By Swami Harshananda
Pujā or worship of a deity, whether in a temple or at home, is an elaborate ritual. This pujā can be based either on the Vedic traditions or on the tāntric. One of the preliminary processes in a tāntric pujā is ‘bhutaśuddhi’ or purification of the elements, making up the body of the worshiper.
The worshiper has to raise his own self, the jīvātman, first to the feet of the Lord (Paramaśiva or Paramātman) dwelling in the sahasrāra or thousand petaled lotus in the head. Then, uttering the mantra yam, has to imagine that the dross in his body has dried up. This should be followed by the burning up this dross through the mantra ram. The dross-less body is then to be bathed in ambrosia, uttering the mantra varh and completely regenerated by the mantra lam. This purified and regenerated body is now fit to worship the Lord. This whole process is called ‘bhutaśuddhi.’
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore