punyanumodana, the rejoicing is not focused on worldly success or
deeds, but in spiritual attainments. It is an uplifting of the
devotee, particularly as it follows the spiritual exercise of
papadesana, or confession. The goal of anuttara puja is bodhicitta,
a mind dedicated to others and to attaining enlightenment. It is
similar to the ultimate goal of yoga – enlightenment and
unification with the yogi's highest nature.
spiritual exercises of anuttara puja, in order,
- Vandana (obeisance, bowing
puja (worship) – paying homage to the Buddha.
- Sarana-gamana (going for
refuge) – committing to the path to enlightenment by seeking
“refuge” in the Buddha,
dharma or spiritual community.
- Papadesana (confession of
sins) – appraisal
of one's shortcomings and a resolve to overcome them.
- Punyanumodana (rejoicing in
merit) – honoring one's own and others' positive qualities.
- Adhyesana (prayer,
yacana (supplication) – requesting
the assistance of those who are more enlightened.
(surrender) – the declaration of altruism and self-denial.
While some sources separate yacana and
adhyesana, others separate vandana and puja as distinct steps, in
each case creating a seven-fold path of worship.