Honouring is a sign of divine love. That honouring is called Pooja. The ceremony of Pooja indicates what nature is already doing for you. The Divine worships you in so many forms. In Pooja you offer everything back to the Divine.
Flowers offered in Pooja because the flower is a symbol of love. The Divine has come to you in love through so many forms: mother, father, wife, husband, children, friends. The same love comes to you in the form of the Master to elevate you to the level of divine love, which is also your own nature. Recognizing this flowering of love from all sides of life, we offer flowers.
Fruits are offered, because the Divine offers fruits in the season. You offer grain, because nature provides you food. A candlelight and a cool camphor light are offered; in the Pooja, and it is performed with deep feeling. Through Pooja, we say to God, “Oh whatever you give to me, I give back to you”. Pooja is honour and gratefulness.
Have you ever seen children? They have small little pots and dishes. They sometimes pretend that they make toast or tea. They serve you. There will be nothing in the cup; it is all in their imagination. They play with you. Whatever you do to them, they also do. They put the doll to sleep; they feed it and bathe it. In the same way, Pooja is an expression of what the Divine is doing for you.
It is all these things together made into a big soup. When you are in deep love, you naturally want to offer something…
Usually when you love something you want to possess it. And in the process of possessing, you make the beautiful thing ugly. Pooja is contrary to that. Pooja means honour and worship, offering one’s self. You appreciate, you adore, and you recognize beauty. Worship is just the opposite of wanting to possess… Usually our relationships do not flower to this extent, instead we start demanding. Husband and wife, Master and servant, there is a demand. “I have done so much for you. Now you must do this thing for me.” Demanding is contrary to honouring. The way to preserve a relationship is to honour.
Honour the creation. Look at a tree with honour. Be grateful for its being here. It purifies the poison that we breathe out. It makes the air fresh. Have you ever thought, “These trees are mine. The sun, the moon, the water everything belongs to me. All these stars are mine. The people are mine.” When you honour the creation, you will feel this.