Every religion has one common thing i.e. to pray that almighty who controls the world, who is unknown, has no appearance, color, volume, length, sound, quality or identity.
Still, that power exists and rules all universes, realities and dimensions. Hindus worship by performing puja, Muslims by offering Namaj five times, Christians visit churches and Buddhists go to a Pagoda or Stoop.
Not only does particular religion has certain rituals, but every individual has his own way to please the almighty too. It is their soul who cries for help in calamities and worships for goodwill when there is peace.
However, our great rishis have performed rigorous penance to set forth the rules and regulation of performing a Hindu Puja Vidhi in a systematic manner so that the god will bless us with health, wealth and love.
Our Hindu religion has so many castes and sub castes. In ancient times, Aryans used to perform a“Yadnya” (यज्ञ) which is also called as fire worship.
Generation after generation, it is modified according to convenience andhas incorporated the impact of Dravidian culture in some measure.
As families got established and the man wanted to worship god as per his imagination, the idol worship started.
Also, everybody realized the power of Maa Shakti, and every family started worshiping its own particular version of Maa Shakti.
So in this time, the system of performing a Hindu Puja differs in every house according to atmosphere, traditions and the guru.
First of all it is important to know that whether you are interested in idol worship or a “Manas Puja” (मानस पूजा).
If you want to perform a Manas Puja, then just sit on insulated Dari, sheet or Mrugajin (मृगजिन) and utter the name of the God 108 times. This is also known as “Jap”.
If you are inclined towards idol worship, then you will have to dedicate a place in house for a ‘Mandir’ (मंदिर) or a “Puja Ghar” (पूजा घर) for your idols. Place these idols of god where you have full faith.
Before placing those idols in Mandir there is a separate ritual which has to be performed to bring life in idols, which is called as “Pran Pratishtha” (प्राण प्रतिष्ठा).
Place this Mandir in a place which is located at the North East corner of your house with a clean and scented atmosphere.
Put a piece of silk cloth in it and have a priest perform a Pran Prathistha before placing these idols in the Mandir.
1. Lord Ganesh or Ganapati (गणपती),for making the start of every work auspicious;
2. The goddess Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी), for wealth and prosperity;
3. Shiv Ling(शिव लिंग) of stone or mercury;
4. Vishnu (विष्णू) or Krishna (कृष्ण);
5. Surya (सूर्य) or Sun.
In addition to the idols, there are certain accessories needed for the Hindu puja, which include a bell and a conch at the very least. While facing the mandir, the bell should be at your left and conch at right side.
Always make sure that there is enough water in the conch and that it is placed on a brass or copper base. Thereafter you can place pictures of your guru or lord Hanuman if you want.
Now we will see how to perform the puja systematically. After placing the Mandir and idols, you should perform Puja every day, without interruption.
That is called as “Nitya Karma” (नित्य कर्म). You cannot stop in between on a voluntary basis.
After having a bath and wearing silk cloth or washed clothes, get some water, “Ashtgandh” (अष्टगंध), Naivedya (नैवेद्य), Dhoop and lamp, an Aasan (आसन) to sit, flowers, turmeric and Kumkum.
First of all, start from Ganesh as a customary ritual, and bell and conch and bathe them in a copper thali with water. Wipe them clean, apply Ashtagandh and put them back in place.
Then do the same thing for other idols and offer flowers. Red flowers for the Goddess, Lord Ganesh and Narsinha(नरसिंह). Offer white flower on lingam and Vishnu.
Offer Bel leaves on Shiv Ling,Durva (दुर्वा) on Ganesh, and Tulsi leaves on Vishnu. After offering flowers, perform an aarti with Dhoop and then by lamp which is also called as “Deep” (दीप).
Never encircle the lamp above the idols. It should be under their necks.
While offering Dhup and Deep, chant the prayers for Lord Ganesh, then Shiv, Lakshmi and finally Vishnu.
After the prayers, offer Prasad or Naivedya. Draw a square with some water in front of the idols and place the Naivedya on it.
Take some water on your palm and release it in a circular fashion around the Naivedya, while chanting “Naivedyam Samarpayaami” which means, “I humbly offer this Naivedya to you, the Almighty.”
Bow to god with full faith and say that he is only your relative and nobody else. Be dedicated, tell your feelings and difficulties or successes to the idols, just like you have done with your parents.
Then take Akshata which is a few grains of rice coated with Kumkum, and chant Mantra-Pushpanjali (मंत्र पुष्पांजली). Offer Akshata saying “सर्वोपाचारार्थम अक्षतां समर्पयामि|”
This is a 5-fold puja which any one can do. For special occasions, a 16-fold Hindu puja is performed. Those are:-
1. Avahan – Invitation to god;
2. Asan – Sitting arrangement – for this apply flowers;
3. Padya – Put idol in copper plate and bathe.
4. Arghya – Put Gandh, Akshat, flower in a spoon and bathe the god.
5. Aachaman – Put little water in plate for gods mouth wash.
6. Snan – Bathe god with water and panchamrut i.e. milk, sugar, honey, curd and ghee;
7. Vastr – Put clothes on god;
8. Upvastra – Put sacred thread on Lord Ganesh;
9. Chandan – Apply Gandh or scented lotion on idol forehead;
10. Pushp Arpan – Put flowers as per guidelines given above;
11. Dhup – Encircle light a dhup on every idol;
12. Deep – Encircle light a deep to all gods;
13. Nevaidya – Offer any sweet, Doodh (दूध) (milk)and sugar or kheer (खीर);
14. Namaskar – Bow to god;
15. Pradakshina – Turn around yourself and bow again;
16. Mantrpushp – Pray to god with Akshata and at the end sprinkles it around the idols.
After doing all this just chant “Devi Apradh Kshamopasana”(देवी अपराध क्षमोपासना) to clear all sins or wrongs done by us.
This systematic Hindu puja will spread all positive energy in house and wipe out bad evils as well as any negativity to bring health, wealth and happiness.