/pooh"jah/, n. Hinduism.
the worship of a particular god.
[ < Skt puja]

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In Hinduism, a form of ceremonial worship.

It may range from brief daily rites in the home to an elaborate temple ritual. A typical puja offers the image of a deity the honours accorded to a royal guest. The god is gently roused from sleep, ritually bathed and dressed, served three meals during the day, and ceremonially put to bed. Rituals may also include a sacrifice and oblation to the sacred fire. Some pujas are performed by the worshiper alone; others require a ritually pure person. A puja may be performed for a specific purpose or simply as an act of devotion.

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also spelled  pooja  or  poojah 
 in Hinduism, ceremonial worship, ranging from brief daily rites in the home to elaborate temple rituals. The components of a puja vary greatly according to the sect, community, part of the country, time of day, needs of the worshipper, and religious text followed. Generally speaking, in a puja, a deity, manifested in his image, is accorded the honour given to a royal guest. The attentions (upacaras) paid to him begin in the morning, when he is gently roused from sleep, and extend through the day, including ritual bathing and dressing, the serving of the usual three meals, and the final ceremony of putting him to bed for the night.

      A puja may also include a circumambulation (pradaksina) of the image or shrine and, in an elaborate ritual, a sacrifice (bali) and oblation to the sacred fire (homa). Special ceremonies according to the festival calendar may also be observed, such as swinging the god or playing games according to the season.

      One important type of puja in Indian temple and private worship is arati, the waving of lighted lamps before an image of a deity or a person to be honoured. In performing the rite, the worshipper circles the lamp three or more times in a clockwise direction while chanting a prayer or singing a hymn. In Indian households, arati is a commonly observed ritual element accorded specially honoured guests. It is also a part of many domestic ceremonies.

      Some pujas may be performed by the worshipper alone, while others may require the services of a ritually pure person such as a priest. A puja may be performed for a specific announced purpose or simply as an act of devotion.

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Universalium. 2010.

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