When ever I perform my Puja at home, we always offer flowers. Recently my mum had told me to offer Lord Ganesh a red flower. That got me thinking… we know there are certain things we do when we make offering to different gods and goddesses, for example putting Tulsi leaves in offerings for Lord Vishnu. I wanted to find out a bit more about flowers, why do we offer flowers and are there certain flowers we offer certain deities.
Gods and goddesses are divine beings and reside in the celestial world. Their divine bodies have the elements of air. They have been known to have a powerful sense of smell, and are attracted to beautiful fragrances.
When we perform ceremonies and rituals we invite the god or goddesses into our homes, making offerings which they are attracted to or please them. When they descend on our planet they would naturally be drawn to the smell of flowers, perfumes and even the incense we burn. Each deity has there own frequencies which are attracted to certain flowers. “Pavitrak” is a principal that when they receive the frequencies the deity sends back the frequencies to the atmosphere, and negative energies are destroyed.
Each god and goddesses like us humans have their preferences of colours, scent, food and flowers, even types of leaves. In some scriptures they even tell us the number of flowers or leaves to be offered. Lord Shiva preference if bel leaves, Lord Vishnu Tulsi and for Lord Ganesh blades of grass. A common number is offering five which relate to the Panchabootas or five elements.
The scientific rationale behind offering flowers is that they raise positive vibrations within or senses. This also helps to cleanse the puja area. Mango leaves is particularly a leaf which gathers positive vibes, hence it is a leaf that is used in toran.
When offering flowers we should never pluck flowers in the evening or darkness. We should not offer flowers fallen on the ground. Fallen flowers are dead and offered to mother earth. We should not offer flowers taken from someone without permission. Flowers with thorns should not be offered. We should not wash flowers with water and make an offering. While offering flowers use all five fingers. Usually they are offered at the feet of the deity.
So which flower do I offer to which god or goddess?
Ganesha- Red flowers, his favourite is red Hibiscus and blades of grass in numbers of 1,3,5,7.
Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati White flowers, bel leaves
Lord Vishnu is very fond of pink Lotus flowers, tulsi leaves are very dear to Lord Vishnu is numbers of 1,3,5,7,9
Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman Jasmine flowers
Lord Krishna Blue Lotus, and tulsi leaves
Goddess Saraswati Any white flower
Goddess Durga Jasmin
Goddess Lakshmi Pink Lotus, yellow marigold
Goddess Kali Yellow flowers
Our Hindu worship ritual, puja, literally means “the flower act,” and it often calls to attention the high place within our persons. Hinduism uses the lotus to reflect that high place within us all. The devotee in a state of purity offers flowers to the deities finds that the deities become gratified with him, as the consequences of such gratification bestow prosperity on him.