The Library

Puja - ritual



Puja, or ritual worship of one`s deity is a common practice in all religious beliefs.  The following ritualsl are based on a recognition of the Lord Shiva.  A similar puja can be practiced to honour any recognition of God.  The important thing about any ritual is that it must be meaningful, and practiced with awareness.

On waking

You may: start the day positively with acknowledgement of your guru. 

While still in bed, blow into the right hand

Open the eys and look into the palm

            See your guru - recite the mantram `Om guru namah` taking the hand over the face and head, symbolising the help of the guru in keeping the senses under control.

            See Shiva - repeat the mantram `Om Shivaya namah`, and the hand over the face and head movement.

            See Ganesh - `Om Ganesh namah` and the face/head movement.


                                                            And / or

Before your morning puja, shower or at least wash your hands and face.

At the place where you collect water for your shrine, outside if possible,

Recite 3 times `Om Ganesh namaha` with thumb to little finger, 4th finger, middle finger.

                        `Om Surya namaha` with hands in anjali mudra` 3  times, facing east. You may wish to touch the heart centre, third eye and head crown.          

                        `Om Ganga namaha` pouring water from the hands or loti onto the ground.                


Morning Shrine Puja


Go to your shrine or shrine room, on entering ring the bell to tell your god you have come and to invite him/her to join you.


Prostrate yourself on the ground towards an image of your guru, saying `Om Guru Namaha` x3


The invocation:

                                    Om Lord Shiva, with Parvati your consort, and Ganesh your son, I/we invite you to join me/us.

Light the candle and incense.


The gifts of Prasadam:

                                    Offer a symbolic meal, or sacrifice, of food and drink.  This might be fruit, biscuit, or seed for the birds to be sprinkled outside later, or the next morning.

To ask for a benefit for someone from this puja, take a few drops of water and place them in the palm of the right hand and pour onto a plate, making your request.



Chanting or silently:

Rerpeat Om 3 times, and then in 1 circle of the mala (or three) repeat your guru mantra, a personal mantra, or gayatri mantra.

Read a passage from a spiritual book such as The Bhagavad Gita.

Repeat the mantra Om 3 times.

Say or chant the Gayatri Mantra (or the Shiva Mantra for Saivites)


If Time Permits:

Practice alternate nostril breathing until the mind is calm and,

Meditate for as long as is available.



Take a few drops of water on the hand again, and as it is poured onto the plate offer all the benefits of this puja for the prayed for.


Honour your God for being with you, and ask for his presence throughout the day.  Bow before your shrine with the hands in anjali mudra.


Make sure the shrine is clean and tidy, and leave with reverence.



Late Evening Puja


At the end of your working day, or just before going to bed again visit your shrine.

Ring the bell, and chant Om 3 times.

Quietly meditate on your feeling of God, and of all that has happened during the day.

With a  spoon sprinkle a few drops of water from the loti pot onto the palm of your right hand and,

Pour the water onto the plate with the prayer,

            `Through my guru, Shiva I offer this gift to you, and all that I have            experienced today, good and bad`

Repeat the Gayatri or Shiva mantra.

Repeat the mantram `Om shanti` 3 times and make your leave.


These rituals, open to much adaptation according to your own needs and facilities, are based on the recognition of Shiva as my ishta devata (the god who has chosen me)  Substitute your own vision of god if necessary.  The Lord`s Prayer may be used at any time.




Derek Osborn                                                        152002





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