Types of Jain Puja
..There are two types of Jinpuja: Saguna & Nirguna. The worship of Jina in the form or Image is called SagunaJinpuja. The worship of Jina as formless (spiritual idea of Jina) is called NirgunaJinpuja. The Sagunaworship of the Parmatma (idol) is of eight-fold (Ashtaprakari).We require the medium of an Idol or image for worship till we reach the 7th Gunasthan (Seventh Stage in the spiritual development). Nirgunaworship consists of devotion and meditation of the Formless one. Once the aspirant is spiritually advancedto significantly higher spiritual level (the stage of the 8th Gunasthan and beyond), where Saguna worship is abandoned. A beginner requires the medium of Idol. While carrying on the Dravyapuja (Pujathat includes physical offerings such as Water, Rice etc is known as Dravyapuja) we should do the Bhavpuja (mental / emotional act of Puja without any physical offerings).

These are various types of Pujas: some of the common Pujas are (1) Eight-fold Jinpuja (Ashthaprakari or AsthadravyaPuja), (2) Athar (18) AbhishekPuja, (3) PanchParmeshtiPuja (4) SnatraPuja. There are five types of twenty types of pujas.

How to be engrossed in Jinpuja?
To be engrossed completely in Jinpuja, the aspirant have Tadgatchitt (full concentration), SamayVidhay (administration – astonishment), Pulak (delight) and Pramod-pradhan (appreciation of great qualities if the Tirthankar).

By performing Jinpuja on a regular basis with pure feelings (bhav – mental / psychic aspect), it can remove eight types of karma: knowledge-obscuring karma, perception / awareness obscuring, belief and conduct diluting karma, energy obscuring karma, life-span determining karma, body-determining karma, status determining, and pain-pleasure producing karma. Thus, liberate ourselves from the bondage of karma forever.

Physical purity: The aspirant should take a bath using the necessary amount of water to clean his/her body. For DigambarPuja: After wearing Puja clothes, take Kesar(saffron paste) on your right ring finger and place it on various parts of the body to symbolize that you are clean and ready to start the Puja. In this order, you anoint the forehead, left and right earlobe, the neck. And nearthe belly button. Clean your fingers after this and do not use the same Kesar for Puja.

Purity of clothes: We should have a special set of clothes worn for puja. The clothing should never have been worn while using the rest and never have been worn while eating or drinking. Traditionally, garments should be generally white and unstitched. Men are recommended to wear dhoti andkhesh. In contemporary times, women can wear almost anything as long as the clothes are new. For Digambar puja:  the clothes must be handwashed clean. On must not have eaten or gone to the bathroom in those clothes.

Purity of mind : While worshipping avoid stray thoughts. We should utter relevant verses and meditate on the virtues of the Bhagwan

Purity of Ground : We should sweep the floor of the temple, clean and arrange the articles of worship.

Purity of Upakaran (items used in worship): We should buy good and clean items for worship.

Purity of money : Money to be used in religious purposes must be earned honestly. Ill*gotten wealth should not be used.

Purity of Ceremony : We should stop thinking of worldly affairs as soon as we are on our way to the temple. We should not carry out any worldly business in the temple area and should perform the puja ceremony systematically.

Tilak (Agnachakra)
We put a Tilak(vertical flame like) on the forehead. This means that we are obeying the commands of Tirthankar(His teachings) for liberationof our soul. Round Tilakis not recommended. After putting Tilak ,the aspirant with folded hands should say “ NamoJinanam” as if the Parmatma is in the front of him / her.

How to stand in front of the Parmatma?
While worshipping or doing darshanof the Parmatma, men should stand on the right side and women should stand on the left side of the Parmatma. This is done to observe the courtesy, and to allow others to see (darshan) the Parmatma.

Ten Triks (group of three) to be observed while worshipping
Nisihitrik: We should utter words ‘Nisihi’ (to give up) thrice first time while entering the main door of the temple. It means that I will restrain myself from engaging in worldly activities, physically, verbally and mentally. The second time ‘Nisihi’ is uttered before entering the inner temple (Gabhara). This signifies that I am abandoning the activities relating to the temple matter. The third time ‘Nisihi’ is uttered after completion of AshtaprakariPuja. This signifies that I will restrain myself from physical acts of worships (DravyaPuja) before performing ‘ChaityaVandan’ (BhavPuja).

PradakshinaTrik: After doing Tilak, we should process to perform three Pradakshina(circumambulation) around the Parmatma (in Bhomati, also called Gomati), starting from the right going to the left to HIM. It is symbolic for acquiring virtues of right perception, right knowledge and right conduct.

While performing Pradakashina, we should recite hymns of an auspicious prayer like some hymns from the RatnakarPachisi or from BhaktamarStotra with full devotion. While performing Pradakshina, we should do “ Namaskar’ with folded hands whenever we see the Parmatma.

PranamTrika) On seeing the Parmatma, we should utter “NamoJinanam” with our both hands folded together. B) We should bow down bending the upper part of our body half way before the Parmatma and do the Pranam with folded hands. c) Bow down by bringing the five limbs of the body together ( two arms, two knees and the heads ) on the floor.

PujaTrik a) AngPuja – We worship the Parmatma by touching it. It consisits of Jal-Puja, Chandan-Puja and Pushpa-puja. b) Agra Puja – We worship the Parmatma by standingin front of Him by waving incense, lamp (Dipak) and swaying the Chamar. Then we worship the Parmatmaby making a rice-swastikand placing sweets and fruits on it before the Parmatma. c) BhavPuja – ChaityaVandan, Stavan and Stuti constitute theBhavPuja.

AvasthaTrik:  a) Birth Stage: While doing Abbishek, ( the ceremony of bathing), we should think that Indra and heavenly beings are performing the Abhishek on the mount Meru upon the head of the newly born baby who is going to be Tirthankar , b) Kingship stage – After worshipping the Parmatma with sandal paste, flowers and ornaments, we should conte,plate the kinghood of Tirthankar imagining Him seated on a throne. C) Shraman(Ascetic) stage – We look at the hairless head of Tirthankar and contemplate His Ascetic stage of life, wishing for ourseld the same state in this life.

DishaTrik: We should watch the Parmatma without looking a) upwards, downwards or sideways; b)right or left or c) behind.
BhumiPujanTrik: Before doing ChaityaVandan, we should sweep the ground with the help of our scarf or handkerchief in order to gently move insects and minute living beings from the area.

AlambanTrik: a) Varna-alamban – We should recite the sutras,stavanas and stuticorrectly without skipping any letter or a word. b) Arthav-alamban – We  should think of the meaning of the words by us. C) Pratimav-alamaban – We should say prayers facing the Parmatma.

MudraTrik – a) Yoga Mudra – Fold the ten fingers into form of a lotus, keep the elbow on the belly and recite the ChaityaVandan up to Namuthunam. B) Jin Mudra – Do KausaggaArihant-cheiyaname up to AnatthaSutra. c) MukataSuktiMudra – Fold your two palms hollow like a pearl-shell and then touch your forehead and recite JavantiCheial, Javant – Kevisahu and Jay viyravya.

PranidhanTrik – ChaityaVandan is performed with full physical, verbal and mental concentration

We look into a mirror (Darpan) to see the face of the Parmatma as the VitaragBhagwan(who has conquered attachments and aversions) symbolizing that we may attain the state of non-attachment like HIM. This is done after performing Jin Puja.

Chowri Dance
After performing DarpanPuja, we Chowridance while swaying the Chamar before the Parmatma to express our love, respect and devotion to our VeetragBhagwan. This is usually done after looking at the face of theParmatmainto Darpan.

Performance of Rice Swastik & its Significance
The swastik sign symbolizes the samsarik cycle that is consisted of four destinies: 1. Heavenly beings, 2.humans, 3. hell beings and rest of the living forms (animals, plants, etc). A given soul can be born unaccountable number of times in each type. After JinDarshan or Jinpuja, the aspirant sits on a mat in front of the Parmatma. He / She forms a sign of swastika using rice grains on a plate or a wooden plank, This symbolizes the four samsarikdestinites.Then he/she places three dots above the swastiksign. Three dots symbolize the three jewels – perfect perception, perfect knowledge and perfect conduct. These three provide the means for escaping the miserable samsarik cycle. Finally, he/she makes a half cycle on the top of three dots and puts a dot in that half circle. This half circle figure with a dot symbolizes the place, sidhdhha-lok (upper portion of the universe) where the liberated souls are. The aspirant to be liberated from thesamsarik cycle of four destinies by the means of right perception, right knowledge and right conduct and attain Moksha. The aspirant puts Sweet on the swastika symbolizing he/she wants to attain a foodlesstatw (Anahari – Siddha). In addition, the aspirant puts fruit on the siddashilasymbolizing the fruit of the Jinpuja is the fifth state of liberation that is liberation.

There are three types of BhavPujas. In general, ChaityaVandan is performed after the AshtaprakariPuja.

Why should we ring the bell and when?
After completion of the darshan / pujaand before leaving the temple, you must ring the bell in order to express the spiritual happiness that you have just experienced while performing puja and having HIS darshan.

How to come out of the temple?
After ringing the bell, you must leave the temple without turning your back towards theParmatma (Idol). You must retreat walking backwards.

After coming out of the temple, sit for a few minutes outside the temple visualizing the Parmatma with eyes softly closed, steady body and full mental concentration.

Brief Description of Various Pujas
Athar (Eighteen) AbhishekPuja
The direct translation of Abhishek is “coronation”. Abhishekh signifies the cleansing of the mind and body as a way to begin puja. The process involves using of eighteen different substances while reciting the auspicious aphorisms and Mantra, This AbhishekPuja is performed for the purification of altar. Pratimajis and participants.

Pratishtha (Cementing) Vidhi
This spiritual process involves cementing of Pratimajis on its platform (Gadi). There will be the same number of the metal sticks under the Gadi as the participating families. Each participating family will remove one strip and cement that particular place from where the metal strip is removed. Thenremove back to allow other participants to do the same. Before and during this process, the auspicious Mantras are recited.

Ashtaprakari (Eight Fold) Jinpuja of SwetambarPratimajis
This particular Jinpuja is usually performed in the morning . Eight different rituals are performed during puja: jal (water), Chandan (sandalwood paste), Pushpa (flowers), dhoop (incense), dipak (light), akshat (rice), naivedya (sweets), and fal (fruits).

JalaPuja: (Water): Before performing this, everything (like flowers), from the Parmatma should be removed. Then insects (if any) on the Parmatma be removed gently by using a peacock feather-brush. After his, we should sprinkle water (abhishek) on the Parmatma. Then remove stale sandal paste by wet cloth (Potu), apply the Valakunchi (brush of hair-like Chandan sticks) gently on the places where dry paste is stuck.
Water symbolizes life’s ocean of birth, death and misery. This Jinouja reminds that one should live his life with honesty, truthfulness, love and compassion towards all living beings. This way one will be able to cross life’s ocean and attain liberation (Moksha).

ChandanPuja: (Sandal-wood): Wipe the Parmatma by three pieces of cloth to remove all water, and make the Parmatma completely dry. This Puja involves puja of nine limbs: (1) two toes of the feet, (2) two knees, (3) two wrists, (4) the shoulders, (5) the head,(6) the forehead, (7) the throat, (8) the chest and (9) the naval

Chandan symbolizes knowledge (jinana). By doing this Jinpuja, one should thrive for right knowledge.

PushpaPuja: (Flower): The flower symbolizes conduct. Our conduct should be full of love and compassion towards all living beings, like flower provides fragrance and beauty, without any discrimination.

DhupPuja: (Incense): Dhup symbolizes monkhood life. While burning itself, incense provides fragrance to others. Similarly, true monks and nuns spend their life selflessly to benefit all living beings. This Jinpuja reminds that one should thrive for an ascetic life.

DipakPuja: (Candle): The flame of Dipak represents a pure consciousness. i.e. a soul without bondage of any karmas or a liberated soul. By doing this Jinpuja one should thrive to follow five great vows; non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity, and non-possession. Ultimately these vows will lead to liberation.

AkshatPuja: (Rice): Rice is a kind of grain which is non-fertile. One cannot grow rice plants be seeding rice. Symbolically, it represents the LAST BIRTH. By doing this Jinpujaone should thrive to put all efforts in life in such a way that life becomes the last life, and there will be no more birth this life. Literally, Akshat means unbroken, and it stands for there will be no more birth after this life. Literally, Akshat means unbroken, and it stands for unbroken happiness. The bright white color of rice represents the purity of our soul.

NaivedyaPuja: (Sweets):Naivedya symbolizes tasty food. By doing this Jinpuja, one should thrive to reduce or eliminate attachment to tasty food. Healthy food is essential for survival; however one should not live for tasty food. Ultimate aim in one’s life is to attain Moksha where no food is essential for survival.

FalPuja: (Fruit): Fruit is a symbol of Moksha or liberation. If we live our life without any attachment to worldly affairs, continue to perform our duty without any expectation and reward, be a witness to all the incidents that occur surroundings us, truly follow monkhood life, and have a love and compassion to all living beings, we will attain the fruit of liberation. This is the last Jinpujasymbolizing the ultimate achievement of our life.

Ashtaprakari (Eight Fold) Jinpuja of DigambarPratimajis
Abhishekh:Abhishekhis performed by the Pujari (male); the rest of the members participate in reading the Jinpuja. Altar area is cleaned. Abhishekinvolves cleaning of the altar by sprinkling saffron water on the eight directions and cleaning of the Parmatma, then wiping the Parmatma dry using dry cloth. Several kalashes (pots) of pure water is used in bathing the Parmatma as the bell is rang and the Abhishekh path is read or NamokarMaha Mantra is recited. The rest of the participants are reading or chanting the Abhishekh Path. Usually, there should be a continuous stream of water until the AbhishekhPath is complete. Then the Parmatma s first wiped by wet cloth and then with a dry cloth.

Sthatpana:Take three full cloves and hold one clove at a time between the two ring fingers. While keeping the clove head pointing forward and while chanting the sthapana, placethe cloves in an elevated place. The first clove represents that May Dev-Shostra-Guru come into my thoughts; second clove represents that May Dev-Shostra-Guru stay in my thoughts, and third clove represents that May Dev-Shostra-Gurube near me.

Invocation: The rays of the sun of omniscience illuminate whose inner self, that voice of Jinendra expounds beautifully the fundamentals of our being. The monks who process on the path of right faith, knowledge, and conduct, I bow to thee, oh God. Scriptures and monks of the Jain order, a hundred times. I implore of the trio to setlle in my mind, while I am offering this homage.

Brief Description of AshtPrakariPuja:
Water: Pleasured of the senses are sweet poison, nevertheless one is attracted towards this handsome human frame, I have failed to comprehend that all this is the manifestation of matter alone, Forgetting my own glories, I have adhered to attachments of the non-self, Now I have come to you to wash off wrong faith with the pure water of right faith. I offer to you this water for destroying wring faith as it has not been able to quench my eternal thirst.

Sandalwood: All the sentiment and non-sentiment entities behave and act on their own limits of existence, calling them favorable or unfavorable is a false attitude of the mind. I have only lengthened the circle of life and death by becoming unhappy with unfavorableassociations, I have come to you with a grieved heart to get peace of mind, as from sandalwood. I offer to you this sandalwood to destroy the anger in me as this has not been able to keep me calm and undisturbed.

Flower: This flower is very soft; it has not crookedness or deceitfulness; I accept that there is no straight forwardness in my own self, mythinking, expression and action – all are different from each other, I therefore, implore you to grant me stability that washes off inner impurities. I offer to you this flower to achieve supreme straightforwardness in my nature.

Incense: I have entertained the false belief that inanimate karmas are the cause of my wanderings in the four phases of life. As such I indulge in attachment and aversion, when these karmas behave n themselves, Thus, I have been passing through material as well as psychic karmas for centuries, I have come to thee , oh trio, to burn external incense for achieving the sweet spiritual incense of my own-self. I offer to you this incense to destroy the antagonistic inclinations of my existence.

Lamp: I was under the impression that my life will be illuminated with this inanimate lamp, which changes into deep darkness just in a heavy tempest of wind. I have, therefore, come to place this mortal light at your feet, And to light my own inner-lamp with your supreme light of omniscience. I offer to you this lamp in order to destroy the darkness of my inner self.

Rice: I am pure and without any blemish, having no connection with the non-self, Even then I always take pride in favorable associations of this world, This is a homage of the sentiment to the non-sentiment elements, destroying our modesty, I have come to you, oh supreme trio, for the realization of my supreme bliss. I offer to you this unbroken rice to achieve the non-destructible treasure of joy.

Sweets: My hunger has remained insatiate even after consuming countless inanimate articles, the pit of greediness has been filled time and again, but it remained empty, I have been moving in the sea of desires and sinking therein from time immemorial. Renouncing all pleasures of sense and mind, I have come to thee for drinking deep of the intrinsic nectar of the soul; I offer to you these sweets in order to win victory over my passionof greed.

Fruit: Whatever material entities I call my own, leave me all of a sudden, I, thus, become perturbed and this mental disorderliness leads to others of the same kind. I want to see my delusions dashed to pieces and that is the purpose of my prayer to thee. I offer to you this fruit to obtain the fruit of supreme bliss.

There are many meanings of Arati. One meaning is to experience the spiritual joy from all directions (Arati = A + Rati, A means from all sides and Rati means Joy – spiritual joy). When a religious activity s concluded with success, we do Arati to express our spiritual joy.rati also means to seek the end of “Art” (misery). This material world ( Samsar) is full of misery, and the aspirant is performing Arati to free himself / herself from the cyclew of the miser of the material worsld, cycle of birth and death , Third is that to fill our inner selves with spiritual joy, and to end the mental unhappiness.

To free from the miserable cycle of the material world (Samsar), one needs to have bright light of five types of knowledge. That’s why we light five Dipaks (which has candle like flame). These five Dipaks are also symbol of five great vows (PanchMahaVrat) through its practice, one attains the salvation. Five Dipaks are also symbolic of practicing five Samitis (Restraints), It is also representative of restraining negative of five senses and five characteristics of SamyakDarshan (Right Perception).

Another way to understand the purpose of performingArati is that, to free ourselves from the miserable cycle of material world, we need to detach ourselves from all worldly attachments as five supreme beings (PanchParmeshthi) have done it.

To pay our spiritual tribute to these five PanchParmeshthi, we light up five Dipaks, and we mentally contemplate that “I want to also give up all worldly attachments, and want to initiate myself ( take Diksha) to become a Sadhu (or Sadhvi) to free myself from four Samsari and to attain the fifth destiny, Moksha.

Mangal means to eradicate bad karma (pap), to free ourselves from Samsar (material world), to remove the darkness of ignorance, to have an auspicious opportunity to practice Right Religion and to practice the path that is beneficial to the Self (soul). Only path of Moksha is beneficial to our Self that is attained by eradicating all karma. By removing the darkness of karma, one enlightens himself / herself with the Absolute Knowledge (KevalJnana). One Dipak is used in MagalDivo to symbolize the one and only Perfect knowledge, KevalJnana through which the darkness of the ignorance is permanently removed, the miserable cycle of birth and death is permanently ended, the association with the foreign dust of karma I=is completely terminated, and the true qualities of the souls are forever realized. In other words, one Dipak in MangalDivo symbolizes the one and only path of Moksha as expounded by Tirthankars. We should mentally contemplate while performing MangalDivo that “I want to enlighten my inner Dipak(self) just like this MangalDivo by attaining the perfect knowledge, KevalJnana by practicing the path of Moksha as expounded by Tirthankars.”

This is performed for inner and external peace for everyone and everywhere in the universe. In the beginning NamokarMaha Mantra and Uvasaggaraham are recited and then it is followed byBruh-Shanti while maintaining a continuous flow of the PanchamrutfomKalash in to a Pot. In this process, the peace in the universe is prayed for by wishing good physical, verbal, mental and spiritual health to all living beings and absence of misery everywhere, this is done in the manner it was done by the heavenly beings and their king (Indra) while performing Janmabhishek of Tirthankar in the Mount Meru.

Aspirant pays his / her respect to all twenty four Tirthankars and prays for suppression of passions (Kashay) everywhere. Inner and external peace is wished to the four folded community (Sangh) and to all living beings, guidance from Jain monks and nuns is sought, Mantra are recited, help from heavenly beings is sought, environment, that is free of diseases, wars , droughts , disturbances and unhappiness, is sought. The spiritual progress, contentment and wellbeing for everyone is wished. It is prayed that every living being becomes free of all kind of fears, fear of water, fire, poison, animals, disease, war, enemy, robber, etc. It wished that each living beings helps each other, everyone eliminates his/her own faults, and everlasting happiness for everyone is wished.

During this pujanShriLaghuShanti, which is consisted of 27 aphorisms, is recited involving unique ritual process, This pujan is performed for the wellbeing of entire Sangh, for its spiritual growth, for its inner happiness and peace, to calm down the outside disturbances and for curing uncontrollable diseases, After the conclusion of this Pujan, the temple is sprinkled with the holy water (Naman). In addition each member of the Sangh takes this water to his/her residence and sprinkles it around for the inner and external peace.

Because of our carelessness and lack of knowledge, we are sure we have made few mistakes and might have hurt your feelings knowingly or unknowingly. Please accept our sincere apology. MichchhaMiDukkadam. Please let us know about our mistakes.