Public worship

Key facts about BuddhismBBC Religion & Ethics; BuddhaNet;, all retrieved 2013

Worship involves religious acts of praise, honour and devotion, usually directed towards a deity or another figure worthy of this degree of respect. Most Buddhists do not believe in God.

Although they respect and look up to the Buddha, they do not believe he was a god but they worship him as a form of respect. By doing this they show reverence and devotion to the Buddha and to bodhisattas.

Buddhists believe in karma or 'intentional action'. Worship helps Buddhists to transform their minds through positive action so that they can escape the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, known as samsara and gain enlightenment.

Buddhist worship is called puja. It can take place at home or in a temple or vihara, either alone or with others.