One of the most commonly observed Pujas by Hindus in India, Satyanarayan Puja, is the worship of Lord Vishnu or the eternal embodiment of truth. Devotees have been performing this puja since time immemorial. Devotees perform the rituals of this puja with great enthusiasm for several reasons. This Puja when performed with utmost faith and devotion is said to have benefitted the devotees with the resolution of their difficulties and problems. The word Satyanarayan origins from two words “satya” meaning truth and Narayan meaning “the highest being”. Thus satyanarayan means “the highest being or the almighty who is an embodiment of truth”. This puja is very popular among masses because of its simple and easy rituals which can be performed at any hour or time of the day by anyone irrespective of their age, sex and marital status. However, there are some days that are considered more auspicious like Purnima and Ekadashi. The rituals of this puja only stress on sincerity, devotion and faith. This article attempts to give you a brief understanding of the importance, benefits, dates and vidhi of the satyanarayan puja.
Significance of Satyanarayan Puja:
It is said that worship of Satyanarayan, a form of Lord Vishnu, marks the overcoming of any kind of problems and difficulties in life caused either by wrong deeds of previous birth or this birth. When a devotee worship lord of truth with utmost devotion and faith, he is being true to himself and others. Truth is the key to every difficulties of life. The main spiritual significance of this puja revolves around the fact that for overcoming any difficulties caused by this life or previous life one has to be a true worshipper of truth. He or she must be truthful to himself as well as to others. The more honest we become the more we are offering our prayers to Narayan.
Before the initiation of this puja firstly it is important to bring together every important items that are required for this puja and place them in the room where the puja is supposed to be performed. On the day of puja the devotee needs to create an altar which can be done by spreading a clean new yellow coloured cloth in a clean room at the top of an elevated and square platform (Puja Chowki). After that he needs to sprinkle some holy rice rains across the cloth and place the sacred kalash on the same. Now he needs to drape the Kalash with a second piece of cloth and place Vishnu’s image on that cloth. Devotees need to be seated in lotus position gathering around the altar before the beginning of the puja. All lamps need to be lit before prayers are being offered to the lord.
Lord Satyanarayan is worshipped observing a set of rituals. A pious mixture of five things, milk, ghee, honey, yogurt and sugar popularly known as Panchamrutham is used for purifying the divine stone of Lord Vishnu, also known as Shaligram. Prasad is offered to Lord Satyanarayan made up of roasted wheat flour, banana, sugar, and other fruits. Sacred Tulsi leaves plays a part of this Puja. After the Puja is commenced the story of Puja also called Satyanarayan Katha is narrated to everyone present there. After that Satyanarayan puja mantra is chanted by the devotees which includes group singing the divine names of Lord Narayan.
Several flower garlands are placed over the images of deities. Towards the north of the kalash and on the right of the altar is placed the turmeric pods which is the representation of Lord Shiva and Ganesha, Lord Parvati and Lakshmi, and Lord Indra. Now, worshipping of the nine planets and the sun is performed by placing some betel leaves along with areca nuts on them. The puja starts with Arti. After the arti devotees take the Panchamrutham and the Prasad. Finally, by placing the areca nuts on the betel leaves which representing seven deities and Lord Indra of the eight quarters of the universe the rituals for Satyanarayan puja are completed.
Famous temples of Lord Satyanarayan in India
In the year 1891 Raja Ramanarayan, a Zamindar of Gorsa and Kirlampudi Estates was the first to build a Satyanarayan temple of Dravidian style. It is said that Lord Satyanarayan came into his dreams and instructed him for the construction of temple. However, the richness and the glory of Lord Satyanarayan is also mentioned in Revakhanda of Skandapuram. Some of the famous temples of Lord Satyanarayan are Sri Satyanarayan Swami Devastana, VV Puram Bangalore, Satyanarayan Perumal Temple West Mambalam, Shri Satyanarayan Swamy Temple, Chennai etc.
Then a pedestal is set up and puja thali is placed on the same. Following this, the devotee keeps all the three metal snakes made of copper, lead on the thali.
Then a small cone shaped pratima of Ganesha made of turmeric paste is placed on betel leaf or mango leaf in front of those three snakes. Devotee embellishes Lord Ganesh deity with flowers. Then the Pundit ji chants the suitable mantras to invoke the grace of Lord Ganesh.
A Kaal sarpa yantra is installed and chanting of Rudram, Mahamrituyunjaya mantra and Rahu Ketu grahas mantras is performed. A holy bath is offered to the snakes with milk, water and honey. They are then decorated with turmeric paste, sandal paste, vermilion and flower gardens.
Next are Vishnu Sahasranam and Navanag Stotram chanted to invoke their blessings.
Then the diyas made of sweet flour are prepared. They are lit with ghee and placed in front of the Snake deities.
Devotee then offers the coconut, sprouts and betel leaves to the Snake gods. Then a camphor diya is waved in a circular pattern to invoke their grace. While doing so, the devotee thinks about all the issues and prays to the Snakes to help him come out of them.
After the puja is over, the devotee distributes the prasadam among poor people and donates the clothes worn during the ritual to the needy. The snakes are immersed in the kushavarta kunda and the Kaal sarpa yantra is sent to devotee to keep in the alter.
Satyanarayan Puja dates 2019:
21st January 2019 - Paush Purnima
19th February 2019 - Magha Purnima
20th March 2019 - Phalguna Purnima
19th April 2019 - Chaitra Purnima
18th May 2019 - Vaishakha Purnima
17th June 2019 - Jyeshtha Purnima
16th July 2019 - Ashadha Purnima
15th August 2019 - Shravana Purnima
13th September 2019 - Bhadrapada Purnima
13th October 2019 - Ashwin Purnima
12th November 2019 - Kartik Purnima
11th December 2019 - Margashirsha Purnima
Satyanarayan puja encourages harmony among friends and family members. Hindus believe in the utilitarian approach of life i.e an individual must not focus on his or her own happiness but also encourage others happiness as well. Satyanarayan puja stresses on this aspect of Hindu belief.
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