Thursday, 24 February 2011

:~ Meaning Of Ashta Prakari Puja :~

Meaning Of Ashta Prakari Puja                       
      Generally Jains use the following eight items to perform puja of a
      Tirthankara in the temple.  Symbolically each item represents a
      specific religious virtue and one should reflect on it while
      performing puja.

            1. Jala Puja:        Water
            2. Chandan Puja:     Sandal-wood
            3. Pushpa Puja:      Flower
            4. Dhup Puja:        Incense
            5. Dipak Puja:       Candle
            6. Akshat Puja:      Rice
            7. Naivedya Puja:    Sweet food
            8. Fal Puja:         Fruit

      1. Jala Puja: (Water)
      Water symbolizes the ocean.  Every living being continuously
      travels through life's ocean of birth, death, and misery.  This
      puja reminds that one should live his life with honesty,
      truthfulness, love, and compassion towards all living beings.  This
      way one will be able to cross life's ocean and attain liberation
      (Moksha).  This is known as samyak-darshana, samyak-jnana, and
      samyak-charitrya in the Jain religion.

      2. Chandan Puja: (Sandal-wood)
      Chandan symbolizes knowledge (jnana).  By doing this puja, one
      should thrive for right knowledge.  Jainism believes that the path
      of knowledge is the main path to attain Moksha or liberation.
      Bhakti or devotion helps in the early stages of one's effort for

      3. Pushpa Puja: (Flower)
      The flower symbolizes conduct.  Our conduct should be like a
      flower, which provides fragrance and beauty to all living beings
      without discrimination.  We should live our life like flowers full
      of love and compassion towards all living beings.

      4. Dhup Puja: (Incense)
      Dhup symbolizes monkhood life.  While burning itself, incense
      provides fragrance to others.  Similarly, true monks and nuns spend
      their entire life selflessly for the benefit of all living beings.
      This puja reminds that one should thrive for a ascetic life.

      5. Dipak Puja: (Candle)
      The flame of dipak represents a pure consciousness, i.e.  a soul
      without any bondage of a karma or a liberated soul.  In Jainism,
      such a soul is called a Siddha or God.  The ultimate goal of every
      living being is to become liberated.  By doing this puja one should
      thrive to follow five great vows; non-violence, truthfulness,
      non-stealing, chastity, and non-possession.  Ultimately these vows
      will lead to liberation.

      6. Akshat Puja: (Rice)
      Rice is a kind of grain which is nonfertile.  One cannot grow rice
      plants by seeding rice.  Symbolically, it means that rice is the
      last birth.  By doing this puja one should thrive to put all the
      efforts in life in such a way that this life becomes one's last
      life, and after the end of this life one will not be reborn again.

      7. Naivedya Puja: (Sweet food)
      Naivedya symbolizes tasty food.  By doing this puja, one should
      thrive to reduce or eliminate attachment to tasty food.  Healthy
      food is essential for survival, however one should not live for
      tasty food.  Ultimate aim in one's life is to attain a life where
      no food is essential for survival.  That is the life of a liberated
      soul who lives in Moksha for ever in ultimate blissful state.

      8. Fal Puja: (Fruit)
      Fruit is a symbol of Moksha or liberation.  If we live our life
      without any attachment to worldly affairs, continue to perform our
      duty without any expectation and reward, be a witness to all the
      incidents that occur surrounding us, truly follow monkhood life,
      and have a love and compassion to all living beings, we will attain
      the fruit of liberation.  This is the last puja symbolizing the
      ultimate achievement of our life.

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