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 '16 at 7:02
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    "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 '16 at 7:08

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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    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 '16 at 8:12
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    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 '16 at 8:22
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    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 '16 at 8:29

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