Symbolism Of Hindu Puja Rituals 

The Idol

Vedanta envisages that idol worship is only the lowest or the first stage of realising God. An idol is the physical image of the Divine. It helps human beings to concentrate and move on to the next stage of realising God. From the worship of the idol, the person moves to the next stage of mental prayers and then to the last stage when he finally realises the Divine.


The flowers are a symbol of all the good that has blossomed in us.


The fruits symbolise detachment, self-sacrifice and surrender completely to God.


Coconut is known as ‘Sriphal’ in Sanskrit. Sriphal means God’s fruit. So, coconut is essentially the fruit of the Gods. Breaking a coconut symbolises smashing your ego and humbling yourself before God. The hard shell of ignorance and ego is smashed which gives way to inner purity and knowledge which is symbolized by the white part of the coconut.


Light is significant in Hinduism because it signifies purity, goodness, good luck and power. The existence of light means the non- existence of darkness and evil forces.



The incense sticks are burned together which symbolise our desires for various things in our life.


The Purnakumbha

An earthen pot or pitcher called ‘Purnakumbha’ – full of water, and with fresh mango leaves and a coconut atop it, is generally placed as the chief deity or by the side of the deity before starting a Puja. Purnakumbha literally means a ‘full pitcher’ (Sanskrit: ‘purna’ = full, ‘kumbha’ = pot). The pot symbolizes mother earth, the water life-giver, the leaves life and the coconut divine consciousness.


Naivedyam Or Prasadam

The food which is offered to the God symbolically stands for our ignorant consciousness which we place before the deity or the Divine for spiritual enlightenment. After the offering is infused with the light and knowledge of the Divine Consciousness, it is consumed by the human beings who are the physical form of the Divine Consciousness.

Hinduism is one of the most interesting religions of the world. The festivals, rituals, customs and celebrations are what sets Hinduism apart from all other religions of the world. The most important part of Hinduism is the connection of individual mind with the divine which is manifested in the form of puja and other rituals. Most of us often see devotees offering various items to the deities. Fruits, flowers, leaves, naivedyam etc. are some of the most common items which are offered to the deities. Have you ever wondered why these things are offered in front of the Gods? It is definitely not insanity rather these offerings have a strong symbolism attached to it. Each offering and puja rituals has a special significance and symbolism.


Puja is worshipping the deities through ritual offerings and prayers which are performed either on a daily basis or on special days in front of the idols of deities. Some dedicated devotees perform puja on a daily basis in their house while others go to temples for the same. The process of puja consists of a series of ritual stages beginning with personal purification, invocation of the Gods, offering flowers, food etc. followed by prayers. Check out the symbolism of the Hindu puja rituals.

Source: Boldsky