A pooja is a ceremony dedicated to the divine and means worship. In its many different forms in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is an important part of everyday religious life, but has its roots and spread as a ritual all over the world.

We modern Europeans have a very different religious context, attitudes and (for the most part) different living conditions than a believer Hindu or Buddhist. Accordingly, it is not advisable to simply recreate or even adapt traditionally embedded religious acts or ceremonies.

If I know the basic salary and the process, I can easily practice poojas without conflicting with a strictly specified ceremony and its process, vibration and effect, even if the intention may be the same.

Everything that you consciously think, feel, pronounce, do in a ritual has an increasing effect and can and will flow back to you. Accordingly, it should be selfless, honest, authentic, devoted and loving, then it will work and bear fruit! It is important to know!

A pooja set available from us is not automatically only intended for Hindu ceremonies, even if it was forged / produced in India. With the set, wonderfully smaller and larger celebrations of devotion, gratitude and veneration of important, essential qualities of life and powers can be carried out, to put it in Western language.

Poojas in Hinduism

In many Hindu traditions, pooja is part of daily religious practice. But it is also a frequently used ceremony at religious festivals and other special occasions. The rituals serve the concentration of the mind, the opening of the heart and the unity with the divine. They also have cleansing power and can attract healing energies.

Basically, poojas can take place anywhere, in your own house and courtyard as well as in temples or in nature. In Hinduism, religious practice takes place to a large extent in the home. The object of worship here is the divine in a statue made of metal or other materials, or even just a colorful paper picture. Often the focus is not on personal representation, but an emblem, such as a lingam or trident for Shiva. The worship of the divine is also very common in certain plants, such as the Tulsi (Indian basil), or simply in a jug of water.

For poojas at home there are household altars (in all ranges, from the simplest to sumptuous and expansive) and all kinds of beautiful utensils such as ritual plates, bells, holders for butter lights, for incense, bowls and plates for e.g. Sandalwood paste or offerings such as fruit or prasad (sacrificed, consecrated food).

The process of a traditional Hindu or Buddhist pooja is strictly regulated. However, depending on the occasion and tradition, the length and design can be varied.

... here is an exemplary procedure

An integral part of every traditional puja is the singing of bhajans (spiritual songs) and kirtans (invocations of various aspects of God) at the beginning of the ritual and the repetition of consciously chosen mantras during the ceremony.

After attunement, the chakra points on the forehead of the pooja participants are marked with sandalwood colors to open awareness of the presence and power of the deity or the guru. Mantras of praise and bowing serve to awaken and invoke the deity, the subsequent respect and honors are in the Indian tradition of hospitality towards high attendance. This includes the symbolic washing of the feet, the welcome greeting and the ritual bath, in the pooja mostly in the form of pouring over with purified water. Offerings are an integral part of every pooja. Flowers, camphor, milk, rice and prasad are offered to the deity; framed by further mantras of praise and gratitude.

The pooja usually ends with a prayer, often a traditional light ceremony (arati) and respectful bow as a sign of devotion. The Prasad, energetically charged during the ceremony, will be distributed after the ritual.

Natural rituals

It is up to the taste whether you have to use a partly very fine pooja tableware for a natural ritual, as is already the case at home or in temples.

Experienced practitioners of natural rituals like to emphasize simplicity and naturalness here; a suitable, energetically appealing place, preferably under a tree, the altar made of collected natural materials, the paraphernalia (ritual objects such as stones, feathers, shells, antlers, flowers, natural colors) assigned to the natural elements and given by life, incense, mantras and lively ones "Earthy" music, drums and dance ... just a festival of consecration.

A good pooja is to be seen as an invitation to the divine, in all its forms ... in people, in nature, in the world of animals, plants and the elementary. That is why it should be held with appropriate intimacy and 'hospitality'.

What do European pooja practitioners with a considerable wealth of experience say on this topic?

I quote the well-known ethnologist and author Wolf-Dieter Storl…

"... A pooja is an archaic, shamanic 'technique' that creates a sacred space in which the soul of nature can manifest itself. It is a solemn act that enables people to open up to the deeper dimensions of being, namely the beings that populate the 'not everyday reality': the nature spirits, the devas of plants and animals, the ancestral spirits and deities. ... Pooja helps people to feel these beings, to experience them and maybe even to 'see' them. Pooja is not only good for people; the ritual is also 'food' and strengthening for nature and a blessing for the country. ... "

Furthermore ...

“… Pooja-like, shamanic rituals do not only belong to the Hindus or non-European primitive people. They were once part of our own indigenous culture, the culture of the Celts, Teutons, Slavs and other early European peoples. ... "

"... There are simple, spontaneous poojas and those that are incredibly complicated, complex or time-consuming. ... "

"... As an ethnologist [...] I was able to recognize that such rituals are universal in their basic features, that is to say they are present in practically every cultural tradition. ... "

"... While the Indians above all take a look inside and call in the deities that live in the depths of the soul, the Indians direct their rituals more to the gods and spirit beings, who are the starry sky, the clouds, the forests, mountains and Inhabit lakes. ... "

“… The way you celebrate a pooja is open - similar to the music of the Indian ragas or how well improvised jazz. The main thing is that the pooja works, that it loosens the souls, lifts them out of their daily routines […]. "

"... There has to be a real reason to do such a ritual. You don't do pooja out of sheer curiosity, not even out of scientific curiosity, nor for entertainment or as a show, and certainly not for selfish reasons […] ”