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Lecture by Swami Paramarthananda

Transcribed by Sri VLN Prasad

Note: Swami Paramarthananda has not verified the transcription. Transcription has been done with Swamiji's blessings by his disciple

has been done with Swamiji's blessings by his disciple Published by : Arsha Avinash Foundation 104

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with Swamiji's blessings by his disciple Published by : Arsha Avinash Foundation 104 Third Street, Tatabad,

Arsha Avinash Foundation 104 Third Street, Tatabad, Coimbatore 641012, India Phone: +91 9487373635 E mail:

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Significance of Daily Pūja

Significance of Daily Pūja

sadāsiva samārambhām sankarāchārya madhyamām asmad āchārya paryantām vande guru paramparām

Verse No. 14

asthirāyām vikalpasyāt sthandilētu bhavēdvayam snapanam tva vilēpyāyām anyatra parimārjanam

In the beginning of this 22 nd chapter, Uddhava asked the Lord to teach him Karma Yōga which was named as Kriyā Yōgaha. This Karma Yōga is a stepping stone to Gnyāna Yōga. Therefore, Karma Yōga is very important and inevitable. Karma Yōga consists of several types of disciplines.

Among them, an important discipline is ritualistic worship of the Lord. It is done taking the help of the Vēdic Mantrās and also taking the help of the Āgama Shāstra depending upon the deity that we want to worship. If it is Vishnu Pūja, we take the help of Vaishnava Āgamās, if it is Shiva Pūja, Shaiva Āgamās, if it is Devi Pūja, Shākta Āgamās. We can choose any deity.

Regularly, ritualistically worshiping the deity is also considered very important. Many people ask that I don’t have time for that. Can I do the Pūja at any other time? Can I combine the Pūja when I am going in a vehicle or waiting for the bus or auto-rickshaw? According to our scriptures, that is not enough.

Exclusively giving time for Pūja indicates our value for religion. When you value something, you are able to give something that you value. Time is something which is extremely important for us and time is becoming a rare and rare commodity. Therefore, we have to express our devotion.

Even our love to the family members, we have to express by giving them exclusive time. Bhakti is also the same. It is ok to do Japa at any

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other time, but we should give exclusive time for Pūja, however limited it may be.

One may be not able to give three hours or two hours, but one should give at-least a few minutes (10 or 15 minutes) of exclusive time for either Kāyika Pūja or Mānasa Pūja or some form of Japa or Pārāyanam. We consider it to be important. Therefore, Krishna prescribes a ritualistic Pūja in this chapter.

He talked about varieties of idols which can be used. It can be made up of metals or a wood. It can be in the form of a picture or it can also be made out of mud - Ashtavidha Pratima. We should remember that we don’t say the idol is God because the idol is a finite thing and an inert thing also. Idol represents the all pervading, intelligent principle.

We can take any form of idol or deity because after all, it is representative. God is one, but the representing idol can be of any form, any color, and any material. Therefore, we need not wonder as to which deity is superior. We don’t have to quarrel whether Vishnu is superior or Shiva is superior.

Wherever the mind gets appealed, I choose the Ishta Dēvata depending on that. When I choose a particular Ishta Dēvata, others don’t become Anishta Dēvatās. Be very careful. This is Ishta Dēvata means, I choose this for Pūja. What about other Dēvatās? I look upon my Ishta Dēvata itself taking the Vēsham of all other Dēvatās.

If I am a Rama Bhakta, Krishna is none other than my Rama in Krishna Vēsha and Devi is my Rama in Dēvi Vēsha. That is why during Navarātri Devi is given different types of Alankārās. What is the purpose of that? Only one God is there. Nāma-Rūpās are temporarily taken by Nāma Rūpa Rahita Ēshwaraha.

anāmakam arūpakam sakrudvibhātam sarwagnyam nōpachārah kathanchana - Gaudapādāchārya tells in Māndukya Kārika that

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Bhagawān doesn’t have a particular Nāma-Rūpa. We add them for the sake of worship. Thereafter, Krishna points out that, depending upon the type of deity, we have to adjust the type of Pūja also.

He divided the idols into Chala Pratishtha and Achala Pratishtha and depending upon that, Udvāsanam and Āvāhanam will be there or will not be there. A permanent deity does not require regular invitation because he is already present. Suppose, a person has come home, we say ‘please come’.

Later, we give him something to drink or eat. We don’t keep on saying ‘please come’. Therefore, saying ‘please come’ is meaningful, but not permanently. Therefore, depending upon the Pratishtha, you have to use your discrimination and use Āvāhana, Udvāsanam appropriately. Āvāhana means invitation, Udvāsana means sending out.

Thereafter, in the 14 th verse, Lord Krishna said that various Upachārās are offered to the deity. Upachārās means varieties of honor. In the Shāstra, we have got Shōdasha Upachāra. chatushashti upachārādyā chatushashti kalāmayee - In Lalita Sahasranāmam, 64 Upachārās are there. If you have time and the facility, you can do them.

Otherwise, we have simplified version - Shōdasha Upachāra. If there is no time for that, we have reduced it to Ashtōpachāra, Panchōpachāra, Ekōpachāra etc. Everything in our culture is like a rubber band. We can expand and we can also contract. The type of Upachāra also will depend upon the type of deity. Snānam is one type of Upachāra.

Snānam especially, Ēkādasha Dravya Snānam etc, you cannot do for all types of idols. Therefore, Krishna says - if the deity is in the form of a picture or in the form of mud, then you cannot do Abhishēka. If so, the deity will go. Deity will go means the symbol will go.

Therefore, use your discretion. In any idol other than mud and picture (Lēpya and Lēkhya), we can do Snapanam. Lēpya means a mud idol.

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Lēkhya means painting or a picture. In all other idols, we can do Snapanam. Snapanam means bathing. You can even use various materials also.

In 14 th verse, 2 nd line, Anyatra means in the case of Lēpya and Lēkhya, you can say Snānam Samarpayāmi. What do you do? You sprinkle water - Parimārjanam. Up to this, we saw in the last class. Continuing

Verse 15

dravyaih prasidhhair madyāgaha pratimādishwa māyinaha bhaktasyacha yathā labdhaihi hrudi bhāvēnachaivahi

If the deity is in the form of an idol, then varieties of offerings can be given using varieties of materials. All the Āgama Shāstrās elaborately prescribe the materials to be used. Here, Krishna is not interested in giving all the details of Pūja. Remember that this chapter is not to help a Bhakta to do the Pūja.

This chapter is only to inspire a Bhakta to do the Pūja. Keeping this chapter, a person cannot do the Pūja because Krishna doesn’t give the details. He only gives the dots and dashes. This should inspire a Bhakta. Thereafter, when he wants to do Pūja, he has to go to the respective Āgama Shāstra. That too, he cannot read a book.

He should go to an Ācharya and he should get initiated into the Pūja. Therefore, Guru and an Āgama Shāstra must be used. Even if I don’t read that book, I should take the help of a priest or a person who knows how to do the Pūja. Therefore, this chapter is not a help to perform a Pūja. This chapter is only to inspire. That is why Krishna uses the generic expression Dravyaihi.

Dravayam means appropriate material. If you go to Āgama Shāstra, they will give the details of which flowers must be used for which deity. They tell us Bilvam should be used for which deity, Tulasi is used for which deity, Japā Kusumam for whom etc. Even the types of flowers

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are prescribed and the types of leaves are prescribed. Those details are not here.

Here, Krishna generally says prasiddhaihi dravyaihi - with the help of the appropriate materials, considered to be auspicious for that particular deity. We use Tulasi for Vishnu, Bilva for Shiva, Japā Kusuma for Devi etc. That is indicated by the word Prasiddham. Prasiddham does not mean popular. Prasiddham means the auspicious, prescribed material.

With help of those materials, madyāgaha bhavati - you have to supply the verb Bhavati. madyāgaha means Ēshwara Ārādhanam Bhavati. Here, the word Yāgaha does not mean fire sacrifice. It means Pūja or Ārādhanam. Here, Krishna is referring into a Vaishnava Ārādhanam because he says madyāgaha, my Pūja.

It is not Shiva Ārādhanam, but it is Vishnu Ārādhanam. Pratimāndishu - upon the appropriate Pratima; It may be an idol or it may even be a Sāligrāma. But Krishna gives a clause yathā labdhaihi - according to the availability. What a beautiful clause! With whatever is available at that particular season.

So, what is allowed and what is available. Both conditions should be satisfied - available and allowed. Prasiddhaihi means allowed. yathā labdhaihi means as available and also depending upon the resources of the individual. Certain materials may be expensive and it may not be possible for me.

Then, we have got simpler ones, cheaper ones also - Patram, Pushpam, Phalam, Tōyam. Visēsha Pūja means all flowers will become expensive because that is the only one time when they can make some money. Anyway, we should take it as a type of Dānam.

If they cannot afford to purchase expensive materials, then they are allowed to use Akshatās and Jalam. So, bhaktasya madyāgaha bhavati - for a Bhakta, my Pūja is possible. If none of them is available and idol

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is also not there and also, I cannot sit and do Pūja, then there is another option. What is that? bhāvēnacha. The whole thing can be done mentally also.

ratnaihi kalpita māsanam himajalaihi snānam cha divyāmbaram - all of them are kalipitam āsanam. Kalipitam means mentally visualized. Even for that visualization, we have no trouble because great Ācharyās have already written Slōkās. Otherwise even in imagination we will put a plastic Āsanam!

Therefore, Shankarāchārya says - it is already an imagination. At-least, offer Ratna Āsanam there. You cannot have physical Ratnam, at-least offer it mentally - sauvarnē navaratna khanda rachitē patrē ghrutam pāyasam. You cannot physically offer ghee because it is an expensive. But in Mānasa Pūja, you can use ghee generously.

Therefore, Krishna says bhāvēnacha. The idol is Bhāvaha, materials are Bhāvaha, Namaskāra is Bhāvaha (because he cannot get up). Even if he struggles and does Namaskāra, somebody has to lift him up. Therefore, you need not even do physical Namaskāra. Do bhāvēna. But one condition is - if you can do Namaskāra, don’t say bhāvēna.

That is Pāpam. When you can do Namaskāra, you should compulsorily do. In this manner, madyāgaha bhavati; The most important and the toughest condition is in the first line, last word amāyinaha. Krishna has been using this word. Previously, in the 9 th verse also, he used the expression amāyayā. Now also, he says amāyinaha.

Here, the commentators point out amāyinaha means Nishkāma Bhaktasya. May you convert your Pūja into a Nishkāma Pūja. May you not use Pūja for Sakāma purposes. Let it be a religious spiritual Pūja, but not a religious materialistic Pūja.

It is because you should remember that the ultimate aim of every Pūja is the gradual removal of Ahamkāra and Mamakāra. We are bringing

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Ēshwara into our life not to nourish our Ahamkāra and Mamakāra. Bringing Ēshwara to nourish Ahamkāra and Mamakāra is abuse of Pūja. We should bring Ēshwara to our life only for the reduction of Ahamkāra and Mamakāra.

Therefore, the motive of the Pūja should be the Ahamkāra-Mamakāra reduction. That means, all the prayers which are Aham-Mama centric must be avoided. Aham-Mama centric prayers means body centric prayers, family centric prayers, property centered prayers and profession centered or business centered prayers.

If I have all these forms of prayers during the performance of the Pūja, that Pūja will be a materialistic Pūja. I will be dragged down spiritually, which is an abuse of Pūja. I should use Pūja to uplift me spiritually. Therefore, the motive during the Pūja should be either Lōka Kshēmārtham.

sarvē bhavanthu sukhinaha sarvē santu nirāmayāha alone must be the thought hovering around me. In Pūja room, in front of the deity, only Lōka Kshēma must be there. If at all, there is ‘I’ centric thought; it must be Gnyāna Vairāgya Siddhyartham because Gnyāna Vairāgyam is destroyer of Ahamkāra and Mamakāra.

Since Gnyāna Vairāgyam will destroy Aham-Mama, we can pray for Gnyāna Vairāgyam. If you don’t know the value of Gnyānam and Vairāgyam, Lōka Kshēmārtha must be the Pūja. Therefore, Krishna emphasizes that materialistic Pūja must be given up and we should grow, evolve into spiritual Pūja, Nishkāma Pūja.

Ārta Arthārthi Bhakti should be given up and Jignyāsa Bhakti must be developed. When we are climbing a staircase, we put one leg upon the higher step. After putting on leg on higher step, if you have to go forward, it is compulsory to leave the lower step. So, developing Jignyāsa Bhakti requires the renunciation of Ārta Arthārthi Bhakti. You will never climb the staircase unless you renounce the lower step.

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Therefore, we have to give up prayers centered on our own physical body, prayers centered on family, prayers centered on business, property etc. This much renunciation is compulsory if the Pūja must take me towards spiritual growth. We may study any number of Vēdāntic Grandhās.

Studying Vēdānta is putting up one step higher. But what we do is - we keep one step higher, but we refuse to give up the Sakāma Bhakti. We want to have both - Naishkarmya Siddhi on one side and family prayers on the other side. Krishna says it won’t work. You have to study Vēdānta and place your foot on higher step.

With the strength of that one foot, you have to lift yourself. Even in crisis, there should not be family centric, body centric prayers because I have surrendered my body and my family to Ēshwara. When did I surrender? During my Pūja, I have surrendered my family and my body to the Lord.

Lord has to decide what to happen. My prayer continues to be sarvē bhavanthu sukhinaha or Gnyāna Vairāgya Siddhyartham. This is extremely important. I am emphasizing this because religious materialism is spreading like a wild fire. Everybody is introducing newer and newer Pūjas for newer and newer material benefits.

We have to renounce religious materialism called Sakāma Bhakti and we have to come to religious spirituality. Who says? Krishna says amāyinaha. In front of Bhagawān, let your thought be sarvē bhavanthu sukhinaha. Don’t imagine your children and grandchildren only all the times.

Let the mind expand. Expansion is Mōksha, contraction or narrowness is Samsāra. Give up narrow mindedness at-least, in the Pūja room, in front of the deity. Therefore, amāyinaha;

snāna alankaranam prēshtham archāyām ēvatu uddhava sthandilē tatva vinyāsaha vanhā vājyaplutam havihi

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Here, Krishna talks about certain general rules with regard to the employment of varieties of materials for Pūja. archāyām snāna alankaranam prēshtham - if we are using an idol for worship, whatever material out of which the idol is made (other than picture and mud), it is very good if you can do Abhishēkam etc.

Even if not every day, on important days, Abhishēkam is good. Therefore, Krishna says Snānam. It can be done with various materials like Ēkādasha Dravyam, Shōdasha Dravyam etc. Shaivās or Smārtās will use Ēkādasha Dravyams because in Rudram, Ēkādasha Anuvākās are there. Therefore, each Dravyam represents one Anuvāka.

Vishnu Bhakta will use Purushasūktam for Pūja. Purushasūktam has got Shōdasha (sixteen) Mantrās. Therefore, they use sixteen materials for Pūja. Thus, based upon the type of Mantra you use, like Rudram or Purushasūktam, we can have various Dravyās, followed by Alankaranam.

Alankāra means decoration of the idol. The beauty is, even though we are doing this to a small idol, the Mantrās are fantastic. lam pruthivyātmanē gandhān dhārayāmi, ākāshātamanē, vayuvātmanē,

the visualization is that Bhagawān is in the form of the

Pancha Bhūtās and the Pāncha Bhoutika Prapancha.


When I say that Bhagawān is Pancha Bhūtās and the entire universe what should be my thought? Everything belongs to Bhagawān only. Where is the scope for my wife, my husband, my children, my grandchildren? I cannot claim that this is my own body because in the Pūja, I am declaring that everything belongs to you.

Interesting contradiction is that I chant this mantra - O Lord, everything is yours. I have nothing. In the end I say - let my grandchild be alright. Isn’t this a contradiction? This is called violation of the very purpose of Pūja. At the end of the Pūja, I should be empty handed. ‘I’ should not exist. It means Ahamkāra (not Aham Brahmāsmi) should not exist.

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Aham Pada Vāchyārtha should not exist. When I am not there, where is the question of my property and my children? At the end of the Pūja, I should not have anything to ask for. That is why it is said - tyaja dharmam adharmam cha ubhē satyānrutē tyaja, ubhē satyānrutē tyaktvā ēna tyajati tatyaja. Offer everything to the Lord.

You should not offer whatever you don’t require. At least, start with that because we keep unwanted, old plastic bottles though they are to be crushed and thrown. The Slōka says - after offering everything that you possess, you keep on saying I have offered everything. It is biggest ego, fattened ego.

Why is it fat? Because it claims - I have offered everything. Therefore, the Slōka says - finally, offer the offerer. With that ego, the Ahamkāra, you have offered everything. Renounce that ego also. That is why the final stage of Bhakti is that there is no Bhakta. bhaktasya tyāgaha is the final one called Ātma Nivēdanam.

What is left behind once Bhakta is gone? īshāvāsya midam sarvam - everything is Bhagawān and Bhagawān alone. Is it Dvaitam or Advaitam? It has to culminate in Advaitam only. Either you swallow everything therefore, Advaitam. Or you offer everything therefore, Advaitam. Ultimately, Advaitam alone gives Pūrnatvam.

That’s why somebody said - suppose you are sitting in front of a banana leaf on which all types of wonderful food items are served and you are going on looking at it. They are all your favorite dishes. There is observer-observed Dvaitam. Are you happy? You are waiting to attack. In-fact, you get wild if somebody starts 15 th chapter of Gīta.

What is the process of eating? The process of eating is bhōktru-bhōjya division is removed. Everything disappears into you. When we burp, it means Pūrnatvam because of bhōktru-bhōga Dvaita Nishēdha. That Ānanda is indicated by the burp. Similarly, in Pūja also Bhakta- Bhagawān division should go. There is no more Bhakta.

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Sarvam Ēshwara Mayam, Vishnu Mayam Jagat; Therefore, what I want to say is that when you take all the Upachārās, the words used are - O Lord, you are in the form of everything. The earth has got a unique property called Gandha. In Tarka Shāstra, it is said that the unique property of earth is Gandhaha - gandhavati pruthvi.

To indicate that, we are taking Chandanam and applying it to the Lord; What is significance of Chandana Alankāra? It is to show that O Lord, you are the Chandanam which is Gandhaha representing the Pruthvi Bhūtam. Similarly, every material you use represents the Pancha Bhūtās only.

That means, at the time of Pūja, I should see Bhagawān as everything. Therefore, alankāranam pēshtham; Prēshtham means they are all the most desirable form of worship or offering. Where? archāyām ēva - you can do all of them when there is physical idol. ēvatu uddhava - In between, he is addressing Uddhava. Hey Uddhava, are you awake? These are all to be done.

When it is sthandilē; Sthandila means a specially designed portion of earth. Prepared portion of ground is called Sthandila where the ground itself is treated as Bhagawān and Pūja is done to the earth. Why is it called Sthandilam? It is a prepared ground. It has been cleaned and varieties of mantras are chanted. Even cow dung is used for preparation.

We saw in one of the previous chapters in Uddhava Gīta itself. Since it is a specially prepared ground, it is called Sthandilam. When it is Sthandilam, you cannot offer water etc. Therefore, there the Pūja is different. tatva vinyāsaha - the various Tatvams which represent the various aspects of creation like Pruthvi Tattvam, Ākāsha Tatvam, Jala Tatvam etc.

They are all invoked in various parts which is called Tatva Vinyāsaha. Vinyāsaha means touching the ground and chanting the Mantra. It is just as we do upon our own body - hrudayāya namaha, shirasē swāha etc.

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The various Tatvams will depend upon whether you are using Vaishnava Āgama or Shaiva Āgama or Shākta Āgama.

Different Āgamās enumerate different Tatvams. Not only the Tatvams vary, but even the number will vary. In the second chapter of Māndukya Kārika, Gaudapādāchārya mentions Ēka Vimshati. Some people talk about 21 Tatvas. Some Āchāryās talk about 31 Tatvams, some talk about 36.

Gaudapāda says whatever the number, Brahman is one. He is Mahā Advaiti. Therefore, he says - you do whatever you do. Starting with Dvaitam is great, but ending with Dvaitam is not great. It is great to start with Dvaitam, but never end with Dvaitam. Ultimately, everyone has to come to Advaitam.

You can describe that Advaitam as - if you want you can say that Bhagawān alone is there or you can say the self, the Parama Ātma alone is there. You can give whatever name you want to the ultimate truth. You can say Bhagawān or you can say Ātma. We don’t care about the name. The ultimate truth is of the nature of Sath Chit Ānanda.

If you would love to call the ultimate truth as Vishnu, what should be the description of Vishnu? Satyam Gnyanam Anantam. We don’t care if you call the ultimate truth as Shiva. But what should be the description of Shiva? Satyam Gnyanam Anantam. When you call the ultimate truth as Devi, Devi is Satyam Gnyanam Anantam. Truth is only one.

That is what your aim is. So, tatva vinyāsaha - several tatvās; Suppose, the deity you are using is in the form of Agni or a flame. For Devi Pūja, the flame is used for worship. Of course, in the Vēdic rituals, it is said agnim īdē. Agni is the deity on which Bhagawān is invoked.

What do you do there? You cannot do Abhishēkam. You should use your discretion. There, Krishna says - ājyaplutam havihi. You have to offer various oblations like cooked rice etc. That too, it must be soaked

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in ghee. Plutam means soaked. Ājyam means Ghee. Havihi means oblation. Thus, the type of Upachāra will depend upon on the type of invocation.

Which one is superior? Every form of Pūja is equally great. Then, why is variety given? It is because people have different types of tastes and different types of resources also. In the desert, we should do one type of Pūja. In Kerala, where we have got plenty of natural resources, we can do another type of Pūja. How do you split the word vanhā vājyaplutam?

It should be split as vanhou. vanhou means upon the fire. Then, ājyaplutam - ājyam means ghee, plutam means soaked, havihi means oblation. Not only that, after offering that, you should retain some portion to consume as Prasāda. Therefore, it also caters to our tongue especially, if it is Vishnu because Vishnu is Bhōga Swāmi.

Shiva is Yōga Swāmi. Therefore, Vishnu being Bhōga Swāmi, we offer wonderful Chakkara Pongal, Pulihora and thereafter, we consume it. You don’t get much in Shiva Temple. That is why it is nice to be a Smārta. A Smārta is neither a Vaishnava nor a Shaiva. He is like a coalition Government.

Vishnu Temple is Ok, Shiva temple is Ok, church is Ok, and mosque is also Ok. Any temple is Ok for him. That person is called a Smārta. Therefore, that is very nice so that we will get all the Prasādam. It is just a joke. Don’t take it seriously. Continuing

sūryēchā bhyarhanam prēshtham salilē salilādibhihi shraddhayōpā hrutam prēshtham bhaktēna mama vāryapi

sūryēcha abhyarhanam prēshtham - if you have invoked the Lord upon the Sun, then what kind of Abhishēkam can you do? Sun is so many crores of miles away. You cannot even go near. Where is the question of doing Abhishēka? Offering materials etc, are not possible. Therefore, you take some water and offer to the Sun with Mantrās. It is called Abhyarhanam or Tarpanam where invoked waters are offered.

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That is why Sandhyāvandanam also, we say ādityam tarpayāmi, sōmam tarpayāmi, angārakam tarpayāmi, budham tarpayāmi etc. What does he do? He takes water. What a prayer! Here also, you see that the prayer is offered to all the Planets, the Sun, Moon etc. Remember, all the time, Sarvātma Bhāva or Sarva Ēshwara Bhāva alone has been our vision.

Vishwarūpa Darshanam has been the aim of all our forms of Pūja. Therefore, we invoke the Lord upon the Surya and Abhyarhanam, offer water. It is because generally, they have daily Snānam in the temple tank or in the river. Therefore, water is there to offer. So, abhyarhanam prēshtham; prēshtham means the most desirable form of worship.

salilē - Suppose you are invoking the Lord upon the water. River Ganga is there and I invoke Ēshwara upon that Ganga Devi. How do you do Abhishēkam? Again, you take water from there itself and you offer (Tarpayāmi). You cannot offer any other materials. Of course, some of the other materials can be offered.

If you go to Rishikesh or Haridwar, they have got Ganga Ārati. They offer Chandanam, Kumkum, Turmeric etc to Ganga Devi. But the main offering is salilam itself. So, salila ādibhihi - by offering water etc. shraddhayā upāhrutam prēshtham - This is most important. All of them must be done with Shraddha.

Because when we do Nishkāma Bhakti and when we decide not to pray for the body, not to pray for the family, what is our incentive for Pūja? Our incentive is - we can pray for our children and grandchildren. So, the very incentive for the present Pūja is self-centered, Aham-Mama centered prayer.

Suppose, I take a vow that hereafter, I will not do such prayer. Then what will be the incentive? It is for the inner growth, spiritual growth, for Sādhana Chatushtaya Sampatti etc. Naturally, the question will come as to how I am sure that it will give inner growth because it is an intangible benefit.

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Significance of Daily Pūja

When I offer prayer for money, promotion, children etc, the result is something tangible. But in Nishkāma Pūja, there is no tangible result. It is intangible expansion of mind, purification of mind etc. Since it is intangible, we are not able to appreciate it clearly, unless we have a sensitive mind. Since the result is intangible, our motivation gets diluted.

That is why you will find that people drop all the Nitya-Naimittika Karmās which produce intangible results. Sandhyāvandanam has been dropped by the people. Why do they drop those regular Pūjas? It is because they don’t offer any tangible benefit, but they do any other Pūja for promotion etc, because they give tangible result.

Therefore, the only motive has to be Shraddha - faith that this Nishkāma Pūja will help me grow. It requires tremendous Shraddha. Even though I am not praying for any family benefit or personal benefit, this Pūja is beneficial to me and it is beneficial to the world also. Lōka Kshēma takes place in Nishkāma Pūja. Even if you don’t ask for Lōka Kshēma, it takes place.

Even if you don’t ask for Gnyāna Vairāgyam, Gnyānam and Vairāgyam and Lōka Kshemā come. They will definitely come if I do Nishkāma Pūja, purely for the sake of Pūja with Shraddha. Therefore, Krishna said shraddhayā upāhrutam prēshtham. Nishkāma Pūja done with faith is the best form of Pūja. I expect this out of the Uddhava Gīta Students.

Pūrnmadah Pūrnamidam Pūrnāth Pūrnamudachyatē. Pūrnasya Pūrnamādāya Pūrnamēvāvasishyatē

Om shānti shānti shāntihi

ā ya P ū rnam ē v ā vasishyat ē Om sh ā nti sh ā

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