Puja Guide for Educators


Introduction and goals
Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god or to aspects of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with a deity. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print.

This site was developed to complement the award-winning exhibition Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion on view in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the national museum of Asian art at the Smithsonian.

For more info about Hinduism see our facts about Hinduism.

The goals of this unit are:

  • to give insight into Hindu pujas.
  • to portray the role of art objects as links to the divine.

After completing the lessons, students
will be able to:

  • explain the basic beliefs of Hinduism.
  • identify several of the major Hindu gods and goddesses.
  • describe the practice of puja.
  • demonstrate an understanding of how objects are used in puja ceremonies.
  • integrate concepts learned from the study of puja into other curriculum areas.

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