Puja, Pūja, Pūjā: 28 definitions

Introduction

Puja means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

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In Hinduism

Nirukta (Sanskrit etymology)

Source: Google Books: Ganapati: Song of the Self (nirukta)

Pūjā (पूजा) is usually translated as “worship”. It derives from the multivalent Sanskrit root puj, meaning “to worship”. This root also means “to honor”; “to serve”; “to collect or bring together”; “'intelligent”; “to shine”. Pūjā is therefore “an intelligent bringing together of luminous elements (in the form of a mūrti) in order to honor or worship”. Thus, a pūjā is a type of ritual that, unlike in a Vedic sacrifice (yajña),employs the use of an image (mūrti). The term pūjā is used to denote a ritual of worship of an image or an aniconic form of a deity as well as of any other object that is considered to possess special power and be sacred. Any such ritual worship, whether performed with a special ritual procedure or not, by a person trained in cover ritualism or not, in a temple or in a home, can be referred to as a “pūjā”.

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana (nirukta)

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to “worship”, according the Śivapurāṇa 1.16. Accordingly.—“the word Pūjā is thus derived: Pūḥ means ‘the achievement of the fruits of enjoyment’. By the rite one achieves the fruits. Jāyate means ‘is born’. Good ideas, knowledge etc. also are included in this. The word Pūjā is used in this sense amongst the people as well as in the sacred texts”.

context information

Nirukta (निरुक्त) or “etymology” refers to the linguistic analysis of the Sanskrit language. This branch studies the interpretation of common and ancient words and explains them in their proper context. Nirukta is one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Himalayan Academy: Dancing with Siva

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: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to “keeping the temple alive” as defined in the Śaivāgamas.—Pūjā means to honour, to respect, to worship. It can be roughly translated as ritual worship intended to honour the deity. It is popularly explained as “that which fulfills all action and bestows knowledge of the self (ātmajñānam)”. Pūjā is said to alleviate all suffering and bestow constant victory. Suprabhedāgama says that pūjā destroys all sin, is divine, causes happiness to all worlds, grants wealth, removes all obstacles and bestows prosperity on the king and the kingdom. Kāraṇāgama states that pūjā is puṇya that is auspicious, removes even the sin caused by mahāpātaka (great sin) and grants all the fruits of performing yajña. Kāmikāgama concludes that pūjā bestows on everyone both bhukti and mukti, prosperity in this world and salvation in the next.

Pūjā is of two types, according to the Pūrvakāmikāgama (v. 20.2) and Kāraṇāgama (v. 30.2): 1) ātmārthapūjā, 2) parārthapūjā. As the names explain, ātmārthapūjā is pūjā offered to a personal liṅga by individuals at their homes, for their own protection or for the sake of specific individual desires. Parārthapūjā on the other hand is ritual worship offered to liṅga established by Devas, Ṛṣis, men, etc. (at temples) for the benefit of all living beings.

Kāmikāgama (v. 4.376) classifies pūjā into three types:—

  1. that which ends with dīpa is parvana,
  2. that which ends with naivedya is pūjana,
  3. that which ends with bali is śāntika.

Kāraṇāgama (30.405) classifies pūjā into nine types.

  1. that which ends with dīpa is arcana,
  2. that which ends with naivedya is pūjana,
  3. that which ends with bali is śāntida,
  4. that which ends with homa is vijaya,
  5. that which ends with utsava is śāntika,
  6. that which ends with stotra is pauṣṭika,
  7. that which ends with saukhya is uttama,
  8. that which ends with culukodaka is śriya,
  9. that which ends with prāṇāgnihotra is saphala.

Kāraṇāgama (30.411) also divides pūjā into sāṅga, upāṅga and pratyaṅga.

Ajitāgama (20.19) has a different nomenclature and classifies pūjā into:—

  1. that which ends with havis or naivedya is termed śuddha,
  2. that which ends with nityotsava is termed miśra,
  3. that which ends with śuddhanṛtta is termed saṅkīrṇa.

The most important dharma of the Ādiśaiva priest is to maintain the “presence” and sanctity of the deity by offering regular pūjā as prescribed. Only then can the temple be a storehouse of energy for the public. Only then can the devotees find their God in the sanctum. This he does through pūjā.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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.

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Ganapatya (worship of Ganesha)

Source: Google Books: Ganapati: Song of the Self

Pūjā (पूजा) is a type of ritual that employs the use of an image (mūrti).—A pūjā usually takes place in a temple or permanent sacred space and does not entail the use of offerings into a sacred fire. It is performed either by an individual or a priest for the prosperity, blessings, welfare, or boons of an individual or individuals. In general, it may said that pūjā represent an act of devotion. They are performed to: 1. receive the deity's blessings, 2. develop an awareness of one’s own inner divinity

Pūjās range in complexity from the relatively simple to the wonderfully complex. They differ in regards to what words (mantras) are said, what gestures (mudrās) are employed, what images (mūrti or vigraha) are used, what aims the worshipper has, the nature of the aspirant, and the objects employed. They also vary according to the intensity of one's devotion, one's ability to afford the items necessary for any given pūjā, or the occasion. However, no matter how simple or complex the pūjā, it establishes a heightened communion between the worshipper and the worshipped. While the pūjā is being performed, there is an intimate physical, mental, and spiritual connection between the devotee and the deity.

Each act in a pūjā is not only physical and/or mental, but also symbolic, cosmic, and spiritual. Sprinkling, sipping, and bathing are symbolic of purification, of the worshipped as well as of the worshipper and the surroundings. Various offerings symbolize the surrendering of one’s latent tendencies (vāsanā) as expressed in thoughts, words, and deeds. Of the various types of pūjās, the one with sixteen (ṣoḍaśa) items or offerings (upacāra) is very common.

context information

Ganapatya (गाणपत्य, gāṇapatya) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Ganesha is revered and worshipped as the prime deity (ishta-devata). Being a minor though influential movement, Ganapatya evovled, llike Shaktism and Shaivism, as a separate movement leaving behind a large body of literature.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to “worship”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to:—Offering of worship. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to:—Worship of the deity. (cf. Glossary page from Arcana-dīpikā).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

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

Source: WikiPedia: 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist TermsHonor; 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: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

(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).

context information

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).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

1) Pūjā (पूजा, “honors”) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XIV, “there are three kinds of honors (pūjā): i) One is respected (satkṛta) by people as a result of merit (puṇya) acquired in the course of previous existences (pūrvajanman); ii) One is respected by people as a result of qualities (guṇa) of which one has given evidence in the present lifetime (ihajanman) in practicing morality (śīla), rapture (dhyāna) and wisdom (prajñā); iii) By falsehood (mṛṣā) and deception (vipralambha) one can have no virtue inwardly and outwardly seem quite white: one wins honors by deceiving one’s contemporaries”.

2) Pūjā (पूजा, “honors”) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVI.—Accordingly, “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”.

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.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Pūjā (पूजा) refers to an “offering ritual” in Tantric Buddhism, according to the 9th-century Vajraḍākatantra chapter 18.61-74.—Accordingly, at the place where there is only one tree, in the graveyard, on the mountain, in the cave, in one’s house, at the boundary place of a town or a village, in the empty residence, on the wet or dried ground, or at the shrine of a mother Goddess, an offering is done. A Yogin, putting a vessel in the left side of him, offers various things together with raw flesh, fish, immortal nectar (pañcāmṛta).

Then the Yogin invites Goddesses to please them with nectar—five Ḍākinīs and twenty-four Goddesses come to the Yogin’s place, forming a maṇḍala. [...] These twenty-four female deities are explained in chapter 24 as those of horā. [...] The text tells that the bring the Yogin success in all rituals or religious actions. Finally the bali offering in accordance with the distinction of the rituals (śānti, puṣṭi and so on) is briefly explained.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Pūjā (पूजा) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Pūjācinta forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Vākcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the vākcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the nirmāṇa-puṭa (emanation layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Pūjā] and Vīras are reddish madder in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

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: HereNow4U: ABC Of Jainism

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.

General definition book cover
context information

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.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Pūjā.—(CII 1; ML), an honour; the act of honouring. Note: pūjā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

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

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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)

Pali book cover
context information

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and 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.

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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 Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

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

--- OR ---

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

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pūjā (पूजा).—[pūj-bhāve-a] Worship, honour, adoration, respect, homage; प्रतिबध्नाति हि श्रेयः पूज्यपूजाव्यतिक्रमः (pratibadhnāti hi śreyaḥ pūjyapūjāvyatikramaḥ) R.1.79.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Puja (पुज).—(m.c. for Sanskrit pūjā), homage: puja karoti (so read, as two words) Gaṇḍavyūha 215.3 (verse).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pūjā (पूजा).—f.

(-jā) Worship, culture, respect, homage of superiors or adoration of the gods. E. pūj to worship, affs. aṅ and ṭāp.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pūjā (पूजा).—[pūj + ā], f., Worshipping, honouring, respect, adoration, [Kathāsaritsāgara, (ed. Brockhaus.)] 4, 43; [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] 45, 18.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pūjā (पूजा):—[from pūj] f. honour, worship, respect, reverence, veneration, homage to superiors or adoration of the gods, [Gṛhya-sūtra; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata etc.]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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