Worship at Home

  • Puja is a personal worship ritual performed at home, often in front of a shrine with images of deities.
  • Use of murtis, physical representations of deities, can vary with personal preference; they generally serve as focal points for worship.
  • Essentials of puja can include incense, flowers, food offerings and recitation of mantras. The act of offering is seen as a means of purifying and disciplining the mind.

Worship at the Mandir

  • The Mandir (temple) is a community gathering place for worship, learning and festivities.
  • Worship at the mandir involves darshan, the visual ‘beholding’ of the divine in murtis. It is a reciprocal act; worshippers see and are seen by the gods.
  • The act of pradakshina involves circumambulating the temple or deity as a sign of respect.
  • Worship may also involve aarti, a ritual wherein a camphor flame is waved in front of the deity while bells are rung and songs sung.


  • Meditation, or dhyana, is viewed as a means to union with the divine. It is seen as a way of transcending the self and the material world to experience the divine.
  • There are various forms of meditation in Hinduism, such as japa meditation (repetition of a mantra), concentrative meditation, and mindful meditation.
  • In Hindu philosophy, yoga isn’t just a physical exercise but a spiritual practise, often incorporating meditation, that leads to self-realisation and moksha (liberation).

Festivals and Pilgrimages

  • Festivals, or utsava, typically involve communal worship, song, dance, food, and storytelling. They often honour specific deities or events from sacred texts.
  • Pilgrimage, tirtha-yatra, is another important aspect of Hindu worship. The journey itself is considered an act of devotion and purification. Popular sites include the Ganges River, Varanasi, and the char Dham.
  • Engaging in these acts of worship reinforce bonds within the Hindu community, affirms shared beliefs, and allows for the veneration of the divine in various forms.