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RELATED RESOURCES: HINDU
Puja refers to a variety of Hindu rituals in which offerings are made to a deity or to honored people. Individual Hindus often perform a daily puja at small personal shrines they have constructed to familial and personal gods in their own homes. Offerings used in home pujas are usually simple, such as incense, fruit, and water. More elaborate pujas ceremonies occur in temples, where the resident priests perform the ceremony on behalf of other worshipers in devotion to the deity of that particular temple. Pujas are somewhat intimate in nature, as devotees typically begin by inviting God to the puja by indwelling the particular image that is part of the service, for example, the image of Lord Vishnu or Shiva or the goddess Kali. Next, the deity is offered a seat, well wishes, and gifts as part of the puja service. These steps are followed by making ritual offerings to the deity.