Puja Hindu Puja Vedic worship Gayatri mantra prayers devotion deities

We are all indebted to God for the life that He has given to us. He is always protecting us with love. To show our reverence towards Him, we have to do certain rituals called Puja or worship or prayers. Here, we see how to do regular puja in a methodical manner as prescibed by Vedas and other Hindu texts.

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All human beings are born from God and hence they want to be intact with God always. They want to show their love towards God by worshipping Him. Since God exists in all forms, human beings found Him in different forms, called 'deities'. These deities represent different energies, which protect the human beings from their problems and help them reach the ultimate God.

Now-a-days, society is so busy, people are not finding time even to think about God. If they can allot a few minutes every day for strengthening their relationship with God, they can achieve prosperity in all walks of life. Puja(worship) helps for this purpose. We are presenting here 12-steps of vedic Puja, which is a condensed version that every one can perform by spending 30 to 45 minutes of time, every day. The following are the steps:

1. Prepartion for Worship - 1 min
2. Offering of lights - 1 min
3. Prayers to Divine guide(Guru) - 1 min
4. Water sipping(Aachamana) - 2 min
5. Prayers to god Ganesh - 2 min
6. Declaration of Intent(Sankalpa) - 1 min
7. Gayatri Mantra - 15 min
8. Worshipping the deity - 15 min
9. Sipping the holy water - 2 min
10. Offering food(Naivedyam) - 1 min
11. Lighting camphor(Haarathi) - 1 min
12. Circumambulation(Pradakshinaas) - 2 min

The best time to start Puja is at morning 6.00 o' clock. If this is not possible, then we can do it at evening 6.00 o' clock. Puja should be performed with a quiet and peaceful mind, after taking bath.

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Photo or idol of deity, a tumbler of water and two plates, two oil lamps, flowers / akshitaas(uncooked rice mixed with wet turmeric), fruit / sweet / jaggery / sugar / milk and camphor, Kumkum(vermilion) / Vibhooti (white powder made from cow dung).

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Prepartion for Worship

Sit on a wooden plank with a slik cloth on it. You should face East or North. Take another wooden plank and spread a silk cloth on it. Now place the deity's photo or idol on the silk cloth, opposite to you. Wear kumkum or Vibhooti between your eye brows.

Offering of lights

Lit up two oil lamps before the deity. Use gingelly oil or ghee as the fuel in the lamps.

Prayers to Divine Guide (Guru)

If you have a Guru, you are fortunate. Otherwise, consider your favourite deity as your Guru. Get your Guru into your mind, fold your hands at chest, and recite this:

Om Gururbrahmaa Gururvishnuhu Gururdevo maheswaraha
Gurussaakshaat Parabrahmaa Tasmai Sree gurave namaha|

Now, imagine lord Vishnu(See his photo at right) in to your mind, and offer your prayers to him to remove any obstacles:

Om Suklaambaradharam vishnum sasivarnam chaturbhujam
Prasanna vadanam dhayayet sarva vighnopasaantaye |

Water sipping (Aachamana)

The following 24 names of god Vishnu should be uttered for receiving protective energies:

Om Kesavaaya swaaha|
- Recite this once, pour water into your right hand and sip it.
Om Naaraayanaaya swaaha|
- Recite this, sip water as above.
Om Maadhavaaya swaaha|
- Recite this, sip water as above.

Then pour some more water and drop it on the floor at your left side. Now fold hands in reverence, and recite the following names:

Om Govindaaya namaha|
Om Vishnave namaha|
Om Madhusoodanaaya namaha|
Om Trivikramaaya namaha|
Om Vaamanaaya namaha|
Om Sreedharaaya namaha|
Om Hrusheekesaaya namaha|
Om Padmanaabhaaya namaha|
Om Daamodaraaya namaha|
Om Samkarshanaaya namaha|
Om Vaasudevaaya namaha|
Om Pradyumnaaya namaha|
Om Anirudhaaya namaha|
Om Purushottamaaya namaha|
Om Adhokshajaaya namaha|
Om Naarasimhaaya namaha|
Om Atchyutaaya namaha|
Om Janaardhanaaya namaha|
Om Vupendraaya namaha|
Om Haraye namaha|
Om Sree krishaaya namaha|

Prayers to Lord Ganesh

Since Ganesh is the dispeller of obstacles, he should be worshipped first before starting any thing. Imagine Ganesh's form in your mind(see him at right), and recite the following 17 holy names of Ganesh by folding your hands at chest:

Om Sumukhaaya namaha|
Om Yekadanthaaya namaha|
Om Kapilaaya namaha|
Om Gajakarnikaaya namaha|
Om Lambodaraaya namaha|
Om Vikataaya namaha|
Om Vighnaraajaaya namaha|
Om Ganaadhipaaya namaha|
Om Dhoomakethave namaha|
Om Ganaadhyakshaaya namaha|
Om Phaalachandraaya namaha|
Om Gajaananaaya namaha|
Om Vakratundaaya namaha|
Om Soorpakarnaaya namaha|
Om Herambaaya namaha|
Om Skandhapoorvajaaya namaha|
Om Sree Maha Ganaadhipataye namaha|

Declaration of Intent (Sankalpa)

While performing this puja, mention your wish to be fulfilled. This is called sankalpa. Recite like this:
I,___________ (tell your name), offering my prayers to god / goddess ___________(tell your deity's name) on this day for achieving all the four: dharma(righteousness), artha(money), kaama(ambition), moksha(liberty) and for alleviating all problems from my life. I wish the complete grace and protection of god / goddess _____________(tell your deity's name) to fall on me and my family members always.

Gayatri Mantra

If you have taken already Gayatri mantra from a Guru, you should recite that mantra in multiples of 108. People, who did not know this mantra should skip this section.

Worshipping the deity

Look at the photo / idol of your deity and get that picture imprinted in your mind. Close your eyes for 2 to 3 minutes and visualize the form of your god. Imagine your deity has come and sat before you. This is called 'dhyaanam(meditation)'.

Now recite the 108 or 1008 holy names of your deity. People who got mantra of the deity from a Guru should recite it in multiples of 108. While reciting the names or mantra, throw flowers on your deity. If flowers are not available, then throw akshitaas on your god.

If you are using an idol for worship, you can pour milk, fruit juices, honey, ghee, co-conut water etc., on the idol and finally clean the idol with water. This should be done simultaneously with mantra recitation. Then adorn the idol with flowers.

Sipping the holy water

At the end of reciting holy names or mantra, take water in to your right hand and leave it into a plate saying:

Yetatphalam Sree _______________ (tell your deity's name) devataarpanamastu|

The water thus obtained is energized with divine vibrations. You should take this water from the plate into your right hand and tell this:

Om akaala mrutyu haranam sarva vyaadhi nivaaranam|
Mahaa paapa kshayakaram Sree _____________
(tell your deity's name)
devata paadodakam paavanam subham|

Saying this, sip the water slowly.

Offering food (Naivedyam)

Any fruit / sweet / jaggery / sugar / milk can be offered as food for your deity. Put them in a plate before the photo or idol and split some water droplets on it, saying:

Om Sree ______________ (tell your deity's name) devataaya namaha| Naivedyam samarpayaami|

Note: Later, this offering should be consumed by you and your family members and it can also be distributed to others.

Lighting camphor (Haarathi)

Now lit up the camphor in a small plate, and move the plate around the photo / idol in a verticle circular form. Do this three times from left to right.


Stand up and rotate your body from left to right. While doing this, fold your hands at chest and close your eyes. Do three complete rotations. Then kneel down before god and fold your hands, close your eyes and ask your deity to fulfill your wishes.

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