Pooja and Flowers
For ages, flowers have been an integral part of worship. Pooja rituals will be incomplete without offering fresh flowers to the deities. The word ’Pooja’ itself has a connection with flowers, the 1st half of the word ‘Poo’ means flowers, while the 2nd part, ‘Ja,’ refers to prayers.
Flowers help us to connect with God and act as a medium of worship. During worship, offering sacred flowers and leaves enhances devotion and proves our faith and loyalty towards the Supreme power.
Not all varieties of flowers are ideal for worship; the rules prescribed by our ancient customs and scriptures have to be followed while picking and using the flowers for pooja. You will learn more about the pooja flowers and the ways to use them.
Basic rules of using Pooja flowers
There are some basic rules to be adhered during picking the flowers for pooja. These rules ensure the performing of Puja as per the procedure.
- Don’t pick flowers from the ground and use them for worship.
- Not buds, but only full flowers have to be used for pooja, except for Champa buds and lotus.
- Avoid plucking flowers from the plant after dusk as it is their sleep time.
- Wilted flowers should not be used in worship.
- Just sprinkle water on the flowers before pooja but never wash them.
- Worm-infested flowers are not ideal for pooja.
- If you cannot source fresh Bilva leaves for Shiva pooja, you can use the already offered bilva leaves by washing them once. But please note that they are ideal for reuse for only three days.
- You can pluck lotus and use it later as they can stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Flowers prohibited in pooja.
The following points will give you an idea of the flowers to be used in poojas.
- Aksada flower is never used in Vishnu Puja.
- Ketaki or kewada is not ideal for Shiva puja.
- Amla and arka should not be offered to Goddess Parvati.
- Bael leaves are not used in poojas of the Sun God.
- Avoid using Arali or Nerium oleander while worshipping Lord Ram.
Popular flowers offered to God.
Among the flowers eligible for pooja, some unique flowers are considered very sacred for worship. Also, it is worthy to note different varieties of flowers are offered to different deities. Following are some popular flowers used for worship.
It is a small fragrant flower that has great religious significance. Jasmine flower is ideal for use in Lord Hanuman and Goddesses worship
Palash flowers are ideal for the worship of Goddess Saraswati. Therefore, Puja performed to her without Palash flowers is considered incomplete.
Lord Ganesha is fond of red-colored flowers, and marigold is the most important of them. It can be offered to him in the form of a garland or as Pushparchana. This flower can be used in the form of petals too. In some traditions, this flower is ideal for Lord Vishnu worship.
This flower is of great spiritual significance. The Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Ma Laxmi, is very fond of lotus, and she is worshipped with this flower during Laxmi puja and Diwali.
- Parijata or Indian Magnolia
The night-blossoming coral jasmine is a sacred flower and useful in the worship of Lord Vishnu. This flower is believed to bring good fortune.
- Red Hibiscus
Goddess Kali epitomizes fierceness, and the flower that depicts this beautifully is red hibiscus. The shape of the flower symbolizes the Goddess’s tongue, and the vibrant red color depicts Kali Maa’s fierceness. Hibiscus is also offered to Lord Ganesh.
- Crown Flower
This whitish purplish flower known as akanda is poisonous but is a vital component of Shiv puja.
- Nerium Oleander
Flowers in reddish hues are ideal for Durga worship, and being red, Nerium Oleander is widely used during her Puja.
- Purple Orchid
This beautiful and exotic flower is ideal to be offered to Lord Shiva. Purple Orchid flowers can be offered with milk or otherwise too.
According to Hindu mythology, to save the world, Lord Shiva had to consume the poison that emerged during the churning of the milky ocean. This flower emerged from Lord Shiva’s chest after he drank the poison, and since then, it is believed to be his favorite flower.
Flowers please Gods, and if you wish to bring the grace of God upon you, offering flowers will help immensely. They are God’s most beautiful creations. The fragrance of the flowers lends a positive and aesthetic vibe to the place of worship and helps attract positive energy and create an ideal environment for worship.« How to Worship Murugan Vel Worship Shoolini Durga and Its Mantras »