The word puja is commonly translated as worship or adoration. Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. During puja an image (murti) or other symbol of the god often serves as a means of gaining access to the divine. The icon is not the deity itself; rather, it is a focal point for honoring and communicating with the divine.
Puja often includes aarti (the waving of lights and incense around an image), mudra (devotional gestures), mantra (chanting), and recitations from sacred texts.
The word puja can also refer to an altar with images of the Guru and/or deity and on which may also rest many of the objects used in worship.