I have always thought of pujas and other rituals as being more about intention than about exact details. I figure the Gods understand if I don’t get every detail right, just as Sri Krishna said that he accepts any offering made with devotion even if it is just a drop of water or a leaf. I also see the purpose of rituals to be more about refining my inner Self than supplicating to a “higher being.”
But many of the rituals do have very specific instructions right down to what way to turn, touching things with a certain finger, and touching your head at specific points, etc.
I realized recently that these instructions remind me a lot of how witchcraft, spells, and Wicca are presented in movies and TV. (I don’t know a whole lot about real Wicca. Like many American teenagers I went through a phase of interest in it but that was a long time ago). The idea is that if you follow the instructions of the ritual or spell perfectly with all the right materials, you will get the promised result. (That’s enormously appealing.)
So what do you think?
Are Hindu pujas a way to almost guarantee a result if you perform it exactly perfectly with all the correct materials? Or is the intention and devotion behind the puja the more important part? Or something else?
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