Questions tagged [worship]

Worship is the act of praising and seeking the blessings of God. It is widely referred to as Pooja in Hinduism.

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Why is lord Ganesha worshipped first before any puja?

I've seen that Hindus worship lord Ganesha before starting any puja (act of worship) or important task. I've also seen people worshipping lord Ganesha before they start off with marriage proceedings, ...
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Is the ultimate purpose of life only to serve God?

I wonder at this question, because as with most major religions, it seems all you are mostly meant to do is to serve/devote yourself to God. It also seems that even in Hinduism this is the only way to ...
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Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

In Hindu temples, the statues of the deities are present in the sanctum. But in (most) Shiva temples, only a linga is present instead of a Shiva statue. The linga worship seems to be limited only to ...
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Why do Hindus remove their footwear before entering temples?

Why is it that people don't wear shoes and sandals when they visit a temple? Sometimes they remove them outside of temple premises and sometimes outside of the temple steps... It's a common practice ...
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What is the significance of Murthi pooja (idol worship)?

Hindus believe in Murthi pooja or idol worship. What is the reason behind this? Since my childhood, I believed that God does exist in an idol but I don't have the exact clarification or history ...
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How is animal or human sacrifice justified?

Killing of animals or humans as a sacrifice is generally banished in Hinduism although some clans are still allowed to do so. How is this Hindu practice of sacrificing animal or human life to make ...
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What is the basis for worshipping Sai Baba? Are there are references to him in the Vedas or other Vedic literature?

Recently, Dwarka Shankaracharya, Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati stirred controversy by claiming that since Shirdi Sai was a human and that there are no mention of him any Hindu scripture, he shouldn't ...
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Why do Hindus have no restrictions on going to churches or any other religious places?

Hinduism is known for its wide acceptance of other cultures. Most religions, like Christianity, Islam, etc. have very strict rules regarding this. They are not allowed to worship or visit any other ...
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What is the significance of Bel leaves in Shiva worship?

Aegle Marmelos or Bel Leaves are used in the rituals related to Lord Shiva. What is the significance of these leaves in Hinduism?
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Do methods of worship change according to yugas?

Are there different methods of worshiping God in different yugas? For example, in the Sathya Yuga, the major method of worship is meditation or yagas. In Kaliyuga - chanting of God's name. I have ...
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Is the Gayatri mantra used to worship the sun or Goddess Gayatri?

I've heard that the Gayatri mantra is actually used to worship the sun, and that the mantra was titled "Gayatri mantra" because the mantra is formed using Gayatri meter (a Vedic meter). Is that true?
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What is Dharma according to the Bhagavad Gita?

What is Dharma according to the Bhagavad Gita? Are hymns and worship of God compulsory in the Bhagavad Gita ?
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What made Indra the king of Svargalok?

Svargalok is considered as a place where good people reside. From the wiki - Svarga is seen as a transitory place for righteous souls who have performed good deeds in their lives. However, many ...
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Why is Kartikeya not worshiped much compared to lord Shiva, lord Ganesha and goddess Parvati?

Kartikeya is elder son of lord Shiva and goddess Parvati, but he is not worshiped much compared to his dad, mother and brother. If you visit temples in our country, rarely any temple will have an ...
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Does chanting Holy Names while doing worldly duties generate any punya karma?

Does chanting of holy names while doing worldly duties (like travelling, working at home, etc.) generate any good (punya) karma? In this case sometimes one may or may not pay attention to what is ...
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Why do Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva always meditate on each other?

I watched a TV serial named "Devo ke Dev Mahadev" on channel "Life Ok". In that, they mentioned several stories of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu always meditating upon each other and connected to each ...
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Why is Ganga considered sacred? Why do so many devotees worship this river?

What is river Ganga considered sacred? Why do so many devotees worship her? Note: This is not a dup. of Historically, when (and why) did Ganga become a holy river? Is it after Sarasvati dried up? as ...
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What is the significance of breaking a coconut in Hindu rituals?

I have observed and even practiced the act of breaking a coconut before any Hindu ritual or before starting any auspicious deed. It is also offered before God after breaking it. What does this ...
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1answer
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What is the Lalitha Sahasranaamam?

What is Lalitha Sahasranaamam? Why is it important? During what times of day can one recite it? What are the important verses in it? What is the history of it?
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Why is it best if we light ghee lamp in the house while praying?

Before starting any prayer it is required that we light a lamp which is made up of oil and cotton wick. But it is considered uttam (best) if ghee (Clarified butter) is used instead of oil. Why is ghee ...
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4answers
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Do the Vedas prohibit idol worship?

It is a very controversial thing about this verses along the religious websites, especially non-Hindu websites, they are claiming that idol worship is prohibited in Hinduism. They are arguing with ...
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What do Hindu scriptures or Gurus say on How to Introduce Hinduism to Children?

I am aware that this question is more a parenting question. The reason I ask the question is, to me and many young children around me, it was just told that idol worship in a temple is holy and wish-...
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Why do Hindus feed milk to snakes?

I have seen a lot of times in temples that priests offer milk to snake idols. What is the reason behind it? Do snakes really drink milk?
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4answers
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Should I plant Bilva in my home?

I have planted a Bilva (Bel) plant in my lawn whose leaves I use for Shiva pooja. Some of the priests said that Bel plant should not be planted in the house. Instead, it should be migrated to a temple....
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Why is Lord Shiva's daughter Ashokasundari not worshipped?

The sons of Lord Shiva, Ganesha and Muruga (Kartikeya) are very famous and worshipped by many, but not his only daughter, Ashokasundari. What is the reason behind it?
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What is the reason behind lokas in Hinduism?

In the Puranas, and already in the Atharvaveda, there are fourteen worlds, seven higher ones (vyahrtis) and seven lower ones (patalas), viz. bhu, bhuvas, svar, mahas, janas, tapas, and satya above and ...
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2answers
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What's the significance of worshiping Shiva in the month of Shravan?

We all know about worshipping Shiva in the month of Shravana (श्रावण), especially on every Monday of that month i.e Shravana Somavara. What's the significance of worshipping Shiva in Shravana? In ...
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Why is it necessary to burn incense stick while praying?

If you do not light a lamp while doing a prayer and reciting any mantras. But it is necessary to burn an incense stick. This is practised by Buddhist too. Why do we need to do so?
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1answer
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Why one should worship God?

I am looking for exact purpose/reason on why one should worship God? Is it because we are in god's depth as he offered us a life or is it just because god is supreme, creator of world around us? Is ...
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What are the different branches of Shaktism?

There are many different sects in Hinduism,like Vaishnavism,Shaivaism and Shaktism.Some sects,like Vaishnavism and Shaivaism,have different branches like Gaudiya Vaishnavism,which glorifies Krishna ...
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1answer
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What do we gain from chanting the names of Lord Shiva?

There are various scriptures enumerate the results one can obtain by chanting the name of Lord Shiva and it is believed that Lord Shiva is pleased very easily as compared to Lord Vishnu and Lord ...
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1answer
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Nag Panchami and its importance?

There are a few questions in my mind regarding Nag Panchami: What is the history and importance of Nag Panchami? Why do we worship Nagas or Snakes in Nag Panchami though we're afraid of them? Why do ...
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4answers
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Why can Tulsi leaves only be picked on certain days?

I've heard that it is not allowed to pick the leaves of a Tulsi plant on certain days such as Dwadasi among others. This is why Acharyas advise against using store-bought Tulsi in offerings. Which ...
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Does prayer remove bad deeds of past lives?

If this birth is based on the deeds of our previous life, then our destiny is pre-determined. So, there is no need for god unless prayer offered to him will erase the bad deeds.
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Any mantras that are not of Sanskrit origin?

Are there any spells (mantras) in Hinduism which are not in Sanskrit, but in other languages. I came across a mantra in Awadhi dialect of Hindi, it's something about blessings for studying and was ...
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What is the significance of Sashtang Namaskar?

In Hinduism, we do Namaskar to the God statues in the temples as a symbol of belief, respect, and worship. In addition, we also do Sashtang Namaskar. What exactly is Sashtang Namaskar, and why must ...
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2answers
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“If you talk of righteousness, spiritualism, then India comes first”. Why? [closed]

I've transcribed words pronounced by Ramanand Puri during the Kumbh Mela 2001: (Source: see this video from 1:50 to 2:25) "Every place, every society, every country is famous for its specialization....
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1answer
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Why is Moon on Lord Shiva's head only shown as crescent?

The story that of, how the Moon god ended up in Lord Shiva's hair, goes like this: Moon god had to get relief from the disease that he got by his own fault. He came to know that the only remedy for ...
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1answer
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Why do Hindus cover their head?

All Hindu women cover their heads in Temples and during prayers which shows respect towards God. Here I have found there is no mention of women covering their head in any of the Hindu texts. If it is ...
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1answer
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How Skanda in North India to Kandha (Lord muruga) in South India?

While reading an article I got this line, The references to Murugan can be traced back to the first millennium BCE. There are references to Murugan in Kautilya's Arthashastra, in the works ...
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3answers
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Is Shalagram worship forbidden to non-Brahmins?

According to my parents, Shalagrama worship is forbidden to non-Brahmins. Is this true? There is also a possibility that people who are not initiated with the Yajnopavita are forbidden to worship ...
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2answers
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What does Hinduism say about harming the body?

Sanathana Dharma followers does rigorous practice of worship by various ways to lessen the love on one's own body like taking cold water bath even in winter, walking on burning coal, fasting, ...
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Madhurya bhava towards goddesses such as Radha, Parvati, etc.,

I've seen that many people do devotion in madhurya bhava (the emotion of lover-beloved) to male Gods e.g., Krishna, Shiva, Rama etc. In a similar way, can a devotee have madhurya bhava towards ...
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What is the significance of nãrikel (coconut) in pooja?

In almost all Poojas (worship) nãrikel (coconut) is used. Image source: picdif.com What is the significance of using nãrikel in pooja?
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What is the significance of “Akhanda Deepak” while doing puja?

It is considered very good to have the lamp that we light be lit through out the prayer. During Navratra, the lamp if lit till the end of the 9th day is considered to bring lot of luck, happiness, ...
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4answers
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Worship of one god and worship of Shri Ram

In Bhagvad Gita , Lord Vishnu says, Worship me alone :- http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-09-23.html Even those who, being devoted to other gods and endowed with faith, worship (them), ...
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Idol worship in Hinduism

What is the earliest reference for idol worship in Hinduism? It seems like, there is no direct indication or advice of idol worship in any of the religious texts. If there are no references how did it ...
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2answers
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Did Swami Vivekananda worship a personal deity?

I have read that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would often teach devotion to less advanced disciples but would only teach Advaita to Vivekananda. Did Vivekananda worship any personal deity?
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Why each day of the week is dedicated to a particular god?

As the title explains, why do we have specific days to worship specific gods? For example Sunday - Lord Surya Monday - Lord Shiva Tuesday - Lord Ganesha Wednesday - Lord Vithal Thursday - Sai Baba, ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between prayer and worship?

Since my sanskrit knowledge is very limited, I generally read the english translations. Here I often find words like 'prayer', and 'worship'. Is there any difference in their meaning?