Is there any thing said in our(Hindu) scriptures (vedas or upanishads or any other puranas etc.,) which says about results (Or pala) of doing pooja/Yajna (etc.) with out keeping mind on them (I mean thinking of other things while pooja etc.,) vs the results(or Pala) obtained keeping mind while doing pooja.

Also I have seen some answers which says doing Manasika Pooja (i.e without using any physical things to do pooja and just doing that in mind) will give similar results to the equivalent pooja, and I am NOT asking whether Manasika poja has any result difference with its counter part.

  • Good question. I have always wondered what our religion thinks of this because in all honesty, not all the time do I do poojan and constantly think about it.
    – Utsav
    Nov 14, 2016 at 7:02
  • 1
    "Focus of mind" is what matters [better] than physical procedures. Physical rituals are just agents to attain certain type of focus for the mind. Some people [wrongly] assume those rituals to be primary things. In a way, our mind continuously does "pooja" by traversing here and there. Whatever this mind desires, those things are received at some point of the time. How fast/slow depends on the presently fructifying Karma-s. IMO, your understanding about "mAnasika pooja giving similar results" is correct. In fact, whatever results we achieve is from the mAnasika pooja only.
    – iammilind
    Nov 14, 2016 at 7:08

2 Answers 2


In general,the Scriptures say that Puja/worship/Japa done without mindfulness are not at all fruitful.

For example,the Kularnava Tantra says:

Success in japa lies in his hands who is decked with fragrant flowers, ornaments and clothes. Devoted to the Mantra, with life dedicated to it, with mind centred upon it, wholly given to it, following its meaning and meditating upon it, do Japa of the Mantra.

It further says:

Bhakta: Because by his adoration, bhajanat, with supreme devotion, with his mind, speech, body and action, kayakarmabhih, he crosses, tarati, all miseries, he is called bhakta..

So.a Bhakta or a true worshiper should have his mind fixed on the Deity.

In fact,in a ritualistic Puja the first Upachara(step) is called the "Dhyanam" or "meditating upon the Deity".This only indicates that,in a Puja, the first requirement is to fix one's mind on the Deity who is worshiped.One's mind should focus only on the Deity and nothing else during the whole course of the Puja

When the mind is unsteady,thinking of something else,little benefits does one accrue by performing rituals or by resorting to external modes of worship.This is reflected in the following verse from the Garuda Purana:

yŸvan-no manasaÅ sthairyaÄ na yŸvac-chŸstra cintanam | yŸvan-na guru kŸru®yaÄ tŸvat tattva kathŸ kutaÅ || 2.49.97 || As long as the mind is unsteady, as long as one does not meditate upon the import of the Scripture, as long as one is devoid of the blessing of the Guru, there is little interest in talk of Ultimate Reality

enter image description here

The Kularnava Tantra further states:

Should you be absent-minded, call one Deity and worship another, you shall receive the curses of both. Each Deity is to be received with the honour that belongs" to it, with the Mantra that is proper to its order.

enter image description here

So,being absent minded or thinking of something else during Puja is an offence in itself without doubt because by being absent minded or by thinking about something else during Puja one is not showing the respect that the Deity deserves .

Further quotes from Kularnava Tantra:

Much more than the material side of the worship, the upasaka has to be careful of his psychological state of mind and soul.

enter image description here

If the mind be in one place, Shiva (passive consciousness) in another, Shakti (active consciousness) in another, and life-breath in still another place, even a crore of japa is useless.

enter image description here

So,doing a Puja with full one-pointed concentration is required in order to reap the full merits of the Puja.And ,understandably,concentrating the mind is easily the toughest job in the whole process.That's possibly why it is the first step(viz;Dhyanam) in a Puja.

  • 3
    Thanks for the answer, but I have a small doubt regarding call one Deity and worship another, you shall receive the curses of both does this mean, for example , If I praise(Stotra) say Shiva in front of another god say Ganpathi (or Vishnu or any other god) temple Will that mean I will be cursed by both ??
    – Eduru
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:12
  • 3
    No,that is not an offence.It is stated in Shastras,for example. that the most fruitfull japa is the one which is done in a Shivalayaa(Shiva temple) or done in front of Shiva(Shiva sannidhou).And one can do any Japa not necessarily related to Shiva.That quote only say that if u invoke one Deity and worship another Deity instead then thats an offence.That was posted to show that being attentive is the first and most important requirement in a Puja.
    – Rickross
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:22
  • 3
    You can recite stotrams of Ganapaty,Vishnu or any other Deities in Shiva Temples.It is not an offence at all.In fact it is more rewarding than doing the same recitation in ur own house,in a riverside or say in a Goshaalaa(shelter for the cows)..
    – Rickross
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:29

The reason behind this question was to identify the Key aspect of our mind and body that determines if the ritual is Mechanical vs Conscious. The term Mind is very vague and please substitute is for various interpretations. Rishi Patanjali, clearly classified the entire human Psychological Framework and give proper terminology to it. So, as we all know, we have this physical body (stula) and the subtle body (sukshma). That which is done with the physical body has some level of monotony to it. This means our Physical Body can also behave like a machine, eg: if I am chanting Hare Krishna or reciting mantras during puja but my mind is thinking about the movie I saw yesterday. I can also have good intentions in mind and with it, I can build a mechanism like a pot that holds water and slows drips onto a Shiva Linga, in this case, my physical activity is limited but my intent carries. So where do we draw the line? Or what differentiates a mechanical act Vs a machine?

Answer: In trying to intertwine literature belonging to various Schools/Darshanas, one commonality arose. The Word is "Bhāva" and "Bhāvana". Root Word "bhā". Now let's define Bhāvana using Yoga Sutras: We all know Pranava (Om) which is the Vak of Ishwara. So Yoga Sutra 1.28 says "tajjapas tad-artha-bhāvanam"- " Bhāvana is to utilize the power which is latent in the Pranava. This world literally means "dwelling upon in mind". The object of the dual practice prescribed in this Sutras is to contact the Divine Consciousness of Ishara (that is deep within all but covered with Manas, Aham, and Buddhi). The Japa has the effect of attuning the Vehicles (body). But something more is necessary in order to bring down the Divine influence and establish contact with the Divine consciousness. This force that draws together the two -- the Jiva's Atman and Paramatman -- may take different forms. In Bhakti Yoga, for example, it takes the form of intense devotion (surrender of all will and emotional directive) or love (unconditional). In Mantra Yoga it takes the form of Bhāvana or intense meditation on the significance of the Mantra and the object which is sought to be gained (This a machine cannot do, though I can still uplift myself for the Bhāvan which is the source of its design). This Bhavana is not merely n intellectual process like the one we employ in finding the solution to a mathematical problem (like a machine). It is a joint action of all our faculties in the pursuit of a common goal (unlike a machine doing Puja). So that not only the spirit of intellectual inquiry is there but also the deep yearning of the lover who wants to find the beloved and the will of the Hatha Yogi who wants to break through all the barriers which separate him from the object of his search. This kind of Bhavana polarizes all our powers and faculties and produces the necessary concentration of purpose (which a machine lacks). Thus gradually the distractions which take the mind of the aspirant away from the object of his search are removed and he is able to turn his attention inwards (which a machine cannot do). Conclusion: In Lalitha Sahasranamvai there is a title called "Bhavani Bhāvana Gamya": Meaning, as Bhāvani (the power of Bhava) you are the destination of our Bhavana. There is another title for Devi called, Bhavana Matra Santustayai Namaha, meaning, that just by Bhavana you become satisfied and happy.

-------------For in depth readers --------

Summary: Who better than Yoga Sutras to expand on the Psychologica Framework of a Human. Sukshma (subtle) body like Anthakara constitutes 1. Manas (emotion), 2. Aham (Identity), 3. Buddhi (Intellect)+Viveka (discrimination), and finally 4. Chitta (Consciousness within the realm of Prakriti). So a question: where does bhāva/bhāvana fall under these 4 sections? Many will say Manas and Aham, because Bhakti is tightly coupled with emotions and identity. But, the pinnacle of Bhakti is actually dropping both the Will (emotional directive) and Identity (Aham). That is my Moksha = Moha (desire/emotional directive) + Kshaya (depletion). For example, I only love Krishna dearly, which is an emotional directive. Krishna is the only savior and none other, and to that, I am a servant is an Identity of Manas. So Manas and Aham are both the mother (manas) pampering a spoiled child (Aham). That is why Tulsi Das wrote what Hanuma spoke: "Hanuma said: Until I worship you I am your servant when I know you, I become you". Prahalada said the same thing. So where does bhāvana fall? Reasoning: We all have 3 powers, 1. iccha śakti (desire/emotional directive), 2.jñāna śakti (cognition) and 3.kriya śakti (physical action). So where does bhāvana fall under? It does so under jñāna śakti. Here jñāna doesn't mean enlightened wisdom, rather points to the cognition that is powered by our inner consciousness. This Shakti has 5 sub-divisions out of them Bhava is the first one.

---------------- Definition across various Schools----------

Buddhism: bhavana : (nt.) becoming; a dwelling place. || bhāvanā (f.) increase; development by means of thought; meditation.

Jainism: Bhāvanā (भावना) or Bhāva refers to “state of mind” and represents one of the four divisions of dharma.

Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra): Bhāvanā (भावना) refers to “demonstration” or “proof”.

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy):Bhāvana (भावन) refers to “contemplation”

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy): Bhāvanā (भावना) refers to “creative contemplation”.

5 compartments of jñāna śakti: 1.bhāvana śakti (conceptualization), 2.manīṣa śakti (judgment), 3.saṅkalpa śakti (determination/resolution), 4.smaraṇa śakti (recallection), 5.dhāraṇa śakti (contemplation-concentration).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .