In this article I will talk about daily Puja for Bengalis. Others can also do this.
Steps for Long Daily Puja
As Bengalis especially Brahmins, we have some daily duties or nitya karma, one of which is daily puja or nitya puja, which includes the worship of five gods (pancha devata):
- Narayana (Vishnu)
Again there are special days on which specific Pujas must be performed:
- Shiva Puja on Monday
- Hanuman Puja on Tuesday (not so common among Bengalis in WB but especially practiced by Benares Bengali Brahmins)
- Krishna Puja on Wednesday
- Lakshmi Puja on Thursday in Bengal
- Devi Puja on Friday/ Lakshmi Puja for South Indians
- Saraswati Puja on Sunday's
In order to avoid partiality to any individual God, I have expanded the scope of my Daily Puja and perform the following 12 Pujas in the order given below. You may or may not follow the same.
- Narayana (Vishnu)
As per the Puja rule books, one is permitted to perform the common steps at one shot in the beginning. My shortened version of this includes.
- Surya Arghya
- Ganesh and others short Archana
- Svasti Mantra (I subscribe to the Shukla Yajur Vedi Svasti Mantra)
- Mandala Sthapana and placement of Kosha in the triangle
- Asana Shuddhi or the purification of seat
- Pushpa shuddhi or the purification of seat
Then I start with the individual Puja's for which again I follow the shortened version:
- Kara Nyasa or placement of Mantra's on hand
- Anga Nyasa or placement of Mantra's on limbs
- Panhopachara Puja (Puja with five upachara-s, gandha, pushpa, dhupa, dipa and naivedya)
- Pranama Mantra
The entire process takes me 20-25 minutes.
Short Daily Puja
1. In daily Puja for Bengalis, all Bengalis must compulsorily first worship Pancha devata ( 5 Gods) - Ganesh, Surya, Durga, Shiva, Vishnu
2. Then one must worship Ishta devata.
So you will have a total of 5 to 6 deities to worship.
Before starting any Puja, the following must be performed once. I am giving the short version which takes 5 minutes.
- Achamana and Vishnu Pranam
- Surya Pranam or Surya Arghya Dan
- Svasti Mantra (for Bharadvaja Gotra it would generally be Yajur vedi svasti vachana etc)
- Samanya Arghya Sthapana
- Jala shuddhi
- Asana shuddhi
- Pushpa shuddhi
- Close your eyes and recite Dhyana Mantra first
- Then offer Panchopachara Puja
- Then do Japa (3 or 10 times)
- Then recite pranam mantra
Total Puja time is therefore: 15 minutes (maximum) Longer Puja takes upto 45 minutes, but that is not possible daily.
For simple daily Puja (Panchopachara) ingredients are:
gandha (chandan), pushpa (flower), dhup, dip (lamp), naivedya
If ingredients are not available you may use only water.
Other Details for Daily Puja
Ideally one should perform 4 steps:
1. Pre-puja steps - Achamana, (school specific) svasti vachana etc
2. (A relatively short but compulsory) Panchadevata Puja - Ganesh, Surya, Durga, Shiva and Vishnu
3. (Longer main Puja) Kuladevi Puja - in your case Lakshmi Puja
4. Closing or visarjana activities
For details of individual steps like achamana, the various shuddhis, please refer to any standard (Bengali) nitya karma paddhati book, like:
- Bishuddha Nitya Karama Paddhati (Smritirtha)
- Brihat Bisshudha Nitya Krama Paddhati (hardcover edition)
- Purohit Darapan
- Brihat Purohit Darpan
- Purohit Sarbaswa (out of print) - available online in DLID
- Hindu Sarbaswa (out of print) - available online in DLID
- Brihat Tantra Sara - truly a detailed text (by Krishnananda Agamvagisha)
- Sharada Tilaka Tantra (based on prapanchasara)
- Prapanchasra Tantra (the oldest mantra shatrsa text, probably written during the time/ or after Adi Shankaracharya and by someone of his lineage)
Thanks for your time. Please feel free to leave your comments and do share this post with those who might find it useful.