Puja (alternative transliteration pooja, Sanskrit: reverence or worship, loosely) is a religious ritual which most Hindus perform every morning after bathing and dressing but prior to taking any food or drink. Puja rituals vary between Hindu sects, but generally involve the chanting of a particular mantra on a mala (rosary) and optionally the offering of food and drink to one's personal murtis (idols) of god and guru).
A puja can be performed for anyone the performer considers a god, from an idol of Vishnu to a holy tree. The worship consists of offering something to the object of worship, such as flowers or food, and possibly lighting a candle or incense.
The ritual may be observed in silence or accompanied by prayers. A Hindu priest will chant prayers in Sanskrit or some other language while performing puja.
Puja may be performed by an individual worshipper or in gatherings. Sometimes a puja is done for the benefit of certain people, for whom priests or relatives ask blessings.