Question 10. What is the significance of worship, whether at home or at the temple? Is there any prescribed method for doing it?
Puja or worship is a loving entertainment of God, even as we entertain our friends and relatives whom we love.
The several steps involved in such worship may be briefly stated as follows:
Avahana (invoking the presence of God in the image or symbol), Asana (offering a seat), Padya and Arghya (giving water for washing feet and hands), Snana or Abhisheka (ceremonial bath), Vastra (offering Clothes), Candana (smearing sandal paste and other unguents), Pushpa (offering of flowers and garlands), Dhupa (burning incense),Dipa (waving of light), Naivedya (food offering), and finally Visarjana (bidding goodbye).
In the temples, the Abhisheka (bathing) of the image and its decoration are done more elaborately. If worship is performed with faith and devotion, it generates peace and joy in our minds. It is to be stated here that , according to the Agamas, God manifests Himself in a subtle form in the image or symbol duly consecrated and accepts the worship thus offered.