Worship in Hinduism involves various rituals, forms and practices aimed at connecting with Ishwar (God).

Worship in Hinduism
Worship in Hinduism

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of engrossing readings at www.onindianpath.com. Today we are going to talk about major forms of Worship in Hinduism.

Introduction

Worshiping is a deeply personal and spiritual experience that one shares with his or her Ishta Devta (divine god).

In India, one can witness various forms of paying homage and adoring Hindu Gods differently at different locations.

What is Worship?

Moreover, worship is a word which means unquestioning devotion. Religiously speaking, it means to show love and infinte respect to the divine being. As, we all are aware that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, it has many gods and goddesses.

Infact, it has different sects like Shaivism (follow Lord Shiva), Vaishnavism (follow Lord Vishnu), Shaktism (follow Goddess Durga) and Smartism (follows vedas). Thus, innumerable devotees are there to make the sect more stronger and growing day by day. Also their beliefs and opinions are annexed to the God through different forms of worshipping.

What are the major forms of worship in Hinduism?

Every devotee has personal connection and momentum with his deity. No one can force him to change his faith towards the supreme being.

Apparently, Hinduism has major forms and practices of worshipping. Lets read on.

Puja

Puja Thali
Puja Thali

Puja takes multitude of forms as per location and atmosphere. Puja is a hindi word which is translation of worship. Hindus perform puja at home, temple, shrine or at a gathering with a motive of paying homage to god. Puja includes chanting mantra, singing bhajan, praising Lord and performing arti at the end.

Although, puja is a way to align body, mind and soul of the devotee to God.

Aarti

Devotees Performing Aarti

Aarti is a religious ritual that is a mandatory in worshipping a deity. Aarti is done with hymn sung by priest, devotee or group of Hindu followers.

Similarly people also perfom it at a particular time of the day. It is often performed one to five times a day.

Generally, a diya with bati of ghee (clarified butter) and camphor is lit in front of the diety. Then, the preist or the Hindu follower does the circulating of an Aarti plate or Aarti lamp around the deity in a clock wise directions. It is performed during almost all Hindu ceremonies and occasions. Aarti also involves the priest circulating the plate or lamp to all those present in the temple. These devotees waft their hands over the flame and then raise their palms to their forehead – the purificatory blessing, passed from the gods’ image to the flame, then passed to the devotee.

Darshana

Darshana means a divine glimse or a view of the deity. Hindus goes on teerth (pilgrimage) and yatra (religious journey far away from home) to have darshana of their Ishta devta. A devotee go to view the garbhgriha (inner sanctrum) of the temple, a place where the murti (idol) is situated. Furhter, Darshana is considered a big thing amongst Hindus.

While having Darshana, Hindus touch the feet of their preferred deity to show honour and respect. Worshippers do it with a desire that they will be blessed by the god. During this form of worship, special sayings called mantras are chanted by the worshippers. Mantras are special words from Sanskrit language, are repeated over and over again.

Likewise, I have mentioned relevance of Aum in my previous blog. Do you know why we have so many mantras in our culture? Consequently the chanting of Mantras gives you strength and positive feeling of happiness and contentment. Also, our sages and scholars have designed these mantras in a way so that it affects our breathing process while speaking, thus results in much more beneficial for us.

Also these mantras are praises of deity that show the importance of the deity to the worshipper.

Bhajans and Kirtan

Infact, bhajan is a Hindi word derived from Sanskrit word bhaj means to recite. Bhajan are the lyrical and musical hymn to praise the lord. Most of the time, bhajan are composed with sonnets and saga of deity.

One can explain bhajan as a devotional song. It has no fixed structure or form as it could be mantra based or could be lyrical.

Bhajan is mainly contributions from the bhakti movement. We are going to talk about bhakti movement in our upcoming blogs.

Same ways, Kirtan is also a group bhajan. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankar. Here, devotees use musical instruments and sometimes dances also. Kirtan or Keertan, is a Sanskrit word that means narrating, reciting, telling, describing of an idea or person. Moreover, it is a group event, with one or more lead singers, accompanied with music.

Normally, bhajans are sung along with percussion instruments such as tabla, dholak or a tambourine, Handheld small cymbals (kartals) to maintain the beat.

Chaitanya & Nityananda are shown performing a 'Kirtan'
Chaitanya & Nityananda are shown performing a ‘Kirtan’ in the streets of Nabadwip, Bengal. Source: By Calcutta Art Studio – British Library

Havana

Havan

Havanas are sacrificial rituals performed to honor deities and seek their blessings. Yagna, homage and yagya are the other names.

Yagya is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the agni god. In havana, an essential element is the fire – the divine Agni – into which oblations are poured. It is believed that everything that is offered into the fire is believed to reach the gods.

Usually, the items offered as oblations in the yajna include large quantities of ghee, milk, grains, cakes or soma. The duration of a yajna can last a few minutes, hours or days and sometimes even last for years. The duration depends upon purpose and vidhi of Havana.

Mantra Jaap

Mantra Jaap on Mala

Repetition of sacred mantras or names of deities as a form of devotion is called mantra jaap. Mantras are gifts of vedic times to us.

Indeed, most cardinal mantra is Aum in Hinduism is known as the pranava mantra, the source of all mantras. Mala jaap includes the repetition of a mantra or name of Hindu god over and over again, usually in cycles of auspicious numbers (in multiples of three), the most popular being 108 on garland of beads.

Satsang

With roots in the Vedic anukirtana tradition, a satsang is a call-and-response style song or chant, discussion by a saint or a sage to followers. In contemporary times, people are moving towards satsang at a rapid speed. It is a set to music, ideas and opinions wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend.And one or more speaker express loving devotion to a deity, discuss spiritual ideas. It may include dancing or direct expression of bhavas ( happy and elated state of mind) by the singer.

Conclusion

Hence, hindus worship their deities, each representing different aspects of the divine in many forms. Devotees seek to establish a profound connection with the spiritual realm through these practices. Have a happy and blessed time ahead.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty − 3 =