Language in Puja
Question: When I go for Tibetan Puja, it is conducted in a language that I do not understand. So I tend to lose focus and develop stray thoughts. During the Puja, is it okay if I chant mantra like OM MANI PADME HUM? Or must I focus and listen to the chanting by the Sangha?
Answer: There are many types of puja according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. For instance, there are recitations of sutras and performance of tantric rituals.
Two types of people are involved in such activities. The first group of people is those who do not understand what is going on and the second group refers to those who know exactly what is going on. So there arise two different situations as one group tries to understand and follow up according to the visualization and contemplation while another group may feel the blessing by simply listening to the chanting.
So if you do not understand and is unable to follow due to language problem, or even if you can't focus on one subject for a length of time, then the best thing would be to think positively and recite some mantras. It is not compulsory to focus on the puja or understand what is going on. Switch your mind towards wholesome thoughts and recite a mantra that you like or know best. That will be of great benefits.