What is the Importance of flowers in puja ritual and why is a specific flower offered to a deity?
Flowers are intrinsic part of hindu worship and rituals. the fragrance of the flower pleases the deity. they create a pleasant and aesthetic value to the pooja ritual. they are symbol of happiness, prosperity and completion of purpose of life.
Normally we have a concept that a deity is to be offered only that flower which he/she likes. But is it really so? Let us see the actual reason according to science of spirituality.
A flower has a particular colour and a special fragrance. On a subtle level the colour and fragrance particles present in the flower have a capacity to attract the principles of a specific deity which benefits the worshipper. That is the principle behind offering specific flowers to a deity and not because they like it.
To cite some examples white flower like that of Dhatura is offered to Shiva, red coloured flower like Hibiscus for Shri Ganesh, and red coloured flowers for Shri Durgadevi also. If the worshipper has more spiritual emotion for these flowers then the frequencies of deities get more activated through the medium of these flowers and work for the worshipper directly.
Offer only fresh flowers to the deity
According to religious scriptures on the science of spirituality, only proper and best objects should be offered to a deity and the flowers are no exception. Therefore the use of dried out flowers or those infested with insects are prohibited in the ritualistic worship of a deity. There are two reasons for this according to spiritual science:
- Whatever we offer to a deity is accepted by the deity on a subtle level and then They get pleased and bless us. Therefore whatever we
offer to Them has to be best.
- The capacity of a flower to absorb and emit the frequencies of deity and sattvik frequencies gets reduced if it is dry or infested with insects.
Flowers offered to hindu gods and goddess
- Lord ganesha – any red color flower will do. however the red color jaswanti flower (hibiscus) is favorite to ganesha. jaswanti flower comes in many different colors. so choose the red color if possible. you can also offer lotus, champa, rose, jasmine, yellow and orange marigold flowers. apart from this you can offer dhurva grass blades (1,3,5,7), bilva leaves and herbal leaves. usually 21 different varieties of flowers and leaves are used while performing ganesha pooja.
- lord shiva – any white flower will do. you can offer maulshri, blue lotus (if blue lotus is not there then you can offer pink lotus or white lotus) and kaner. bel leaves (9 or 10), dhatura flowers, naagkeshar, harsingar, and aak (aakamda) flowers are also favorite of shiva. however bilvapatra is most important in shiva pooja. in the bilvapatra the chakra and the bajra should not be there. the chakra is a white mark made by the insects on the bilvapatra, while the bajra is the thick portion towards the stalk. this part should be broken. the bilvapatra half eaten up by the insects is also not considered good for worshipping shiva.
- Goddess durga – most red color flowers like hibiscus. you can also offer lotus, mogra flower and bel leaves
- Goddess parvati – she is fond of all flowers offered to lord shiva. apart from them you can offer bela, white lotus, palash, madar, apamarg, champa and chameli.
- Lord vishnu – he is very fond of lotus. you can offer pink lotus, maulshri, juhi (jasmine), kadamb, kewra, chameli, champa, ashok, malti and basanti. tulsi leaves are dear to vishnu. so you can offer
- Goddess lakshmi – she likes the lotus most. you can offer pink lotus, yellow gaindha (marigold) and desi gulab/rose (not hybrid). in fruits you can offer one shriphal (bel fruit)
- Lord brahma – tagar and white lotus
- Goddess saraswati – any white flower or white lotus or palash Flowers. goddess mahakali – yellow kaner
- Lord saturn – worship with blue color flowers. its done on saturday.
- Sun god (surya devata) – lotus flower
Flowers are not offered to gods
lord shiva – champa (champaka) and ketaki or kewda (fragrant screw pine). because it was cursed by lord shiva along with lord brahma for lying.
lord ganesha- ketaki flower and tulsi (holy basil). read why tulsi is not offered to lord ganesha.
goddess parvati – arka (milkweeds) and amla (indian gooseberry)
lord vishnu – ‘aksada’ is not used in pooja
lord rama – arali (nerium oleander)
sun god (surya devta) – vilva (bilva or bael leaves)
lord bairava – nandyarvattam (east indian rosebay, crape jasmine)