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What and how about Puja

According to Indian Vedic culture, performing Yagya is the main goal of different types of scriptures. There are many types of yagya results, i.e., there are many types of yagyas, and their results are also different. After the invocation of the respective deities for the proper performance of these yagyas, there is a sequence of worship. After puja by inflammable substances, ahuti is offered. This is the sequence of Vedic rituals.

In addition to the Vedic rituals, if you want to worship a picture or an idol at home or temple, then Worship can be done through various Upcharas (remedies). Among various remedies, the sequence of Panchopchar in general and especially shodashopachaar in particular is famous in the ritual world and the Pandit community.

Sequence of Panchopachar -

॥ " गंधं, पुष्पं, धूपं, दीपं, नैवेद्यम् " ॥

Gandha - Coating the idol of the concerned deity with scent (sandalwood, roli, Ashtagandha, etc.) comes under gandha treatment.

Pushpam - Flowers have special importance in the sequence of worship. According to the scriptures, Lakshmi resides in the flower.

As - " पुष्पेषु लक्ष्मीर्वसति " "लक्ष्मीर्वसति पुष्करे"
Therefore, the importance of offering flowers in worship and Akshat offering in the absence of flowers is important.

Dhoop (Incense) - After fragrance and flowers, the third order is of incense, in which the aromatic substances Guggal and ghrtaadi are discarded in the fire. Purification of the environment is another purpose of incense. Offering incense has traditionally been a part of worship in Indian culture.

Deepa - After the incense, the lamp jyoti is seen. In this process, the destruction of the enemy's intellect is wished by lighting a lamp of pure cow's ghee.

" शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपो देव नमोस्तुते "

Naivedya - The last order in the law of Panchopachar worship is that of Naivedya, Naivedya is the prasad or bhog. After offering prasad with reverence, the process of Aachman takes place in the order as Pran-Apan-Vyana-Udana-saman etc.

Method and Order of Shodashopachaar Worship

Shodashopachaar worship of the deities is done in rituals performed according to the classical tradition. In which the worship of the respective deities is done through sixteen processes, projects or substances.
shodashopachar (16) in the following order of Upcharon -

1. Aavahan (invocation) - In Shodashopachar worship, first invocation is done. In which worship of the deity through Vedic chants is humbly invite in the respective idol or mandala. Different deities have different types of mantras for invocation.

2. Asanam - Asana is offered to the incarnate deity. According to the scriptures, posture, water and talking with love are in the category of good behavior.

As - "तृणानि भूमिरूदकं वाक् चतुर्थी च सुनृता"

3. Padya - After the asanas for the incarnated deities, feet are washed as “पादयोर्पाद्यम्". This is the initial stage of the bathing process.

4. Arghya – After washing feet, hands should be washed. "हस्तयोरर्घ्यम्" means offering water Arghya water in the hand. This is the advanced stage of the bathing process.

5. Aachman - Aachman is related to the purification of the conscience. After the washing of the external organs, hands, feet, etc., achaman is done in the mouth of the incarnate deity to purify the conscience.

As in - "मुखे आचमनीयम्"।

6. Snanam (Bathing) - After the purification of the external organs and the internal organs, one by one, the whole bath is done after purification. This process of bathing is offered to all the parts of the deity. That's why it is said "सर्वाङ्गे स्नानम्".

7. Vastra (clothing) - Clothing - After bathing, new clothes are made to wear. "लोकलज्जानिवारणार्थं वस्त्रम्" Redressal of localajja.

8.- Yagyopaveet – Janeu is offered to the deities like Ganesha.

9. Gandhakshat - sandalwood, roli, ashtagandh , rice coating.

10. Pushp (flower) - Flowers are offered according to the nature of the deities.

White flower to saraswati ji

Red Lotus to Lakshmi ji

Red flower to the Goddess.

11. Dhoop - Incense is offered to the deities by Guggal Dhritadi.

12. Deep - After lighting a lamp of pure ghee, lamp is shown to the deities and prayers are offered for the destruction of the enemy.

13. Naivedhy - As per the capability & devotion, request is offered with Tulsi leaf, ghantanaad & achaman are done. Along with Naivedhya, ritufal(seasonal fruit) and for mouth purification tambool (paan) is offered.

14. Dakshina - The offering of Dakshina is considered necessary for the success of the above worship. The importance of Dakshina has been told in the scriptures by considering her as the wife of Yagya.

15. Mantra-Pushpanjali – It is done by Offering flower to the deities with chanting of mantras, whose worshiping in the anushthan.

16. Pradakshina - Praying for forgiveness for all the mistakes done in worship with the spirit of devotion to the deity, they do the parikrama (circumambulation). Pradakshina is the final treatment or sequence in Shodashopachar.

Worship sequence of deities - According to the rituals, after lamplighting, first Ganesha puja Shodashmatrika, Navagraha, invoking the main deity in Varun Kalash and worship is done Shodashopachar or Panchopachar.

* In this way, understanding the method and order of worship, and performing rituals according to the classical belief, puja rituals should be accomplished.

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