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The honour of prayer

india Updated: Mar 17, 2013 23:09 IST

Puja means honour and worship, offering one's self. When you are in deep love, you naturally want to offer something. Usually when you love something, you want to possess it. And in the process of possessing, you make the beautiful thing ugly.

Puja is contrary to that. You appreciate, you adore, you recognise beauty. Worship is just the opposite of wanting to possess.

Usually our relationships do not flower to this extent. Instead we start demanding. Husband and wife, master and servant, there is a demand. "I have done so much for you. Now you must do this thing for me."

Demanding is contrary to honouring. The way to preserve a relationship is to honour. Puja is not complete without honoring the trees, mountains, rivers, Earth and the people living on it. Divinity permeates everything on this Earth. Honour the creation. Honor your own body.

Remember that when you eat, you are offering food to the Divine that resides inside your body. Have you ever looked at your breath with honour and thought, “This breath is so beautiful; without it, my body would be thrown away." With this depth of worship, all your feverishness will be transformed into love.

Honouring leads to devotion. Surrender happens. Surrender to the Divine brings total rest from all anxieties, from all wants.

Devotion brings that total rest ---a healing touch to the life which has been moving in so many directions. And the best form of worship (Puja) is to be happy, is to be grateful.

The process of Puja or worship is to lead us from the external world to within. The highest expression of Puja is meditation.

In Puja, we use and honour the five elements that form the basis of this creation and we honour ourselves as well.

When you go to sleep at night, think that the Divine is within me, ‘Salutations to the Divine in my heart.’ Meditate upon this, and then go to sleep. Then see how the quality of your sleep is. —