Primary Schools Page 4
Any activity we do that takes us closer to God is a form of
worship. In Hinduism, there are no hard and fast rules about when
or how to pray. There are only some guidelines. A lot of Hindus
find the best times to worship are at dawn (when the sun is just
coming up) and at dusk (when the sun is just setting). These are
times when everything seems so peaceful.
Worship is called
is the place in the home where God is worshipped.
is the form of God being worshipped. A picture or statue of
the deity is placed on a raised and decorated platform.
is lit to show that we want to go from darkness to light.
It shows that we want to find God.
may be sprinkled around the shrine for purity
may be offered to show that we are offering our heart to
Fruit and food
may be offered to God to offer thanks. At the end of the
worship, the food becomes holy. This food is then called
It is shared and eaten by worshippers.
may be burnt. The sweet scent goes everywhere to remind us
that God is everywhere.
may be rung to awaken the deity. The sound of the bell can
be used blocks out other sounds disturbing the puja.
is a mark made on the forehead when doing the worship
ceremony. Hindus concentrate on this spot when they
meditate. This mark is made using red powder.
Prayers and Sacred Scriptures
may be read or sung during the Puja ceremony
is the welcoming ceremony of God. Lamps are waved gently in
front of the image and holy songs are sung.
is burnt at the end of the puja to show that we have to burn
Worship in the temple:
Hindus say that temples are the homes of God on earth. There
are no hard and fast rules about when to go to the temple.
Hindus go to the temple to get
darshan of God. This
means they wish to catch sight of God. They may take flowers
and fruits, or other items to offer to God. When they arrive
at the temple, they remove their shoes before entering the
temple as a mark of respect.
the entrance to the temple people ring a bell to announce
their presence to God. The main deity of the temple is
placed in the inner shrine. The outer walls of the temples
may have smaller shrines housing other deities. The worship
ceremony is similar to the worship at home. The congregation
sings glories of God. These songs are called
bhajans. The priest
performs the arti
ceremony by gently waving a tray with oil-lamps in front of
the deity. The arti-tray is then passed around, people cup
their hands over the lamps to receive blessings. Some people
go around the deity in the inner shrine to pay their
the food and fruit that was offered to God is offered to
everyone to eat.
Religious festivals remind us about God. Some festivals
celebrate special days in a religion, some festivals
celebrate change of season while some celebrate special
is the most popular Hindu festival. On this night, Rama and
returned to their city after spending 14 years in the
forest. To celebrate their return the people of the city lit
up the whole town with oil-lamps. These little lamps are
called diwa hence
the festival is called Diwali.
This day also celebrates the day the Mother Goddess
destroyed a demon called Mahisha. On this day, people light
lots of lamps, visit relatives, have feasts and arrange
celebrates the victory of the Mother Goddess over evil. It
is a festival that lasts over nine nights with dancing and
singing around the image of the mother Goddess. Some
grown-ups may fast during these days to show their devotion
to the mother Goddess.
celebrates the birth of Sri Krishna
celebrates the birth of Sri Rama
celebrates the special love and relationship between
brothers and sisters
celebrations take place in the night to honour Lord Shiva
celebrates special relationship between teacher and student
celebrates the arrival of spring. On this day people
sprinkle coloured powder and water on each other
Most people think that Yoga
means doing physical exercises. The word yoga means to
join together with God.
Physical exercises help us to stay healthy, but it is not the
‘real’ yoga. The real yoga is called
Raja yoga and is the way to
find God by meditation. It is very difficult. Real meditation
comes when we become even more awake than we are now. How can this
be possible? Hindus say
that when we are successful in making our mind very quiet, we
become even more awake. In meditation we can experience God.
Someone called Vivekananda was able to
meditate by making his mind very quiet and seeing God. This
is a picture taken when he was experiencing God in deep
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