A puja is an important Hindu ritual which can be a personal prayer and offering to a god, or a more elaborate ceremony with chanting, prayers and other rituals to pay respect and invoke the blessings of the gods.
I’ve already written about Ayudha puja, Saraswati puja and, more recently, Vahana puja here. I don’t know the name of the puja I attended this weekend, but this one was to mark the start of a new business enterprise. In this case, the elephant-god Ganesh is invoked and asked to remove any obstacles that may be faced. Respects are then paid to the goddess Lakshmi so that she can shower prosperity and wealth on the new business.
The new business in question is being set up by a French couple who are keen to introduce French cheese to Bangalore. Their Indian manager insisted that a puja was absolutely necessary to ensure success and good fortune. Though sceptical at first about the influence a few Hindu gods could have on the success of their business, they readily agreed after having encountered some minor delays and setbacks. If Ganesh and Lakshmi could make things run more smoothly, why not?
Ganesh will remove any obstacles and potential difficulties that may be faced by the new business.
French Television was on hand filming a documentary about people who leave everything and start a new life elsewhere. This retired couple sold everything they owned in France and moved to Bangalore to start a French cheese business!
After the puja, the priest distributes prasad, food that has been offered to and blessed by the gods, to the guests.
Best of luck to Monique and Daniel!