How to perform a puja?

By Kyle Brooks

How to perform a puja?

Simple and Elaborate Forms of Puja Practice

“The most important thing here is to use the mantra to evoke the specific energy you are working with, and to feel it deeply”

How To Practice a Puja

Now you will learn, step by step, how to prepare and perform a simple puja. These instructions are suitable for a complete beginner.

They can be followed with or without knowledge of yoga/oriental spirituality. Neither do they require any form of religious conversion or belief.

As was stated before, this is simply the practice of acknowledging energies that are already present in our lives, regardless of culture, race, or religion, and by acknowledging those energies (honoring them), amplifying their presence (evoking their blessing).

We see and hear over and over how positive the effect of these palm leaf remedies is on the lives of people who do them following their horoscope reading. So it can’t be encouraged enough!

Check out this short reflection from My Palm Leaf founder Stephan on his experience of working with palm leaves.

The Shiva Shakti Puja

One of the most common recommendations for puja is Shiva and Shakti full moon puja so we will take this as an example.

Shiva represents consciousness – The masculine principle, awareness without boundaries or limitations. That which knows but can not be known.

Shakti personifies energy – The feminine principle, the aliveness, light color sensation, everything manifest, alive, moving.

In the tradition connected with the transmission of the palm leaves and Nadi astrology, Shiva and Shakti are seen as the divine pair, the fundamental inseparable basis of reality. Consciousness and its inherent creative power to manifest, to exist.

Make the Practice Your Own

You are free to create a puja or ceremony in any way that suits you. Please remember that the most important thing here is to use the mantra to evoke the specific energy you are working with, and to feel it deeply.

So don’t get lost in the external forms, if some of the steps, like offering flowers, fruits, and candles, don’t make sense to you or feel meaningless, you can omit them. You can make the puja simpler and stick with that which feels meaningful.

As you deepen in the practice the other external forms may begin to take on more significance. At this point, you can experiment with including them. Notice how these more elaborate steps, when taken with a sense of significance and meaning, create a deep sense of sacredness, and inner silence and support the connection with the specific deity you are working with.

Instructions for a More Elaborate Form of Puja

  • A space in your house where you will be undisturbed, that is relatively quiet
  • At least 20 minutes of free time
  • Your phone to be on silent or off/in another room!
  • A small altar, which can be as simple as a cardboard box with a piece of clean simple fabric draped over it.
  • A picture of the deity you will be working with set upon the altar
  • A flower or some flowers
  • A candle
  • An incense stick/cone/rope
  • One of more pieces of fruit
  • A mala (prayer beads with 108 beads/seeds/gemstones)

Additionally:

  • You can play some simple, gentle music, preferably without lyrics and that creates a peaceful or devotional atmosphere
  • You can light many other candles in the room if you prefer a gentler light.
  • You can do this practice any time on the particular day relating to the deity with which you will work. (We suggest first thing in the morning or making time before going to bed).
  • You will also need a lighter/matches and an incense holder (can be a small bowl with sand, soil, or gravel)

Nadi Astrology Pujas, Step by Step:

  1. If it is not already, place the photo of shiva and shakti on the altar. Have all of the things you will need including a lighter, and incense holder.
  2. Sit quietly for a few moments either cross-legged on the floor or on a chair. Breathe deeply and rest your mind, deeply relax your body and let your attention settle in your heart.
  3. Say a few words of invocation/intention setting, either aloud or quietly to yourself. Basically expressing gratitude for this opportunity and inviting the presence of the deity you will work with, you can also state the specific reason for which you are practicing this puja, or express a few words of your aspiration.

An Example Invocation Prayer:

“With gratitude to all the spiritual masters, Sri Agastya and the rishis, all deities and benevolent, life-serving forces in this universe.

I consecrate (dedicate) this puja to the awakening of divine consciousness and presence within me and within all beings of this universe.

May the performance of this remedy/puja bring a cleansing of the karma that I carry. A realignment of my life so that this awakened spirit may be expressed more purely through my thoughts, my actions, my words.

I evoke [the deity] into my life and this space, I honor your grace with my gratitude and wonder. May it manifest in my life for the benefit of all.”

  1. Open your eyes and look at the photo of Shiva and Shakti. Open to their presence and feel it in your body, or at least be open to the possibility of feeling the energy they represent if it is not already clear to you.
  2. With an attitude of reverence, curiosity, and excitement, offering each of the offerings, contemplating the meaning of the offering, or listening to your experience, allow layers of meaning to come to the surface. There is no ‘right’ approach, what matters is to be sincere and to feel or be open to feeling the procedure. For example, the offering of a candle can represent the light of one’s attention focused upon (offered to) the deity. The offering of incense can represent an offering of the ‘perfume’ of one’s devotion.
  3. Take your mala in one hand and start at the tassel, where the two ends meet, hold the first bead, and recite the mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAYA NAMAHA’. Slide to the second bead and recite the mantra again. Repeat until you arrive back at the same point where the two ends of the string meet. Each time you recite the mantra (either out loud or in your head) open to feel the reverberation of the mantras’ vibration in your energy field, in your body.
  4. Once you have completed a minimum of 108 recitations of the mantra (you can do as many more as you like). Sit quietly with your eyes closed and feel the echoes of the practice. Feel the presence of the divine frequency you have invoked. Notice the quietness of your mind. Perhaps a sense of gentleness, peace, or joy. Sit for as long as you like.
  5. Say a few words to close, like a prayer of gratitude for the practice.

An Example of a Closing Prayer:

“Shiva and Shakti, consciousness and energy, Divine masculine and feminine principles, I bow to you and give thanks for your presence in my life and in this creation.

I pray for divine harmony and alignment in my life and relationships, increased spiritual aspiration, clarity of purpose, an abundance of aliveness, and trust in my life.

May I realize your presence as a manifestation of the grace of my own essential being and thus become one with your eternal presence.”

This completes the basic instructions for the practice of puja as prescribed in your palm leaf reading.

Instructions for a Simplified Form of Puja

  • A space in your house (or office) where you will be undisturbed, that is relatively quiet.
  • At least 20 minutes of free time.
  • Your phone to be on silent or off/in another room!
  • A small altar, which can be as simple as a place to put the picture of the deity.
  • A picture of the deity you will be working with, is set upon the altar.
  • A mala (prayer beads with 108 beads/seeds/gemstones).

Additionally:

  • You can play some simple, gentle music, preferably without lyrics and that creates a peaceful or devotional atmosphere.
  • You can light many other candles in the room if you prefer a gentler light.
  • You can do this practice any time on the particular day relating to the deity with which you will work. (We suggest first thing in the morning or making time before going to bed).
  • You will also need a lighter/matches and an incense holder (can be a small bowl with sand, soil, or gravel).
  • You can include any of the items from the more elaborate form of puja if you choose, this is simply the most stripped-down version.

Nadi Astrology Pujas, Step by Step:

  1. If it is not already, place the photo of shiva and shakti on the altar. Have your mala ready
  2. Sit quietly for a few moments either cross-legged on the floor or on a chair. Breathe deeply and rest your mind, deeply relax your body and let your attention settle in your heart.
  3. You can choose to say a few words of invocation as above. Or you can just settle yourself and become internally very clear on your intention/motivation and what it is that you are doing in this practice.
  4. Open your eyes and look at the photo of Shiva and Shakti. Open to their presence and feel it in your body, or at least be open to the possibility of feeling the energy they represent if it is not already clear to you.
  5. Take your mala in one hand and start at the tassel, where the two ends meet, hold the first bead, and recite the mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAYA NAMAHA’. Slide to the second bead and recite the mantra again. Repeat until you arrive back at the same point where the two ends of the string meet. Each time you recite the mantra (either out loud or in your head) open to feel the reverberation of the mantras’ vibration in your energy field, in your body.
  6. Once you have completed a minimum of 108 recitations of the mantra (you can do as many more as you like). Sit quietly with your eyes closed and feel the echoes of the practice. Feel the presence of the divine frequency you have invoked. Notice the quietness of your mind. Perhaps a sense of gentleness, peace, or joy. Sit for as long as you like.
  7. Optionally say a few words in closing, as above. Or simply bow or make any other gesture of gratitude that is appropriate for you and end your puja practice.

This completes the simplified instructions for the practice of puja. You may find this useful or more appropriate if you are very busy, traveling on the day of your puja, or only have time to do the practice while at the office for example.

Search for Your Leaf now and discover which pujas were prescribed for you!

Kyle Brooks

Kyle Brooks is our trusted blog writer. With many years of experience as a Hridaya teacher, he has a broad experience with and knowledge of spiritual topics. Kyle is a breathwork and meditation specialist.

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