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How to perform Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam / Pooja at home


About the pooja

The Hindu god Satyanarayana Swamy or Satya Deva is believed to be one of the forms of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. The Sanskrit word 'Satya' means 'truth' while the word 'Narayana' means the Supreme or the Highest form of being. Accordingly Satyanarayana Swamy is considered as an embodiment of truth. It is believed that performing the vratam either at home or performing Samuhika vratam (mass vratam) in temples is very effective. The performers are blessed with a happy and prosperous life .

Most of the Hindu families perform the vratam when they have some desires to be fulfilled.They perform it either before or after the fulfillment of their desire/s. In general most of the Hindu families perform this pooja every year for the well being of their families. It is also compulsorily performed by the newly wed couple.

When to perform the pooja

There is no hard and fast rule for performing the vratam. It can be performed on any day, at any time and by anyone irrespective of caste, creed, marital status etc. However, generally any full moon day i.e. Pournami day is considered auspicious to perform the vratam. Ekadasi days (11th day after Amavasya and Pournami) of any month are also good for performing the vratam. 

It is also good to perform the vratam on special occasions like birthdays, marriage day etc. The pooja is very easy and simple to perform and one can do it even without a priest at home. 

A detailed version of performing the pooja is mentioned in Reva Kanda of Skanda Puranam. Suta Mahamuni narrated it to the rishis in the Naimisharanya which is mentioned in the Vrata Katha or the story that is read after the vratam.

Preparations

First decide on which day you want to perform the vratam. Then make necessary arrangements for the pooja. You can approach any of the local priest to perform the pooja at your home on a specific day. After engaging a priest, make purchase of necessary pooja items.

List of items

Turmeric powder - 100 gm
Vermilion / Kumkuma - 100 gm
Chandan powder - 50 gm
Betel leaves - 100
Betel nuts (vakkalu) - 150 gm
Dry dates - 250 gm
Currency coins (Re.1) - 75
Mango leaves
Turmeric pods (pasupu kommulu) - 200 gm
Sugandha Dravyalu (powdered cardamom / elaichi, cloves, nutmeg / jajikai, pachcha karpooram / camphor)
New Panchala chapu (dhoti set) - 9 x 5 size.
Silver / copper Kalasam - 1
Blouse pieces (preferably yellow, green or red) - 1
Silver or gold pratima (impression) of Satyanarayana Swamy
Rice - 3 Kg
Coconuts - 10
Banana - 1 dozen
Panchamrutam made of cow's milk and curd, honey, sugar and cow's ghee i.e. melted butter)
Camphor - 100 gm
Agarbathi - 1 packet
Sambrani - 50 gm
Sooji prasadam made of sooji, sugar, ghee, cashew and raisins (kishmish)
Loose flowers - 500 gm
Jasmine or lily garlands - 5
Pancha patra and udharini (i.e small tumbler and spoon preferably silver or copper one)
Harathi plate - 1
Pooja bell - 1
Thread roll - 1
Pooja mats - 5
Pooja wicks
Silver lamps - 2
Pooja oil
Any other fruits of your choice like oranges.
Satyanarayana Swamy photo
A small brass plate full of rice for Ganapati pooja.

Pooja Vidhanam

  • Make all the necessary arrangements the previous day itself like tying mango leaves to the main entrance doors etc. 
  • Place everything ready in the specified room or place preferably in the North East corner of the house. 
  • Keep all the items in the list in separate bowls and keep these handy in a place close to the place where you sit and perform pooja. 
  • Clean the place where you keep the mandapam, draw traditional muggulu / floor designs and place the mandapam. 
  • Smear turmeric paste on the mandapam and draw muggu with rice flour.
  • On the specified day, get up early in the morning and finish your daily chores. 
  • Have a hair wash on this day, smear turmeric paste to your feet and dress up in traditional attire.
  • Place the dhoti set / panchala chapu on the mandapam and spread rice on it. 
  • Apply chandan and kumkuma to the Kalasam, place one copper coin in it, fill it with three fourths water and add powdered sugandha dravyalu to it. 
  • Place the Kalasam at the center of the mandapam. 
  • Apply chandan and kumkuma to the photo of Satyanarayana Swamy and place one flower garland to it. 
  • Place it behind the Kalasam, keep a clean mango twig containing 3-5 leaves i.e dalam in the Kalasam and then place a coconut upside down in the Kalasam.
  • Fold one blouse piece into a cone shape and place it on the coir tip of the coconut.
  • Apply chandan and kumkuma to this cone shaped blouse piece.  
  • Place one flower on top of the cone and place one flower garland round the Kalasam. 
  • If you have Satyanarayana pratima, apply chandan and kumkuma to it, place it on a betel leaf or in a small silver bowl and keep this in front of the Kalasam.
  • Place two silver lamps or brass lamps on either side of the mandapam and use either cow's ghee or pooja oil for lighting the lamps.
  • When you sit for performing the pooja in front of the mandapam, ensure that husband is sitting to the right of wife.
  • Once you are ready for performing the pooja, ensure that you sit till the end of the pooja. 
  • Begin the pooja with lighting the lamps, then Ganapati pooja which is followed by pooja to Dikpalakas and Nava Grahas / nine planets. 
  • Then the main pooja to Satyanarayana begins followed by the recitation of 5 stories. 
  • Reading / listening stories is the important part of pooja as the stories describe the procedure for pooja and its importance.
The 1st story describes about Lord Narayana narrating the importance of the vratam to Narada Mahamuni which in turn is retold by Suta Mahamuni to the sages in Naimisharanya. The 2nd story is about a poor brahmin residing in Kasi (the present Varanasi) gets all the riches on performing the vratam,  He was told to do so by Sri Vishnu who comes in the guise of a brahmin. The 3rd story is about a merchant and his wife Leelavati - the childless couple who were blessed with a daughter named Kalavati.  The 4th story is about the imprisoning of the merchant and his son-in-law in the King's imprisonment and their release with the blessing of Lord Satyanaryana. And the last story is very important which is about the King who refuses to take prasad of Satyanarayana Vratam and how he suffers due to this.

At the end of each story, you have to break one coconut and keep it aside to offer it to the Lord at the time of Maha Naivedyam. Not only performing the vratam but taking prasad of Satyanarayana vratam is equally important. Though the performers forget to offer you prasadam, you should not hesitate to ask and take the prasadam as it marks the completion of the pooja / vratam.

Recipe for Sooji prasadam

The method of preparation of prasadam for the vratam is too simple. Fry cashew nuts and raisins (kishmish) in pure ghee and keep it aside. Fry sooji in little ghee and keep it aside. Boil equal measure of sugar in a mixture of milk and water (together 3 measures for 1 measure of sooji), add elaichi (cardamom) powder and then sooji to the boiling solution. Keep in simmer and stirring till it thickens. Take it in a serving bowl and decorate with fried dry fruits. Prasadam is ready.

Offering prasadam depends on one's family custom. In some families, a mixture of dry sooji and sugar with cashew nuts, without making it into halwa, is offered as naivedyam.

Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam / pooja is one of the most important pooja performed by the people of all categories on a regular basis for all occasions. It is believed that all the wishes are sure to be fulfilled on performing this pooja.

Punah Pooja / Udyapanam / Mandapa Daanam

For this particular vratam, punah pooja / udyapanam is performed immediately after the pooja is over. Generally, the mandapam along with the rice, betel leaves, dry dates, coins, coconut on the Kalasam and blouse piece is offered to the priest who performs the vratam. In case, the priest doesn't take these items, you can give these to a temple priest.

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