Significance of ‘Manasika’ puja

A realised soul revels in the experience of God in his inner being and remains unaffected by the world around him, though he is very much a part of it. In a discourse, Sri Kesava Dikshitar drew attention to the fact that though Bheema is overtly known for his proficiency in wielding the mace and perhaps for his culinary skills, his special merit is the way he performs manasa puja for Siva with total dedication. That is the reason why Vyasa claims that thinking of Bheema’s glory helps to remove one’s sins in the famous verse wherein he refers to the individual virtues of each of the Pandava brothers.

Thinking of one with such unflinching Siva bhakti as Bheema will certainly help in purifying the mind. ‘Manasika’ puja is doing worship of the Lord without any external materials. The entire puja is imagined in the mind, including all the materials necessary for worship, and one offers all of these to the Lord as in formal worship. This kind of worship is more powerful and demands concentration and mental participation.

In the Siva Manasa Puja Stotra, Adi Sankara captures the bhakti bhava in this method of worship where feeling is more effective than action. The aspirant has to imagine the Siva linga which is in each individual as the soul and resides in the lotus of one’s heart. The ablutions are done from the river of devotion, and the lotus of meditation is the flower that is offered.

One could imagine that he offers the sacred waters from the Himalayas, silken cloth, musk and sandal paste, bilwa leaves, flowers, lamp, etc. It is to be followed by a humble request to the Lord to accept the offerings and bless.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2021 10:37:43 AM |

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