Wednesday, Aug 23rd

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Why do we perform Puja

Puja gharHindu practices and mythology can be interpreted in several ways. The pujas were prescribed for married women ages ago and have been passed down across generations. Women in the earlier days were mainly confined to home (read kitchen) with minimal socializing. Most of them may not have been educated beyond school and were probably married off in their teens. Essentially, all they did was take care of the home and family and cook.
Possibly, these pujas were intended to provide multifold benefit. For one, its a way of socializing. Women exchange 'tambulam' - betel leaves and some fruits, flowers. Betel leaves are rich in calcium, which is essential for all women. The puja process comes with its food restriction, ensuring food discipline.
Pre-pooja arrangements and puja process also ensure that women set aside all their everyday issues and take time out to do something that ensures well-being of the family. Chanting of mantras brings in calmness and positive vibes in the house.
It is said that every family has its own specifications for the puja, that is usually passed on from the mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law. This improves communication between the two.
Other talents such as floral decorations, singing and cooking also improve as one performs these pujas year after year.