As per Hindu religious texts, Puja is a religious ritual that Hindus perform on a variety of occasions to pray or show respect to their chosen Gods or Goddesses. Puja is performed in temples and also in most of the homes. The object of the puja ritual is to create and setup thoughts of spiritual forces in and around us. This is best achieved by singing or chanting of some mantra, performing certain actions and making offerings in three defined stages. Each mantra is a magazine of vast spiritual forces.
I believe that meaning of puja is not only something like performing a ritual by murmuring some Sanskrit words, closing your eyes and praying for something good should happen to yourself and your family. Puja also means performing any of your day to day routines with honesty, sincerity and complete devotion to the work you perform without any expectations, personal gains and fruits of the work performed. This work in turn must be offered to the supreme creator, sustainer, protector and the destroyer of all the evils as His services.
A saint did Tapasya in forest. For years he sat in meditation. One day a divine voice informed him that he has been favoured by God with divine knowledge. He was also told that God wished him to go to the city and share the knowledge with others for their benefit. The saint was very happy. He thanked the Lord and got up to start his journey. Just at that moment a bird dropped its beet on his head. The saint was very annoyed and looked up at the bird with anger. The bird was burnt and reduced to ashes. The saint was surprised. Suddenly he realized that he has become so powerful that he can burn the bird by just looking at it.
With the above realization, the saint started on his God assigned mission. He reached a small village and knocked at a door. The door opened and a lady came out. She paid him her respects and inquired about the purpose of his visit. The saint told her about him and asked her to give him some food as he was feeling hungry. The lady requested him to sit comfortably and wait for sometime as she was busy in the service of her husband as he is about to go to his shop. The saint got angry and shouted at her, ‘how you dare to ask me to wait? Don’t force me to punish you.’ The lady said quietly, ‘sir, please don’t get angry, and don’t threaten me with punishment. I am not a bird which will get burnt with your anger’. On hearing this, the saint was astonished and asked her how did she know about it? The lady told him to wait or he can go to the next village where a man, who may answer his question, lives.
The saint moved on and reached the next village and knocked at the door. The man came out. This man was busy in the service of his parents. The same scene was repeated and man told the saint that he was neither the bird nor the simple lady who will get scared of him. This was the second shock for the saint. The man advised him to visit a meat seller in the next village. He reached at the shop of the meat seller who was busy in serving his customers. Same scene repeated. Now the saint was totally de-moralized. He sat down and waited for the last customer to leave satisfied. The meat seller asked him what he can do for him. The saint that you know all so you should also know what I want. The meat seller smiled and said that he was a simple man and did his job with honesty and sincerity. He ensures that he charges right price and provide right quantity and right quality meat so that his customers are fully satisfied. He has not any tapasya not he has any divine knowledge. Similarly the lady and the man do their duty with honesty and sincerity. They do not know how they come to know about all these happenings. It is all God’s grace. The saint was highly impressed by his simplicity. He has understood the secret. He has no knowledge or power. It was all God’s grace. With humility and in the name of God he should visit people and tell them what he knows about God and His grace.
The moral of the story is that one should do his or her duty with honesty, sincerity and all humility. It is the puja, it is the worship.