior to taking lunch which is snAnam & vastram; we offer them chandana, kumkuma before having lunch which gandha and other perfumes; we offer lunch which is naivEdya; after lunch, some soft-drinks and tambula is offered which is pAnIyaM & tAmbUlam. After all these hospitalities, we bid him farewell which is "udvAsa".  
So, as the shraddha increases, one tries to visualize the above upacharAs with bhAvukata and one becomes very meticulous even about the minute details also with respect to "atithi-satkAram".  
Similarly, the same is the case with deities also.  The offering of each and every upachAra is for our own bhAvukta which is for the sake of our own upAsana siddhi.  Mantra shastra explains different types of benefits for offering these 16 types of upachArAs. 
Now, coming to offering of tambulam to Acharya Sankara. 
I have a another method of puja to Sankara which was given to me by Sri.Bharati Tirtha Swamiji which was composed by Sri.Bhashyam Swamigal of Sringeri.  Even in that book also, tAmbUlaM is offered to Sankara.  
There is another method which is used here in veda gurukuram and they use "bilva-patra" as offering instead of "tAmbUlaM".  They have specifically mentioned that "atra tAmbUla sthAnE bilvapatram samarpayEt".

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