Awakening the Senses
The puja thali contains important items for offering prayers. It is believed to represent five cosmic elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space).
rung before worship begins to invoke the deities
denotes dispelling darkness
to help elevate the spiritual experience
for aesthetics but also marks the completion of puja
The Significance of Vermilion
Seen as a symbol of feminine energy
Third eye is located on the forehead, in between the eyebrows
Believed to help in elevating concentration levels
Note: Use your right hand’s ring finger when applying a dot (tilak) on the forehead
The Different Types of Tilaks
- considers Lord Shiva as the supreme power
- The horizontal lines in white symbolise Lord Shiva, while the red dot represents Parvati Devi
- considers Lord Vishnu as their key deity
- The white clay lines signify of Vishnu’s footprints; the red line represent Lakshmi Devi
- primarily worships Lord Krishna
- the upper part represents Krishna’s footprints, while the lower part symbolizes a tulsi leaf
- follows the principles laid by Yogi Swaminarayan
- the tilak symbolizes the lotus feet of the lord, and the vermillion represents the devotee
The Significance of Rice
Symbolizes fertility and auspiciousness
Used widely in Hindu rite-of-passage ceremonies (eg: birth, marriage)
Note: Apply the uncooked rice on top of the tilak, using your right hand
Why Do We Make Panchamrut
Each ingredient has a symbolic meaning, as shown below. It is a necessary offering to deities during pujas. It is said to be one of the items that emerged during the Samudra Manthan, or "churning of the ocean of milk."
Note: Devotees can offer substitutes such as sweets, fruits, or dry nuts as prasad
Milk 1 cup
Yogurt 1 tbsp
Honey 1 tsp
Ghee 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Saffron for garnish
In a bowl, take warm milk and add rest of the ingredients. Stir well and serve.
How to know when to use a different finger?
What is the role of Marigold in Puja and how significant is it?
Marigolds became the flowers of choice for the pujas. They are commonly used during Hindi festivals for rituals for garlands, decorations and offerings. The association of marigolds with Hindu religious rituals and festivals is rooted in tradition, symbolism and availability.
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