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An Introduction to Group Pujas

In the same way as the Sun benefits all of us with its rays, making life possible on Earth, God is one and His blessings transfer to everyone equally. Irrespective of how many people are beneath the sun, its splendor and radiance benefit each person individually, so do the blessings of the almighty bless each person who turn towards Him with an open heart.

The Sun does not judge a person based on his deeds or origin of birth while shining its light upon the mankind; the same way, the blessings of God are available to everyone equally. Such is the glory of the loving creator. When we worship him with prescribed Vedic rituals that tune us to Him, He is available equally and completely to everyone who connects to Him through the ritual.

 

Mahapujas and its Benefits

Group Puja is formally known as Maha Puja. Mahapuja is properly defined as a devotional practice that enables numerous devotees to pray at the same time. The sankalpa or intention of each devotee is taken individually at the start of the puja and merged in one common sankalpa once the puja starts. There is evidence that pujas done in this manner are not just equally effective as single pujas, but since there are more devotees and priests joining, the resulting group dynamic creates a unique charged godly atmosphere that immensely benefits the participants. “Those that perform a mahapuja will be freed from emotional, mental, physical, and financial miseries.” accentuates a knowledgeable Indian priest who performs group pujas since over 2 decades.

Group pujas are commonly done by families in their household in all important festivals like Diwali, Navratri, Shivratri, Maha Shivratri, Krishna Janamashtmi etc. When you go to a temple or a religious event and the priests there are doing puja and chanting mantras you are doing a group puja. Group homas and abhishekas have been organized by communities since several hundred years. In this process the cost of performing the religious ceremony is shared by the participants, so that a grand event can be afforded and come out of it.

 

Group Pujas (Mahapujas) across Temples and Indian Culture

Different communities organize Mahapujas like Gayatri Mahayajna, Ati Rudra, Mahamrityunjaya homa and Shat Chandi for the well-being of the environment and mankind and benefit of everyone regardless of religion, country, ethnicity, or beliefs; and for a quick clearance of societal and global problems, such as pandemics. This is the case of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, in which over 12,000 families in the United States participated in an online and large elaborated Mahapuja from the safety of their homes that year.

Group pujas are the only way pujas are done in the major Jyotirlingas temples across India or Vaishno Devi temple or Tirupati temple to name a few. Several participants always join in and give donations as it is not possible for one person to afford the cost of these.

 

Marriage ceremonies also happen in groups in many places where one common pundit is chanting the slokas. Which lead us to the simple reasoning that it doesn’t matter what the type of ceremony is; since God is invoked through the many traditional rituals and elements, it benefits everyone who participates in it. The offering of Aarti to Ganga and Lord Shiva in the nights of Varanasi and Rishikesh at the Ghats of the Ganges by a multitude of assembled people and priests is a widely international and spectacular Mahapuja event that attracts thousands of people every day.

 

Group Puja Cost Benefits

Whether a puja or homa is performed for a single person or for a single person within a group, it gives the same result. The advantage that group pujas have over individual pujas is their lower cost and easier affordability of these by any of the persons involved. The number of Priests in a group puja are usually 7 and above and it is for a long duration and done with elaborate shadopachar (16 step) rituals, thus giving full benefit to each of the participant.

Several Hindu festivals take place throughout the year and at least two or three fall every month. The major ones are Maha Shivratri, Navratri, Krishna Janamasthmi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and Diwali. At this time there are large numbers of people seeking the blessings of the gods due to the celestial event and looking for the best puja services available. In these times, the temples and popular puja service providers opt for group pujas to provide to the larger number of devotees involved, and also due to the reason that the Brahmins available to do pujas at this time are less in number due to high demand by people seeking their services.

 

Getting Involved in a Group Puja

Worshipping at temples doubles your prayers on its own as the temples have ‘vigrahas’ (idols) that are installed with Pran Prathistha procedures and who are living Gods that are woken up in the morning, given bath, offered three meals in the day, regular prayers, offerings and are put to sleep.

We at Rudra Centre have a dedicated puja services temple in our own premises where the idols are duly consecrated. We have a team of well-versed, karmakandi priests from Shivkashi Temple who perform Pujas as per strict Vedic rituals. You may watch the puja ritual over Skype or live stream. You would receive a blessed Prasad and photographs and videos of the ritual performed for you.

The best way to stay tuned with our next Maha Puja is by visiting our website.
You also can visit our special page for Pujas for festivals along the year here:
https://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/k/pujas-for-festivals
For recommendations and enquiries about group pujas and other personalized options and puja services, please email us at: pujaservices@rudracentre.com


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