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Surya Puja - How to worship the Sun God : Makar Sankranti - Netglimse.com

Date of celebration: January 14, 2014

Worshipping Lord Surya can be done in many ways, but here's a standard, but precise, way, which you can follow, specially meant to suit the present day busy life schedules: Materials Needed Idol / Picture of the Surya (Sun God)
(optional, because the shastras, or some contexts, say,
Surya is swayamprakashita, i.e. self-revealed form of the Supreme.) Table, bench or box Two metal vessels Uddharana or metal spoon Pieces of clean cloth (preferably red) to put on the altar A piece of clean string (symbolic yagnopaveet) Kumkum, Turmeric (haldi) and cups to hold them Akshata (uncooked yellow rice) in a cup Sandal paste Incense Sticks Camphor Fresh (red) flowers (preferably javaa, i.e. hibiscus/chona rose), Bel leaves Fruits, Coconut, fruit juice Naivedyam (food offering) Lamps with wicks soaking in oil or ghee Aarati plate with oil soaked wicks (N.B.: Lamps and aarati plate are optional because the shastras, or some texts, say, Surya is the source of all lights and fire, so lightening him up with a physical lamp is immaterial, or according to other texts, Surya is offended when fire is shown to Him for aarati so even if you light up lamps, don't make the flames face the east).   Preparation First and foremost begin with cleansing, i.e. clean the area where the altar is to be set up. This should face the eastern direction if possible. You and others who will participate in the performance of the Puja should bathe, and wear clean and comfortable clothes. Men may wear kurta/pajama combination, or dhoti/uttareeyam combination with or without a kurta/shirt/jibba etc. If men wearing dhoti decide to wear no upper garment, then a yagnopavita should be worn.   Altar Set Up A small bench or a wooden table or a cardboard box covering an area no larger than 36" x 24" and about 15" to 24" tall is adequate. The size can vary if you wish to arrange more or fewer pictures and/or statues on the surface. Remember that you should be able to see the items on the altar and have easy access to make offerings during the worship. Place the table (or box) against a wall, cover it with a clean cloth, preferably white, and secure the same by tucking it under so that it won't slip off easily. Tape it if necessary such that the tape is not visible.   Prayers to Lord Ganesha Before starting the puja proper, it is essential to contemplate Lord Ganesha (God of obstacles) to assure ourselves that no obstacles interfere with a smooth performance of the puja rituals. Thus, with folded hands chant the following: Karishyamaanasya karmanaha nirvigghnena Parisamaaptyarttham
Aadhou mahaaganapati smaranam karishye So that the ceremonies we are about to undertake proceed to completion without any obstacles, we contemplate on Mahaganapati. Similarly the grihadevata, i.e. the family Godhead, needs to be invoked as He/She is ever present bestowing protection to the family at all times. Chant as follows: Gruha devataam ddhyayaami Ddhyaanam samarpayaami I respectfully contemplate our family Godhead.   Shuddhi (Cleaning) In order to assure ourselves that any and all evil tendencies are removed from the worship room, we start with a prayer to Shiva whose very invocation is believed to clear out any troubling vibrations. Om namah pranavaarththaaya
shuddha jnaanaika moorthaye
nirmalaaya prashaanthaaya
dakshinaa moorthaye namaha I salute the Lord of the Southern direction who is the very embodiment of the sacred symbol Om and of pure knowledge and eternal peace.   Prayer javaakusuma samkaasham
kaashyapeyam mahaddhyutim
dhwantaarim sarvapaapagghnam
pranatohasmi divaakaram I salute Divaakara who shines like the hibiscus blossom, is descendent of sage Kaashyapa, of great splendor, and the destroyer of all sins.   Upachaaraas (offering the ingredients of the puja) Now we are ready to invoke the Sun God and offer Upachaaraas (reception with reverence). With folded hands, focus on the picture of the deity as you chant the following: Om Sri Sooryanaaraayana swamine namaha Om I salute the Sun God, in the form of Lord Narayana (Vishnu), the protector and sustainer of the universe. Now offer a few grains of akshata with your right hand such that the grains fall on the picture gently as you chant: Om Sri Sooryanaaraayana swamine namaha aavaahanam samarpayaami I offer an invocation to you offer akshata as before such that the grains fall on the altar as you chant: Om Sri Sooryanaaraayana swamine namaha aasanam samarpayaami I offer a seat to you.   Pradakshina (circumambulation) Now stand up and do a pradakshina (circumambulation) turning three times in a circle to your right.
Om Sri Sooryanaaraayana swamine namaha yaanikaanicha paapaani janmaanthara krithaani cha
thaani thaani vinashyanthi pradakshinam pade pade Whatever sins I have committed in all my lives May all of them be absolved as I circumambulate in thy worship.   Go Page Up...          

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