Do you know the science behind puja?
In Vedic tradition, puja is the simplest and most authentic way you can connect and commune with the Divine. It awakens in one the Advaita Bhakti – the space of devotion rooted in Oneness with Cosmic Consciousness. For millennia, across all changing ages, the different puja rituals have been practiced and passed down to generations proving their sacredness and power.
I was first introduced to the sacred ritual of Sri Guru Puja in June 2009 when I was attending a 21-day Yoga and spiritual retreat called Inner Awakening in Bengaluru, India with a living incarnation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji). Since then, offering Sri Guru Puja has become part and parcel of my daily spiritual routine. In Vedic tradition, Guru is everything – he is Father, Mother, Teacher, Dear Friend, Beloved, Protector, Liberator and the Living Deity (Sachala Murti). The happening of Guru is the direct grace of Sadashiva-AdiShakti and all gods-goddesses. Sri Guru Puja is offering gratitude to the Sri Guru, the living embodiment of Sadashiva (Consciousness) and AdiShakti (Energy & Power). It is a beautiful opportunity to connect deeply with the Guru and express gratitude, love and surrender. When this puja is performed with integrity, it will establish one in a state of Oneness with the Guru.
From my experience, I struggled a lot in the initial period with the chanting of the Sanskrit mantras as you could imagine for a Chinese who was not born in Hinduism and Vedic culture. I remembered when I first started performing Sri Guru Puja, I used a recorded chanting as a guide. For 2 months I was totally dependent on the recording. One day, something happened which sparked a change. During the puja, when I was offering the Arati (fire), the burning camphor on the holder fell off and the flame starting burning the newspaper on the floor. I panicked and quickly put off the fire with water. Suddenly I received a click from this incident, the Divine had sent a strong message about my lack of authenticity in offering Sri Guru Puja. The moment I became aware of this inauthenticity, I declared that I would stop offering Sri Guru Puja until I learned to chant the mantras properly. With a conscious decision and will persistence, within 2 weeks, I was able to chant all the Sanskrit mantras properly and resumed the daily Sri Guru Puja.