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Puja What you will learn: 1) What is Puja ? 2) Why Hindu’s carry out Puja? 3) What are the advantages of puja in the home. 4) What are the advantages of puja in the temple. Puja Write down the things you do as a matter of routine from the moment you wake in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night. What is so important in your routine that you would feel totally lost if you forgot to do it? Anything? Puja • Puja is a daily routine for Hindus. • Puja is an act of daily worship. • Puja is made at least once a day, usually in the morning. • It is a simple form of worship using Mantras (prayers) and making offerings. • At the end of Puja, any food offered to the god is shared out amongst the worshippers. • This food is known as prashad. The practice of Puja • Hindus are normally devoted to one God Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh, Kali etc. The shrine can be very decorative or simple and is usually just part of a room in the home where the image of God can be placed on a shelf and surrounded by flowers. • The image of the god is “awakened” by the lighting of a flame (Agni) and by the sound of the prayer (Mantra), the playing of music (Raga) or the ringing of the bell. • The shrine is then decorated – with flowers. • Incense is burned and Arti performed before the image. • The worshipper will then put his/her hands together and raise them to the forehead or the breast. A drop of holy water is drunk. • The Picca (or Tilak) mark is placed on the forehead. • All five senses have been awakened to begin the day. In what ways are the five senses awakened during puja? Activity • Draw a Hindu shrine and name six items you would see on the shrine at Puja. • Write a short paragraph describing at least four actions carried out by the worshippers during puja and say what you think each action means to the Hindu as he worships. • Pick out four symbols from puja and explain how these symbols represent Shiva’s role as creator and destroyer. Puja in the temple or puja in the home? Hindus do not need to go to the Temple (Mandir). They can worship at home. However, many Hindus like to visit the Temple and can do so at any time during the day. In Britain many Hindus worship in the Temple on a Sunday morning and on special festivals. “worship in the home is more important than worship in the temple.” • Why would Hindus want to meet in the temple? • Why would worship at home be more important than worship in the temple? • Would it make any difference if the Hindu were living in Britain or India? Activities Credit/general: Read pages 32,33,34,35 in The Hindu Experience and answer the questions on page 33 and 35 Foundation/general: The Hindu Experience: Foundation edition Page 50: Do task then copy out the bold sentences. Page 51: Copy the sentence followed by 3 bullet points. Do questions 2 and 3. Page 52: Do question 1. Page 53: Copy the bold sentences. Page 54: questions 1 and 2 What have you learnt about puja? • Do you know what Puja is? • Do you know why Hindu’s carry out Puja? • Do you know the advantages of having puja in the home? • Do you know the advantages of having puja in the temple?