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Customs and Traditions:Hindu Puja
2007-05-16
Name: Editor Do you have your own way of performing puja? What is your routine? Do you pray often?

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2009-04-13
#1
Name: priya
Subject:  pooja
Performing pooja may not be a compulsion but it certainly gives us some time out of our daily routine.Its a kinda meditation that allows us to focus,be the focus on an idolised form of god, or something pleasant to our eyes and mind,its just that.Lighting a diya makes us focus on the light of fire,the agarbatti gives a soothing effect to our senses,and the arthi is the end of all.Actually when camphor is burnt it leaves out oxygen,and it eases breath in crowded temples and religious places.Doing pooja means we are accepting some superior force guiding us and if we perform with the same feeling we are helping ourselves and keeping ourselves grounded.Pooja should be performed keeping away all our egos,tensions,problems etc.atleast for some time and that can be done only when we focus on something or somebody we believe in and that is why we idolise our gods.At the end of the day its all for our own good leaving us relaxed.Pooja is related to the mind ,not the physical performance.
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2007-05-25
#2
Name: Demosthenes
Subject:  Six Religions
Well, Tishna, I' m not a Hindu fanatic. In fact, I' m NOT even a Hindu by birth.

I have studied all ancient religions and customs, including the practices of pagans, voodoo, Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, etc.

Hinduism is not a religion in the true sense of the word, quoting the Supreme Court of India. It is A WAY OF LIFE. There are too many diverse sets of beliefs and customs within Hinduism to qualify as a religion.

Islam and Christianity are great religions in their own right, but they are NOT Indian religions or of Indian origin.

It' s strange that you call me ignorant and impertinent, when you yourself feel free to denigrate Indian customs such as pujas. I wonder if you have the guts to criticize beliefs and practices of other faiths. Oh! but you' re \" secular,\" which means you can call Hindu practices \" tribal\" and
\" useless\" and get away with it, but criticizing other faiths will make you a fanatic!

I' m NOT against you criticizing pujas. They are open to questioning. But as the great Swami Vivekananda said, you can only criticize a custom if you know enough about it. So remove the dust of your sociology textbooks, and learn them properly.

\" Who practices them nowadays\" \" Its a redundant practice
First, learn the art of criticism. If you want to criticize a faith or its practices, writing such statements will only make one sound like a fool. I would suggest you read about the practice of pujas, try it out, and THEN CRITICIZE IT. State valid points why you think the practice is redundant.

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2007-06-01
#3
Name: Tishna
Subject:  to Demosthenes
I am Agnostic. I find certain aspects in all religions nice and others repugnant. You have any problem with that? Simply because the majority of Indians seem to be religious, it does not become the ´ right´ thing. I would definitely criticise other religions as well if people like you did not make it seem like I was committing a crime. As for the dust on my sociology textbooks, I respect them. And that is not my only source for information. I have been deepely interested in religious studies since a long time. I have tried hard to be a devout Hindu but in the end realised that it is important to be yourself. Haven´ t encountered such a teaching in any religion so far. Thanks for the informaton on Hinduism though, that wss enlightening. I apologise if my first comment seemed to denigrate puja as a custom. Reasons why I do not agree with it -
generally only Brahmins perform it (I am one myself, legally speaking) and they ar enot always the truly pious people. why should you need an intermediary?
pujas consume lot of time and money. poor people cannot afford them. that does not make them any less devout.
pujas are noisy.
they are generally used for some or the other gain. if these are spiritual, i am fine with it. but nada with material goals.
rarely have pujas been performed in my house,e xcept perhaps during ganesh chaturthis. thats because my dad is religious. my mom like me is not. we believe in freedom of opinion. none of my Hindu friends perform pujas customarily. hence i called it redundant.
i believe that prayer should be private. i do not feel that one can go deep into oneself in a practice like puja.
any opinions that i state are obviously with regard to myself and my impressions. i will generalise because this is the way i see the world. all that i say is subject to an ´ according to me´ . Is that enough for you or should I provide any more justification? I wonder why I´ m even saying all this considering that my idol Ayn Rand would never approve.
One last thing to add - why do you assume that if someone criticises Indian culture they must be ignorant about it? Is it so beyond your imagination that with full possession of the facts, people can come to new conclusions? There is no need to force onself to accept something as true just because it has been followed since centuries. And nothing is beyond quesitoning, not God, not religion. Amen.
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2007-05-24
#4
Name: Demosthenes
Subject:  Congrats Tishna
\" Six religions of India\"

Can you please name the six religions of India? I would like to know them. As far as I know, the following can be considered religions of India:
1. Hinduism (The Supreme Court does not recognize it as a religion)
2. Buddhism
3. Sikhism
4. Jainism

Unless you count Christianity and !slam as \" Indian religions\" (snigger), I can' t think of any other religions.

Pray, tell me where you \" gave your papers.\" I hope not to those guys who buy paper in kilos! :D

Please locate those papers. They may be of some help!
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2007-05-24
#5
Name: Tishna
Subject:  Info
The six religions of India, as in the six most practiced religions in India. Zoroastrianism is the seventh. In order of percentage of the population practising it:
Hinduism - 80%
Islam - 17%
Christianity - 0.6%
Sikhism - 0.3% (30 million)
Jainism - 0.3%
Buddhism - 0.3%
I have studied these as part of Sociology (please do not make me explain that as well. Consult a dictionary). They are part of the curriculum in theology and philosophy as well.
Islam and Christianity are the most popular next to Hinduism. I wonder if you can snigger at them in such a scenario.
You seem like a Hindu fanatic. I quite liked the quote from Voltaire. Voltaire be blessed. But I don´ t think you should taint them by quoting them from your pen.
And if you think that you can prove a point by dirty insults, please get off this site. India definitely does not need ignorant, impertinent, backward citizens like you.
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2007-05-24
#6
Name: Demosthenes
Subject:  Tishna
To quote Voltaire, you have the right to your opinion, but I also have the right to disagree with it.

I would suggest that you read the article very well, especially the last para, which succintly puts it that no ritual is right in itself it is only when we do it with the necessary devotion that we can reap the benefits.
1. Calling it a \" redundant tribal practice\" speaks a lot about your ignorance of the great traditions of India. The beauty of these traditions is that they are simple to be followed by feeble-minded people like you and yet as profound as the greatest of philosophies.

2. \" teach you all to shut anyone up who dares to raise an antithetical point\"
Incorrect. One can assume a scientific spirit of inquiry with religion and question every practice that exists in India. Nobody will raise a fatwa against you for that. If you are unable to learn more about that, whose fault is it - the practice, the people who practice it, or \" civilized\" people like you.

3. How do you define \" practical use\" ? Do you want pujas to help you get a job or a career? Then you' re better off with those dime-a-dozen charlatans masquerading as tantriks. Pujas or any spiritual practice should be weighed against only one result - whether they bring you close to God. There' s only way to find that out: by immersing oneself in true devotion. After some time, the ritual may be redundant once you have built a strong foundation within yourself.

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2007-05-24
#7
Name: Tishna
Subject:  boo Demosthenes
Listen buddy, you can go and give your professor-like discourses elsewhere. Valid points but when you lecture people, this is the kind of response you will get. And think before you speak. I have studied all the six major religions of India as subjects and given papers on them. They are incredibly fascinating but I do not have any inclination to practice them. When you dislike something, obviously you need to have reasons for the dislike. And so I have stated them. I wonder if " feeble-minded people like you" is something that would be stated in " a spirit of scientific enquiry" . You keep your nonsense to yourself and come back when you learn to have some consistency in what you say. May be a puja will help. LOL.
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2007-05-23
#8
Name: cool_nirvana
Subject:  Its not about GOD!
You have missed the point here. Rituals, prayers, pujas - call it what you will - are no more than what you project into them.

They serve a purpose if you need them. they do not if you dont. How can they demean - or propitate - God or anyone else? Prayer is for YOU not God.
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2007-05-24
#9
Name: ruchi
Subject:  bowled over
Wow! You are really cool! And if everyone accepts what you say, there will be peace. Because no one is wrong - neither the believer nor the non-believer.
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2007-05-17
#10
Name: tishna
Subject:  much ado about nothing
Why are we going on and on about a redundant practice? Puja! Who performs them these days? But it was interesting to read for general knowledge. No practical use though. Seems a very tribal practice to me.
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2007-05-23
#11
Name: tishna
Subject:  to slayer with love
You just proved my point completely. If this is what all those pujas have taught you (´ fools like you´ ) then I can very well see how powerful it is. I agree with Krish though. I don´ t mean that no one does them. May be they do. (I don´ t know anyone personally). But I will still stand by my viewpoint that it is of no consequence. As to the statement, ´ to each his own way of worship´ that itself is debatable. The concept of worship. Look at religion, it seems to teach you all to shut anyone up who dares to raise an antithetical point. Wonder who is at fault - the practice or the people.
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2007-05-21
#12
Name: Krish
Subject:  And who are you to say that?
I completely agree - when it comes to my own life. I DO NOT see the need for such a ritualized form opf worship. But who are you to comment on the practice itself? There are many people who find that their worship requires this form or practice. And I equally respect that. How can you decide that they are wrong. TO EACH HIS OWN WAY OF WORSHIP.
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2007-05-21
#13
Name: Slayer
Subject:  Mleccha!
Fools liek you should not comment on puja, whuch is a sacred ritual, that units you with the God.
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2007-05-17
#14
Name: ravifun
Subject:  My God!!!!
I didn' t know so much was involved in prayer. Is it true that if I dont follow or inderstand the rules, it will have bad effect on my family and me?
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2007-05-17
#15
Name: footloose
Subject:  no fear
uhh I think true prayer does not have any ´ rules´ . Neither should it be inspired by fear.
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2007-05-17
#16
Name: pujari_dude
Subject:  don´ t worry
dear ravi, not to worry. nothing happens devotion is what matters. See the last point on page
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2007-05-17
#17
Name: indu
Subject:  praying is sacred
I don' t follow so many rules you mtned in article. Prayer is very private for me--making it into a ritual demeans god
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2007-05-17
#18
Name: rupa
Subject:  choice
Well I agree that prayer is a private thing. But I don´ t feel rituals demean God or anything. After all, we have freedom of choice. Everyone to their own.
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2007-05-17
#19
Name: pujari_dude
Subject:  namaste India parenting
Wow Didn' t know namaste had a meaning. How wonderful to know about such things
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