Almost all Indian homes have a prayer room or altar, where we lit a lamp and god is worshipped. In Hindu culture, God is considered the owner of all creation and we consider the puja room as his room.
This is a religiously pure room, in our mind. A lamp is lit and the Lord worshipped each day. Other spiritual practices like Japa – repetition of the Lord’s name, meditation, paaraayana – reading the scriptures, prayers, and devotional singing etc are also done here.
Special worship is done on auspicious occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and the like. Each member of the family – young or old – communes with and worships the Divine here.
Caretaker of our home
The ideal attitude to take is to regard the Lord as the true owner of our homes and us as caretakers of His home. But if that is rather difficult, we could at least think of Him as a very welcome guest. Just as we would house an important guest in the best comfort, so too we felicitate the Lord’s presence in our homes by having a prayer room or altar, which is, at all times, kept clean and well-decorated.
Presence of God in our house
Also, the Lord is all-pervading. To remind us that He resides in our homes with us, we have prayer rooms. Without the grace of the Lord, no task can be successfully or easily accomplished. We invoke His grace by communing with Him in the prayer room each day and on special occasions.
A prayer room is for meditation
Each room in a house is dedicated to a specific function like the bedroom for resting, the drawing room to receive guests, the kitchen for cooking etc. The furniture, decor and the atmosphere of each room are made conducive to the purpose it serves. So too for the purpose of meditation, worship, and prayer, we should have a conducive atmosphere – hence the need for a prayer room.
Sacred thoughts and sound vibrations pervade the place and influence the minds of those who spend time there. Spiritual thoughts and vibrations accumulated through regular meditation, worship, and chanting are done there pervade the prayer room. Even when we are tired or agitated, by just sitting in the prayer room for a while, we feel calm, rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted.