Spiritual Significance of Puja (prayer)

For thousands of years, various Pujas have been performed in temples, matams and houses. Many have, no doubt, achieved marvellous benefits through Pujas in the past because in ancient times, poojas were being performed properly, according to Sastric Rites. But today, Pujas are not being performed on Sastric systems but are carried out on a commercial basis. It is on account of this that we dare to say that no, or very few, benefits are actually being derived from modern-day Puja services. Generally, it is the few, more disciplined devotees, that will derive benefits - more from their staunch belief, though, than from their actual performance of Puja.

Many people do not know, nor can they explain scientifically, the way in which the actual Puja works to benefit devotees. This has been explained in lectures and through some literature, resulting in even foreigners requesting the performance of Pujas for their own needs.

In order to understand the significance of Puja, one should first know some truths of spiritual science. The first and foremost among them is that emitted sound waves do not stop on reaching our eardrums, but pass on to a further distance and go on resounding for some time afterwards. An example of this is an echo. After passing the physical plane, sound waves pass on to more subtler plains and can be felt by those who have developed psychic senses.

Another truth about Pujas, is that the manthras recited are not merely sound waves, but have the capacity to influence objects through which they pass, such as water, coconut and plantain fruits, all of which which have the tendency for absorption of sound. When ‘manthra-saturated’ water is sprinkled onto a devotee and prasa-dams are used, the mantric waves that exist in them enter into the subtle body of the devotee and in turn influence, him.

Mantric sounds seem to fade away after the mantras have been recited, but their influence exists for many days afterwards, provided they have been recited enough times.

Nowadays, it is seen that Pujas are performed without even the fundamental ritual of fire-oblations (Hom-ams), causing Pujas to be ineffective. According to the Sastras, each and every Puja should be done only with fire-oblation.

From these homams, subtler and divine gases emanate, entering the devotee and creating a favourable effect on him in achieving his goal. When certain ingredients are offered to the fire, dormant subtler energies are released from them, energising devotees as well as the place where the sacrifice has been conducted.

There is a wrong notion existing among many Hindus, that Pujas are to be performed only by certain ‘qualified’ persons, which is why they have now become a commercial affair. Sastras do not subscribe to this wrong belief. The capacity to know manthras and to recite them correctly, is not sufficient to perform an effective Puja. Only one who has acquired divine power in him and who knows the proper method of carrying out Puja, is qualified to perform this rite, without consideration of his caste, creed or nationality. Even a European who has acquired Divine power and who knows the correct methods of conducting a Puja, is qualified to do so.

For many years in the past, we have been performing Sastric Pujas at various places, and for different purposes, resulting in almost all of the devotees involved achieving their desired goals. Many incurable diseases have also been cured and even death has been postponed.

The details of a few Pujas that are usually performed by our Peetham, and the benefits that can be derived therefrom are furnished below:

1. Sri Gayathri Puja: Energises the whole body, mind and other subtler sheens of men. It produces true knowledge by dispelling ignorance. Almost all benefits can be derived from performing this Pooja.

2. Ayusha Puja: Bestows Longevity and is effective in old age, particularly when death is anticipated in the near future.

3. Mrithuyanjaya Puja: Helps to heal all kinds of chronic diseases and protects from accidents.

4. Navagraha Puja: counteracts negative planetary influences.

5. Mahalakshmi Puja: Removes poverty and bestows wealth.

6. Durga Puja: Dispels enmity, obstacles and calamities.

7. Saraswathi Pooja: Bestows proficiency in arts and science.

8. Mahavisnhu Puja: Dispels karmic influences and bestows worldly pleasures.

Pujas are selected according to the object/s to be achieved. One Puja will not fulfill all requirements. If your difficulty is carefully explained, the correct Puja can be prescribed for your particular purpose. Following the Puja, it is advisable that the manthra japa or Upasana is continued by the devotee.

For regular Upasana, one should receive Dhiksha, or the transformation of energy that makes the Upasana fruitful. For regular Upasana, appropriate yantras are prepared and saturated with pranic energy (prana prathista). For maximum results, Pujas should be performed for a number of days, that is, for one mandalam.