Why Do We Offer Food to the Lord Before Eating It?

In western tradition, food is partaken after a thanksgiving prayer- grace. Indians make an offering of it to the
Lord and later partake of it as a prasaada – a holy gift from the Lord. In temples and in many homes, the
cooked food is first offered to the Lord each day. The offered food is mixed with the rest of the food and then
served as prasaada. In our daily ritualistic worship (Pooja) too we offer naivedyam (food) to the Lord. Why do we do so? Why Do We Offer Naivedyam?The Lord is omnipotent and omniscient. Man is a part, while the Lord is the totality. All that we do is by His
strength and knowledge alone. Hence, what we receive in life as a result of our actions is really His alone.
We acknowledge this through the act of offering food to him. This is exemplified by the Hindi words tera
tujko arpan from the arati “Jai Jagadisha Hare”- I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift
to us, graced by His divine touch. Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the …

Many Problems One Solution - Swami Tejomayananda

This title may kindle your curiosity, and some of you may wonder how there can be a single solution to the variety of problems in the world.
Let me warn you at the outset that I do not possess any magic potion or instant cure. I can only give you something to work on, the seeds of a solution.
Once a hungry person went to a shop to buy apples. Instead of apples, he was given the seeds that he could plant, that would grow into trees yielding apples in abundance.
In the same way, I shall give you the seeds of thought that can remove all your problems if only you will work on it.
The Nature of Problems: Let us first focus on problems. If we analyze and observe, we will find that the situations in life are what become problems.
If you are comfortably sitting in your own house and begin to feel hungry, the hunger does not pose a problem. There is food in the kitchen; if not, you just go to a restaurant. But if you are in a remote place and food is not available, or you don’t have enough mon…

How to Place Pictures of Our Gods at Home?

Every room in our home has some purpose. The living room to socialise and for family time, the bedroom to
rest, the garden to be close to nature, the office to get our work done in peace and meditation or puja room
to connect with ourselves and the divine power. But purpose goes even deeper than this. The reasons why things are the way they are that is the reason for
the presence of harmony and tranquillity at home. Or even a lack of it. So, it’s important to understand that even though we may have a prayer room that is well-maintained, clean
and houses all our most powerful deities, it still needs to be in the right place and face the right direction. This might not seem like the most important thing, but because of Vastu, you can rest assured that it will make
a big difference to your living space. So, how should you place the temple in your house and where and in which way should you put the pictures of
the gods? Read on and find out! So, first things first, where do you place the …

Why We Ring Bells as a Part of Puja?

When you’re doing puja next time, just concentrate on all the moments that you ring the bell or ghanti. Have you ever thought about why this simple and humble bell is such a crucial part of our rituals?
During childhood, you always want to be the one ringing the bell because it was one way to involve yourself in the puja and also do something that felt significant. Well, the truth is that it was actually very significant!
But that is plain to see if you begin to notice just how many places seem to have these sacred bells. You see them in offices, in homes, at temples, at ashrams, they’re almost everywhere! So, now it’s time to understand what they symbolise and why we should always have a ghanti during a puja. The most popular reason for using the ghanti before a puja begins is to invoke the deity that we are about to worship. It actually is a way of communicating to the universe that a puja is about to begin.
Another thing that the bell does is to awaken one’s spiritual self to the ri…

The Significance of Lighting Oil Lamps

The light.
It is the epitome of all that is good in the world. All our beliefs that make us who we are and our faith that takes us where we need to go. The light is there, guiding us silently, making its presence known only when we feel lost and need a direction to turn to.
In India, the lighting of oil lamps goes back centuries. It is an important part of our festivals like Diwali, and of our lives in general as it represents the knowledge passed down to us through generations.
Lighting of an oil lamp is said to represent, not only illumination but also driving away malicious spirits that revel in ignorance. It also increases the mind’s ability to connect to the universe spiritually as an open mind is able to receive all the knowledge that is around.
During auspicious occasions, these oil lamps also act as guiding lights for prosperity and happiness to enter into our homes as they represent enlightened individuals that are ready to receive.
Homes aren’t the only place we light these …