A "Pooja Stole," also known as a "Pooja Shawl" or "Aasan," is a piece of cloth or fabric that is used during religious and spiritual ceremonies, particularly in Hindu rituals known as pujas. It serves as a seat or platform for the deities or objects of worship and also holds cultural and symbolic significance. Here's why Pooja Stoles are used during Pooja:
1. Symbolic Representation: Pooja Stoles are often made from auspicious materials and adorned with intricate designs or religious symbols. They symbolize purity, reverence, and the sacredness of the space where the puja is being performed. The choice of fabric and design may vary based on regional customs and personal preferences.
2. Clean and Sacred Surface: During a puja, various offerings, images of deities, idols, and sacred items are placed on the Pooja Stole. By providing a clean and designated surface, the stole ensures that the objects of worship remain uncontaminated and in contact with a sacred space.
3. Elevation and Focus: Placing the objects of worship on a Pooja Stole elevates them above ground level. This elevation helps create a focal point for the worship and allows participants to direct their attention toward the central deity or object.
4. Honoring the Deities: In Hinduism, deities are often treated with utmost respect and reverence. Placing the deities on a Pooja Stole is a gesture of honor and respect, signifying that the space is consecrated for their presence.
5. Energy and Aura: Many believe that the Pooja Stole absorbs and radiates positive energy and divine blessings. The use of sacred materials and symbols on the stole is thought to enhance the spiritual atmosphere during the puja.
6. Tradition and Ritual: The use of Pooja Stoles is deeply rooted in tradition and ritual practice. It's a common practice in Hinduism and is considered an integral part of conducting a puja.
7. Aesthetic Element: Pooja Stoles often contribute to the visual beauty of the puja setup. The colors, patterns, and designs of the stole add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the worship area.
In essence, a Pooja Stole is a sacred cloth used to create a sanctified space for religious rituals and ceremonies. Its significance goes beyond its practical use as a surface; it holds spiritual and cultural value, enhancing the atmosphere of devotion and reverence during the puja.