Puja, aka: Pūja, Pūjā; 12 Definition(s)


Puja means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Pūjā (पूजा) is a ceremony in which the ringing of bells, passing of flames, presenting of offerings and chanting invoke the devas and Mahādevas, who then come to bless and help us. Pūjā is our holy communion, full of wonder and tender affections. It is that part of our day which we share most closely and consciously with our beloved Deity; and thus it is for Śaivites the axis of religious life.

Our worship through pūjā, outlined in the Śaiva Āgamas, may be an expression of festive celebration of important events in life, of adoration and thanksgiving, penance and confession, prayerful supplication and requests, or contemplation at the deepest levels of superconsciousness.

(Source): Himalayan Academy: Dancing with Siva
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Pūjā (पूजा) is a Sanskrit word referring to “offering of worship”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Pūjā is a prayer ritual performed by Hindus to host, honour and worship one or more deities, or to spiritually celebrate an event. It may honour or celebrate the presence of special guest(s), or their memories after they pass away. The word pūjā (Devanagari: पूजा) comes from Sanskrit, and means reverence, honour, homage, adoration, and worship. Puja rituals are also held by Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

In Hinduism, puja is done on a variety of occasions, frequency and settings. It may include daily puja done in the home, to occasional temple ceremonies and annual festivals, to few lifetime events such as birth of a baby or a wedding, or to begin a new venture. As a historical practice, pūjā in Hinduism, has been modeled around the idea of hosting a deity, or important person, as an honored and dearest guest in the best way one can, given one's resources, and receiving their happiness and blessing in return.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Honor; respect; devotional observance. Most commonly, the devotional observances that are conducted at monasteries daily (morning and evening), on uposatha days, or on other special occasions.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

(1) honour, respect, homage,

(2) worship, devotional observances, devotional offerings; also offerings to monks.

(3) The Mahā-mangala Sutta (Sn. 259) says that "Honour and respect towards those worthy of it, is conducive to great blessing" (pūjā ca pūjaniyesu etam mangalam uttamarn). See Dhp. 195f.

(4) The Buddha did not think much of mere outer worship.

“Not thus, Ananda, is the Tathāgata respected, venerated, esteemed, worshipped and honoured in the highest degree. But, Ananda, whatsoever bhikkhu or bhikkhuni, lay man or lay woman, abides by the Teaching, lives uprightly in the Teaching, walks in the way of the Teaching, it is by him that the Tathāgata is respected, venerated, esteemed, worshipped and honoured in the highest degree” (D.16).

“There are two kinds of worship: in a material way (āmisa-pūjā) and through (practice of) the Dhamma (dhamma-pūjā). The worship through (practice of) the Dhamma is the better of the two” (A. II).

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).


pūjā : (f.) veneration; homage; devotional offering.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Pūja, (adj.) (Epic Sk. pūjya, cp. pujja) to be honoured, honourable A. III, 78 (v. l.; T. pūjja); J. III, 83 (apūja= apūjanīya C.); pūjaṃ karoti to do homage Vism. 312. ‹-› See also pūjiya. Pūjanā (f.) (fr. pūjeti) veneration, worship A. II, 203 sq.; Dh. 106, 107; Pug. 19; Dhs. 1121; Miln. 162. (Page 471)

— or —

Pūjā, (f.) (fr. pūj, see pūjeti) honour, worship, devotional attention A. I, 93 (āmisa°, dhamma°); V, 347 sq.; Sn. 906; Dh. 73, 104; Pv. I, 55; I, 512; Dpvs VII. 12 (cetiya°); SnA 350; PvA. 8; Sdhp. 213, 230, 542, 551.—âraha worthy of veneration, deserving attention Dh. 194; DhA. III, 251.—karaṇa doing service, paying homage PvA. 30.—kāra=karaṇa DhA. II, 44. (Page 471)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Pūjā (पूजा, “honors”).—When one sees the Buddhas or hears their qualities spoken of, one honors them in mind, respects them, goes to meet them, accompanies them, bows before them with joined palms, or if they have withdrawn to a quiet place, one hastens to send them food (annapāna), flowers (puṣpa), perfumes (gandha), precious gems (maṇiratna), etc. – In many ways, one lauds their qualities (guṇa) of discipline (śīla), concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (prajñā). If they preach the Dharma, one accepts it with faith and one teaches it.

These good physical, vocal and mental actions constitute pūjā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Pūjā (पूजा, “worship”) as in pūjā-mada refers to “pride in one’s worship” and represents one of the eight forms of vainglory (mada), according to Samantabhadra in his Ratna-Karaṇḍa-śrāvakācāra (with commentary of Prabhācandra). These eight madas are included in the twenty-five blemishes (dṛg-doṣas), which are generally held to be the eight madas, the three mūḍhatās, the six anāyatanas, and the eight doṣas.

(Source): archive.org: Jaina Yoga

While we are doing pūjā, we remember the virtues of Supreme Souls. We recite their virtues and we bow down before their idols with deep devotion. During the pūjā, we should have good thoughts and feelings.

(Source): HereNow4U: ABC Of Jainism
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

pujā (पुजा).—f (pūjā S) Worship; homage of superiors or adoration of the gods. 2 The vessels and articles used, or the several acts and points observed, in idol-worship. Pr. cāmbhārācē dēvālā khēṭa- rācī pujā. 3 Certain ceremonies by Shudras on occasions of demoniac possession. N. B. Pronounced Pudza.

--- OR ---

pūja (पूज).—n (Puj) A dot; esp. the dot over letters, the nasal sign. 2 A cipher, the decimal mark. 3 A cipher or mark in writing (as against a proper name or an article of a list, denoting the person or the article to be wanting). pūja karaṇēṃ To throw out or omit; to neglect or cast into oblivion. vidyēvara pūja paḍalēṃ, snānasandhyāvara pūja paḍalēṃ &c. Studying or knowledge, or ablution &c., are laid aside or are forgotten. vidyēcyā nāvānēṃ pūja, paiśācyā nāvēṃ pūja &c. (His &c.) learning or money has the pūja attached to it; that is he is ignorant, poor &c. bāga cāṅgalā paṇa jhāḍācyā nāvānēṃ pūja A good garden but it lacks trees.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pūja (पूज).—n A dot. A cipher. pūja karaṇēṃ To throw out, to neglect.

--- OR ---

pūjā (पूजा).—and pūjā See pūjaṇēṃ and pūjā.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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