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06 April, 2015

16 Step Puja Worship in Hindusim or Shodasa – Upachara Puja






Preparatory Steps to the Sixten-step Puja

1.  Light a Lamp.




2.  Offer flowers chanting:


      dipajyotih param brahma dipajyotir janardana
      dipo me haratu papam dipajyotir namo'stu te


       The light of the lamp stands for Brahman, the unmanifest truth as well as for Lord Vishnu (in his manifest form).  Let that light of lamp remove my papas, results of omissions and commissions.

3. a)  Acamanam





       Take a sip of water after chanting each of the following mantras:

       Om acyutaya namah
       Salutation unto the Lord who is imperishable.

       om anantaya namah
       Salutation unto the Lord who is limitless.

       om govindaya namah
       Salutation unto  Lord Govinda.

      b) Guru Dhyanam - Visualisation of one's Guru.


       gurubrahma gururvishnuh gururdevo mahesvarah
      gurusaaksat param brahma tasmai srigurave namah

       The Guru is Brahma, the guru is Vishnu, the guru is Mahesvara.  The guru is ultimate truth.  Unto that guru my prostration.

       c)  Vignesvara Dhyanam -  Visualisation of Lord Ganesa.



         Lightly tap the temples with the knuckles, chanting the following mantra


         suklambaradharam vishnum sasivarnam caturbhujam
         prasannavadanam dhyayet sarvavighnopasantaye


       May one meditate upon Lord Vignesvara, who wears the white garment, who is all pervasive, who has bright complexion (like the full moon), who has four hands (representing all power), who has an ever-smiling face (or an elephant face), for the removal of all obstacles.

       d) Pranayamah - Breath Control


       While closing the right nostril with the right thumb, inhale through left nostril chanting mentally:

       Om bhuh om bhuvah om suvah om mahah om janah om tapah om satyam


       Hold the breath inside by closing the right nostril with the right thumb and left nostril with ring finger, while chanting mentally:

       om tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah pracodayat


       Close the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right nostril chanting mentally:

       om apo jyotiraso mrtam brahma bhurbhuvassuvarom


       The seven worlds are pervaded by the Lord the creator.  Om is the basis of everything.  That Lord is the one who is the most worshipful.  We meditate on that all-knowing Lord.  May he set our intellects in the right direction.  The Lord is the waters in the rivers and oceans, the light in the luminaries, the taste in food, the essence of everything, the body of the vedas, the threefold worlds and om.

4.       Sankalpah - Statement of the purpose of the puja.




       Clasp your right palm over the left palm holding a flower; place them on your right thigh.  Offer the flower at the altar, after chanting:

       mamopatta - samasta duritaksayadvara sriparamesvara - prityartham devapujam karisye.

       I do the puja to Lord Deva* to obtain the grace of Lord through the removal of all afflictions resulting from my omissions and commissions.

* Deva may be substituted by any other deity, such as Mahaganapati, Mahavisnu, Mahasarasvati, Mahalakshmi.

5.   Asana Puja - Worship of the Earth to Purify the Seat.


      Sprinkle water on your seat while chanting:

       prthvi tvaya dhirta lokah devi tvam visnuna dhrta
      tvam ca dharaya mam devi pavitam kuri casanam

       O Mother Earth, all the worlds are held by you.  You are held by Visnu.  May you hold me, O Goddess, and purify my seat.


6.  Ghanta Puja - Worship of the Bell to Purify the Atmosphere.



       Ring the bell while chanting:

       agamartham tu devanam gamanartham tu raksasam
      kurve ghantaravam tatra devatahvanalanchanam

       For the arrival of the deities and for the departure of destructive forces, I ring the bell, marking the invocation of the deity.

7.     Kalasa Puja - Worship of Pot of Water to Purify all Puja materials



       Offer flowers in the pancapatram, small pot, which has been filled with water and decorated with sandal paste and vermilion.  Cover the pancapatram with the right palm and chant:

       gange ca yamune caiva godavari sarasvati
      narmade sindhu  kaveri jalesmin sannidhim kuru

       O Rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri, may you all be present in this water!

       Sprinkle the water from the pancapatram on all the puja materials and on oneself.

8.    Atma Puja - Worship of the Self.



      Fold hands and chant:

       deho devalayah proktah jivo devassanatanah
       tyajedajannanirmalayam so ham bhavena pujavet

       The body is the temple.  The jiva is the deity of this temple since the beginningless time.  May one remove wilted flowers that are looked upon as ignorance and worship the Lord with an understanding that he is non-separate from oneself.

The Sixteen step Puja:


1.  Avahanam - Invocation


       Visualise the form of the deity and chant a sloka addressed to the deity.  Take flowers and aksatas, rice, in hand and after chanting, offer at the feet of the Lord.

     असमिन बिम्बे देवं ध्यायामि   (or the chosen deity)  ध्यायामि
          asmin bimbe sri devam           (or the chosen deity)   dhyayami
     असमिन बिम्बे देवं ध्यायामि  (or the chosen deity)  आवाहयामि
          asmin bimbe sri devam           (or the chosen deity)  avahayami

          I visualise Lord Deva, I invoke his form in this image.

2.  Asanam - Seat




       Offer flowers at the feet of the Lord, chanting:

    आसनं सामर्पयामि
        asanam samarpayami
        O Lord! I offer you a seat.

3.  Padyam - Water for Washing the Feet



       Offer water in a cup, chanting:

    पपद्यम् समर्पयामि
        padyam smarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you water for washing the feet.

4.  Arghyam - Water for Washing the Hands



       Offer water in a cup, chanting:
   
   अर्घ्यं समर्पयामि
       arghyam samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you water for washing the hands.

5.  Acamaniyam - Water for Inner Purification


       Offer water in a cup, chanting:

   अचामनियं समर्पयामि
       acamaniyam samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you water for inner purification.

6.  Madhuparkam - Sweet


       Offer water (or any offering such as ghee, curds, honey or sugar) in a cup, chanting:

   मधुपर्कं समर्पयामि
       madhuparkam samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you the sweet.

7.  Snanam - Bath




      Offer water in a cup, chanting:

   स्नानं समर्पयामि
      snanam samarpayami
      O Lord! I offer you a bath.

      Offer water in a cup, chanting:

      स्नानान्तरम् अचामनित्यं समर्पयामि
   snanantaram acamaniyam samarpayami
    After the bath, I offer you water for inner purification.


8.  Vastram - Cloth



     वस्त्रं समर्पयामि   
          vastram samarpayami
          O Lord! I offer you cloth.

          Offer flowers or aksatas, chanting:



       उपवीतं समर्पयामि     
              upavitam samarpayami
             O Lord! I offer you the sacred thread.

9.  Abharanam - Ornaments


      Offer flowers or aksatas, chanting:

       आभरणं समर्पयामि
       abharanam samarpayami
       O Lord!  I offer you ornaments.

10. Gandham and Kumkum - Sandal paste and vermilion


      Offer flowers, aksatas or sandal paste, chanting:

       गन्धान् धारयामि
       gandhan dharayami

       O Lord!  I offer you sandal paste.

    गन्धस्योपरि हरिद्र्कुन्कुमं समर्पयामि
       gandhasyopari haridrakunkumam samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you vermilion over the sandal paste.

11. Puspam - Flowers



       Offer flowers, chanting:

       पुष्पाणि समर्पयामि
       puspani samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you flowers.

       One may chant    अषतोत्तरसतनमवलिः "astottarasantanamavalih", the one hundred and eight names of the Lord.  With each name offer flowers.

12.  Dhupam - Incense




      Show the incense to the Lord with circular clockwise motion three times; simultaneously ring the bell with the left hand, and chant:

धूपमाघ्रापयामि
       dhypamaghrapayami
       O Lord!  I offer you incense.

13.  Dipam - Lamp




       Show the lamp held in the right hand with a circular clockwise motion three times; simultaneously ring the bell with the left hand, and chant:

       दीपं संनदर्शयामि
       dipam sandarsayami
       O Lord! I offer you this light.

       Offer a spoon full of water in the cup, chanting:

       dhupadipanantaram acamaniyam samarpayami
       O Lord! After dhupa and dipa, I offer you water.

14.  Naivedyam - Food




a)  Sprinkle water on the food while chanting:

ॐ भुर्भुवसुवस्सुवः ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियोयोनः प्रचोदयात
       om bhurbhuvassuvah om tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyoyonah pracodayat.

       The three worlds are pervaded by the Lord, the creator.  Om is the basis of everything.  That Lord is the one who is the most worshipful.  We meditate on that all-knowing Lord.  May he set our intellects in the right direction.

b)  Ring the bell and offer the sanctified food with a flower in hand, with a sweeping motion from the food up towards the altar, for each of these six chants:

रॐ प्रणय स्वाहा   ॐ अपानाय स्वाहा    ॐ व्यानाय स्वाहा
     Om pranaya svaha.  Om apanaya svaha.      Om vyanaya svaha.


ॐ उदानाय स्वाहा. ॐ समानाय स्वाहा.   ॐ ब्रह्मणे स्वाहा
      Om udanaya svaha.  Om samanaya svaha.  Om brahmane svaha.

       I offer to this prana.  I offer this to apana.  I offer this to vyana.
       I offer this to udana.  I offer this to samana.  I offer this to the Lord.

c)  Offer food at the feet of the Lord while chanting:

       naivedyam nivedayami
       O Lord!  I offer you food.

d)  Offer water while chanting:

   नैवेध्यन्तरम् अचामनियं समर्पयामि
       naivedyanantaram acamaniyam samarpayami
       O Lord! I offer you water after the food.

e)  Offer betel leaves and nuts, chanting:

ताम्बूलं समर्पयामि
       tambulam samarpayami
       O Lord!  I offer you betel leaves and nuts.

*(If you don't have tambulam you may chant tambulartham aksatan samarpayami and offer aksatas instead).

15.  Karpura-niranjanam - Lighted Camphor


a)  Standing, show the camphor with circular clockwise motion three times; simultaneously ring the bell with the left hand and chant:



      na tatra suryo bhati na chandratarakam
      name vidyuto bhanti kuto yamagnih
      tamevabhantamanubhati sarvam
      tasya bhasya sarvamidam vibhati

       There the sun does not shine, nor do the moon or stars.  There this lightning does not shine;  what to talk of this fire:  That (awareness) shining, everything shines after it; by the light of that awareness, all this shines in various forms.

       Offer lighted camphor, chanting

    कर्पुरनिरन्जनं संटर्शयामि
        karpuranirajanam sandarsyami
        O Lord! I show you lighted camphor.

b)  Offer a spoonful of water into the cup while chanting.

   अचामनियं समर्पयामि
       acamaniyam samarpayami
       O Lord!  I offer you water for inner purification.

16.  Vandanam - Salutation


a)   Continue standing and offer flowers, chanting:

   मन्त्रपुष्पं समर्पयामि
      mantrapushpam samarpayami
      O Lord!  I offer you flowers with sacred chants.

b)  Turn around oneself three times clockwise while chanting the mantras given below:



       yani kani ca papani janmantarakrtani ca
      tani tani vinasyanti pradaksinapade pade

       May those omissions and commissions done in this life and also in the previous births and the resulting afflictions perish with every pradaksina.

       tava tattvam na janami kidrso si mahesvara
       yadrso si mahadeva tadrsaya namo namah

       O Lord!  What is your nature?  I do not know your nature.  Whatever be your nature, I offer salutations to you who are of that nature.

      Offer salutations, chanting:

   प्रदक्षिणनमस्करान् समर्पयामि
       prakasinanamaskaran samarpayami
       O Lord!  I offer you circumambulation and prostration.

c) To seek forgiveness, one may chant:

       mantrahinam kriyahinam bhatihinam mahesvara
       yatpujitam maya deva paripuranam tadastu te

       O Lord!  may the puja done by me, even though devoid of proper mantras, wanting in the steps and in devotion, be received by you as complete.

       Release the deity by offering flowers and aksatas at the altar and chant:

       asmad bimbad avahitam sridevam yathasthanam pratisthapayami

       The Lord Deva (or the chosen deity) invoked at this atltar is placed again in his own glory.

       Samarpanam - Dedication to the Lord.

       Take water int he right hand and pour the water in front of the deity while chanting:

       kayena vaca manasendriyairva buddhayatmana va prakrtessvabhavat
       karomi yadyat sakalam parasmai narayanayeti samarpayami

       Unto Lord Narayana, I dedicate all the acts that I perform with my body, speech, mind, senses and intellect which are born of deliberation or natural tendencies.

       Complete the puja with salutation.

       Take the water, flowers and naivedya as prasada from the Lord.


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Source:  Excerpts from the book on Purna Vidya - Puja & Prayers by Swamini Pramananda Saraswati and Shri Dhira chaitanya.
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