Hinduism is standing tall today on three tall pillars. In common parlance, these three pillars are known as the Tridev or the Three Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Vishnu is known as the caretaker of the Universe and all its elements. Another name for Lord Vishnu is Narayan. To appease Him, we do this ‘easy to follow’ Satyanarayan Puja. It is a ritual for some and a ceremony for others. It is quite popular in different regions of India and is done with a lot of faith and joy.
Importance and Significance of Satyanarayan Puja
Satyanarayan is considered to be a calmer and more benevolent avatar of Lord Vishnu. Many families pray to Satyanarayan so that He helps them tide over adverse situations. The name can be understood as ‘Satya’ i.e. Truth and ‘Narayan’ i.e. Vishnu. He represents truth and justice and personifies the same. Hence, a person doing the Puja is said to be one who unconditionally believes in Truth, whether it is in words or in actions. Truth is a guiding light leading people to wisdom and true happiness. Most people believe that doing this Puja with utmost faith can even lead to Nirvana i.e. Salvation (liberation from the cycle of Birth and Death).
Benefits of Satyanarayan Puja
More often than not, Satyanarayan Puja is performed either when we are looking to fulfill a desire or when the desire is fulfilled with the Lord’s blessings,; It is at this point that the Puja is performed to offer our gratitude.
- Whether is it buying a home, successfully completing educational milestones, buying an automobile, starting a new venture or going in for a medical procedure; Satyanarayan Puja is said to bring good luck and fortune.
- Even if one does not have a special reason, doing the Satyanarayan Puja on a regular basis helps maintain peace, harmony, prosperity and joy in our daily lives.
- Another benefit from this Puja is that while performing it, family and friends get together and sing praises of the Lord.
History & Stories
Satyanarayan Katha is an integral part of the Puja and it can be recited by either the Pandit or the family members. The Katha itself speaks of multiple stories, each showing how prayers to Lord Satyanarayan can end all their respective sufferings. Maharishi Naarad during his trip to Earth (Bhu-Lok, one of the Three Worlds (Trilok), saw that the common people were suffering from number of problems that were brought upon them by their own bad karmas. Naarad Muni then shares this with Lord Vishnu who tells him that anyone performing the Satyanarayan Vrat and Puja shall get all that they desire on Earth and also attain salvation after death. He gave detailed instructions on how to do the Puja. Since then it has been passed on from one generation to another.
Occasions to Do a Satyanarayan Puja
- Generally the Satyanarayan Puja Vidhi is performed when you wish to achieve something in life. It should also be done once that dream or goal is achieved.
- Whether you have a particular goal in life or not, you can still do the Puja for general well-being and prosperity. Basically, it should be done to ward of any sort of evil or ill-effects of bad karma.
Satyanarayan Puja Vidhi (Procedure)
- It is considered best when the people performing the Puja keep a fast, which is known as the Satyanarayan Vrat.
- Many communities decorate a small wooden table before placing on it a photograph of Lord Satyanarayan.
- The table is set in such a direction that the devotees are facing the east while performing the Puja.
- That table is then given a canopy of Banana leaves.
- A copper lota is used to make the Kalash. One has to fill the lota with water, cover it using five leaves and place a coconut over it.
- The lota has to be decorated by drawing a Swastika on it using red kumkum.
- The aarti thali has to be prepared by keeping a ghee diya, some incense sticks, flower petals, grains of rice and camphor with sandalwood powder.
- Sheera/Halwa made from Sooji or Choorma made from wheat flour have to be offered as Prasad to Lord Satyanarayan as Bhog.
- This has to be mandatorily accompanied by fruits and Panchamrut, a liquid made by adding five elements – Milk, honey, curd, ghee and Tulsi leaves.
- All attendees then sit facing the Puja mandap.
- The first prayer is offered to the Pratham Pujya, Lord Ganesh. Many people also do the Navagraha Puja before starting the main Vidhi.
- Either the Pandit or the senior family members read the various passages from the Katha. After the recitation of the Katha all family members sing the aarti together.
- The Prasad, fruits and Panchamrut are then distributed among everyone.
Satyanarayan Puja Muhurat
As discussed above, there need not be a specific day and date to do the Satyanarayan Puja. But if it is done for a specific reason then a Shubh Muhurat should be decided by consulting a Pandit. There are a lot of days according to the Hindu Panchang that are considered to be good muhurats by default. These include Sankranti, Poornima (Full moon day), Ekadashi (11th day after Full Moon day or New Moon Day), and days on which solar eclipses occur. The most auspicious Hindu months to do this Puja include Kartik and Vaishakha. The Puja yields best results when done in the morning or evening.