Every single house has its own deity which is the choice of the family and is inherited generation after generation. Though the children of that particular house follow the family values but as a young adult they are encouraged to make their own choices of which gods and goddesses they find personally inspiring. As a consequence a house might contain several small shrines pertaining to the belief of individual home members.
One particular member of the family everyday usually performs Puja which is conducted to honour the deity who is believed to protect the household from negative forces and bring in prosperity. The main equipments of Puja at home are incense burner, a tray with flowers, fruits and food.
According to Hindu belief, the worship may take place whenever an individual wishes. In the household Puja, one family member on behalf of others of the family conducts it. A typical Hindu Puja includes three components: ascertaining the deity, Puja or worship by offering flowers, fruits and foods; and retrieving the blessed food and consuming it.
During a household Puja, the person who conducts Puja chants mantra or prayer to the gods or goddesses. The worshippers offer the deity a seat; wash its feet and gives drinking water. The idol may be symbolically bathed, clothed in new garments and embellished with ornaments. The icon is decorated with flowers and garlands. Incense is burned and a lightened lamp is waived in front of the deity. Food items like cooked rice, fruit, butter and sugar are offered. Family members bow before the images, sip the holy water and after the Puja is done receive a portion of the food. The food and water are then considered as blessed by the deity for the devotees.
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