The puja consisting of sixteen (Shodasha) offerings (Upachara).
Puja is the worship rite in the temple or at home, in front of a statue symbolizing the deity or mentally as meditation. The practitioner is the pujari.
The deity is symbolically invited and treated like a guest. The following is a possible process, the individual offerings vary. Every offering has a transcendent background.
Avahana – Invocation and invitation of the deity.
Asana – Offering a seat.
Padya – Washing the feet.
Arghya – Offering water to wash hands.
Achama – Offering water to drink.
Snana – Offering to take a bath.
Vastra – Getting dressed.
Ghanda – Offering sandalwood paste.
Pushpa – Offering flowers.
Mantra Pushpa – Singing the mantra of the same name.
Dhupa – Offering incense.
Dipa -Offering of light.
Naivedya – Offering of food. This is then distributed to the devotees as prasad, consecrated food.
Tambula – Offering of betel
Namaskara – Deference.
Pradakshina – Circumambulating the deity clockwise