PUJA or WORSHIP
Puja or worship of God, in and through an image at home or in temples, is a common practice in the Hindu society. Millions of Hindu all over our country visit temples, witness or participate in such Puja ceremonies, not many are aware of the philosophy behind it, the need for it and its effects on our mind. Throughout the history of mankind, human beings have been seeking whether they know it or not unalloyed happiness or bliss. Freedom from suffering and attainment of eternal peace and joy, have been the universally acclaimed goals of life.
From times immemorial, a firm belief in the existence of a Supernatural Being, omniscient and omnipotent, seems to have been ingrained in the very nature of man. By somehow establishing a contact with this Being, often called ‘God’ one can get whatever one wants in life. This is the conviction resulting from this belief.
People believe that the God is both NIRAKARA and NIRGUNA (without any particular form or attributes) as also SAKARA and SAGUNA (capable of assuming any form and attributes at will). He can also manifest himself as a personality without any particular form, but with all the blessed qualities that one can imagine. Nothing any form that even incarnate here in the human form to set right the mess we create.
An illustration can make this point more clear. Water can exist in three states, Ice liquid water and water vapour or steam. Water vapour has no particular form whereas ice has. But liquid water can assume the shape of the vessel into which it is poured. In all these three states, vastu or substance is one and the same, though nama and rupa are different. Similar is the case with God.
Though Hinduism concedes the gaining of freedom from all sufferings and attainment of eternal bliss, are possible by adopting any one of the four well known yogas Jnanayoga, Bhaktiyoga, Rajayoga and Karmayoga. Bhaktiyoga or the path of bhakti (devotion to God in his sakara saguna aspect) is, comparatively speaking, much easier in this age, characterized as it is, by an excessive attachment to the physical body and to physical comforts.
Once this is acknowledged, the necessity for and the role of rituals in this path of bhakti can easily be recognized and appreciated.
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers.
The philosophical truths contained in the Vadas, Upanisads and other similar scriptural works are, very often, too recondite to comprehend. Apart from an incisive intellect, purity of mind resulting from a pure sineless life is necessary to understand them. Performance of rituals is one of the easier means to achieve this purity of mind. However they should be done meticulously with a proper knowledge of the spirit behind them.
A painting of God or another holy figure. A great majority of human beings are incapable of even conceiving let alone contemplate upon God as the Supreme Power of Intelligence without any particular
Power or intelligence without any particular name or form. This is because of the limitation imposed by the body mind complex and the consequent identification with it. However an icon an image or a picture or even a symbol can definitely help in this process of contemplation, even as a limited window in our room giving us a view of the unlimited sky as long as we are sitting in it.
Today I was thinking about Baba although, I use to think about him all the time because what so ever happened in my Life I always take it as his Gift to me, But today a question came in my mind that what is Bhakti ? Why I have so much attachment to Baba? Why I can feel him everywhere? There are so many question in my mind and suddenly a thought came to my mind which I really want to share will all of you.
The thought that I love him because he solves my all problems but then I realize that I am being so selfish he is not someone to whom I love just because of it. I think I am one of his Bhakti and I really Love him a lot from the bottom of my heart. Well but hear the question is still the same that what is Bhakti? As much as I understand Bhakti is not something destructive; it teaches us that no one of the faculties we have has been given in vain, that through them is the natural way to come to liberation. Bhakti does not kill out our tendencies; it does not go against nature but only gives it a higher and more powerful direction. How naturally we love objects of the senses! We cannot do so, because they are so real to us. We do not ordinarily see anything real about higher things, but when a man has seen something real beyond the senses, beyond the universe of senses, then he can have a strong attachment, only it should be transferred to the object beyond the senses, which is God and when the same kind of love that has before been given to sense-objects is given to God, It is called Bhakti.
In other words we can see lots of things surrounding us which is unusual to be made by a human been but we never realize that how these thinks are working we never thinks that this all because that there is a supreme power somewhere in this universe who is operating to all of these thinks. Yeas but we all realize ones in our life that yes there is some on and that is actually the time when everything seems to us beyond the senses and we feel strong attachment with that supreme power and that supreme power is the God. And we start doing Bhakti.