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Flowers are amongst the most beautiful treasures that Mother Nature has bestowed us with. Flowers are considered auspicious and they are also an integral part of Hindu worshipping. There is no puja or prayer that is considered complete without adding colourful, vibrant and fragrant flowers. But it is not just any flower that is offered to any deity, rather, each flower holds a different significance and thus chosen to be offered to a particular deity. If you wish to know the relevance of various flowers that can be offered to Hindu Gods and Goddesses, we recommend reading the following post!
Why Are Flowers Offered to Gods During Puja?
Here are some reasons that may help in explaining why flowers are offered to Gods:
- It is a common belief that flowers give happiness to Gods and if you wish to please God, offering flowers may help.
- Flowers are one of the most beautiful creations in the world. By offering flowers, you can show your utmost devotion and love to your deity.
- The fragrance of the flowers lends a positive and aesthetic vibe to the place of worship. It helps in attracting positive energy and creating an ideal environment for prayer and worshipping.
- The word ‘puja’ is made from two syllables ‘pu’ means flowers and ‘ja’ means chanting and water. Therefore, the word or prayer denotes offering of flowers.
Which Flowers Are Offered to Hindu God and Goddess in Puja?
Hindu tradition holds great significance in offering flowers to Gods and Goddess but many of us may not be aware that different varieties of flowers are offered to different deities. Following are some popular flowers offered to the deities:
This small fragrant flower not only has great medicinal value but it also holds great religious significance. It is believed that if you wish to please Lord Hanuman, jasmine is one of the flowers that you should consider offering along with vermilion.
Palash flowers are one of the most essential requirements for worshipping goddess Saraswati. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati is fond of white coloured flowers, however, puja without Palash flowers is considered incomplete.
Lord Ganesha is believed to like red coloured flowers, and marigold is one of them. This saffron coloured flower is offered in the form of a garland or otherwise too. This is one of the flowers that can be used in the form of petals too. In some traditions, this flower is also offered to Lord Vishnu.
The Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Laxmi is fond of lotus and for this reason, this flower is used to worship during Laxmi pujan or during Diwali. Keeping a lotus seed garland or mala in the temple of your home is believed to please the Goddess of good fortune.
5. Parijata or Indian Magnolia
Night-flowering coral jasmine is considered a divine flower and is believed to please Lord Vishnu. It is believed that this flower emerged during the ocean churning and Lord Indra got it to heaven.
6. Red Hibiscus
The Goddess Kali epitomises fierceness and the flower that depicts this beautifully is red hibiscus. The shape of the flower symbolises the goddess’s tongue and the vibrant red colour depicts Kali Maa’s fierceness.
7. Crown Flower
This whitish purplish flower is used while worshipping Lord Shiva. Also, known as akanda, this poisonous flower is one of the most important ingredients of Shiv puja.
8. Nerium Oleander
Goddess Durga is offered flowers in reddish hues, and Nerium Oleander is one such flower.
9. Purple Orchid
This beautiful and exotic flower is also a very popular flower in Hindu worshipping. This dainty flower is offered to Lord Shiva. This can be offered with milk or otherwise too.
As per Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva consumed the poison that was obtained during the ocean churning. After doing so, this flower emerged from Lord Shiva’s chest and since then it is believed to be his favourite flower. This Shiv puja flower is offered to the God to let go off negative emotions like ego, hatred, envy, etc.
Which Flowers Should Not Be Offered to Gods?
Here are some flowers that should never be offered to Gods:
- Aksada is not used during Vishu pujan.
- Ketaki or kewada is not offered to Lord Shiva.
- Amla or arka is not used while offering prayers to Goddess Parvati.
- Vilva or bael leaves are not offered to Sun God or Surya devta.
- Arali or Nerium Oleander is not offered to Lord Rama.
Things to Remember When Choosing and Offering Flowers to God
Take note of the following tips while choosing and offering flowers to God:
- Never offer flowers that are picked up from the ground.
- Never steal or beg for flowers which you wish to offer to God.
- Always offer flowers and not the buds. However, lotus and champa buds are exceptions.
- Never pluck flowers after dusk and show respect and gratitude towards the plant when you pluck flowers.
- Always offer fresh flowers, refrain from offering wilted or withered ones.
- Do not wash flowers; you may sprinkle water on them.
- Do not offer diseased or flowers infested with worms etc.
- In case you cannot acquire fresh bilva leaves, the ones which have been already offered can be washed and reused.
- You may pluck lotus and use it later because it stays fresh for up to 5 days.
Here are some frequently asked questions or FAQs:
1. Why Should I Not Pluck Flowers After Sunset?
As per Hindu mythology, the sandhya kaal or time after sunset emits negative energy or distressing frequencies and anything pious should not be undertaken during this time and plucking flower for puja is one such thing that should be avoided.
2. Why Specific Flower Is Offered to the Specific Deity?
It is believed that the different colours and fragrances lend a different quality and frequency to each flower. This renders different kinds of flowers to attract the principals of specific Gods and Goddesses.
3. Why Is It a Must to choose Fresh Flowers for God?
As per our holy scriptures, when it comes to worshipping, only the best has to be used and the same goes for the flowers too. Therefore, only fresh flowers are used for offering.
We hope this post helped you to understand the relevance of various flowers in worshipping different deities.