Worship of Vehicles - Car Puja
by Vikas Kamat
First Online: April 01, 2005
Hindus have had the custom of offering prayers to their tools of worship (see: Ayudha Puja or Instrument Worship). On a specific day of the year (or in some instances, every day of the year) the tools of the trade are honored and blessings are sought. The merchants worship their measurement tools, the craftsmen offer prayers to their tools, and drivers worshiped their vehicles.
As the Indian society prospered, vehicles became a common commodity, along with the accidents they brought, and it became customary to include the vehicles in the "tools-of-the-trade", and to worship them to keep "safe from accidents". This is the reason why people worship vehicles (be it a bicycle, a motor-cycle, or a car) in India. Hindus living in other countries also observe this practice, especially soon after purchasing a vehicle.
The car puja typically involves cleaning the vehicle, decorating it with flowers, and pictures of deities and then performing an arati (showing of a flame) followed by a prayer. Fruits and sweets are offered to the vehicle and then consumed in blessing.
Some temples and priests in India specialize in car puja ritual, and the devotees believe that worshipping cars at these specific locations brings them safety while driving and good luck in their business/family life.
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