Religion Past and Present

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(351 words)

[German Version]

(Sanskrit: “hospitable greeting, honor”; probably from Sanskrit pṛc, “mix” [a beverage for a guest] or Tamil pūcu, “daub, anoint”) is the regular ritual veneration of a deity, person, animal, or object in order to acquire a material benefit, earn religious merit (puṇya), or gain divine protection (śaraṇa). It may have arisen from the traditions of popular religion. Having displaced Vedic sacrifice (Vedic and Brahmanic religion), it has become the ritual heart of Hindu religions (Hinduism) in particular, but it also represents an important element of Jain (snātra…

Cite this page
Emmrich, Christoph, “Pūjā”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 30 March 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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