Panchopachār pūjā is performed by using 5 different substances. What is the Method of performing Panchopachār Pūjā?
The Pancha Upacharas are Gandha,Dhoopa,Deepa,Pushpa & Naivedya.
Gandham-Sandal paste,Haridra Kumkumam,other scented objects come under this category.
Dhoopam-Lighted Incense Sticks.
Deepam-Lighted Ghee/Oil Lamps.
Naivedyam-Food offerings(like fruits,milk,sweets or cooked permissible foods).
These 5 Upacharas are offered to Gods along with chanting of few Mantras typically of the following form:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha (salutations to God) Gandham dharaayami(or samarpayami),Dhoopam Aghrapayami(or samarpayami),Deepam Darsayami(or samarpayami) etc.
See the screenshot(a typical form of the Mantra used) below:
To be specific,suppose ,you are doing a Ganapaty Puja.
Then the 5 corresponding Mantras for offering the Panchopacharas will be:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Gandham Dharayami(I am offering You Gandham)
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Dhoopam Aghrapayami(I am offering lighted Incense )
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Deepam Darsayami(I am waving/showing/offering lighted lamps).
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Puspaihi Pujayami(or Pushpam samarpayami)(I am worshiping with flowers or offering flowers)
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Naivedyam Nivedayami(I am offering food items)
With these 5 simple Mantras one is supposed to offer the Pancha Upacharas to Deity.
For example,chant the Mantra given above for Gandham while offering Sandal Paste and so on.
NOTE 1-If you are doing a Shiva Puja then just replace the "Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha" portion in above Mantras with "Sambaparameswaraya Namaha".Similarly For Vishnu Puja use "Mahavishnave Namaha" instead.
NOTE 2-Before offering Gods these 5 Upacharas, Dhyanam (meditating upon the Deity) & Avahanam(Invoking the Divine presence) are also to be done.There are specific Mantras for that purpose.
Applying gandha (Sandalwood paste) & haldī (Turmeric) – kumkum (Vermillion) to the Deity
Apply gandha to the Deity with the ring finger of the right hand. Then, offer haldī-kumkum at the Deity’s feet by taking a pinch of each between the thumb and ring finger of the right hand. First offer haldī and then offer kumkum.
Offering patrī and flowers to the Deity
- Do not offer artificial flowers (made out of paper or plastic or decorative flowers) to a Deity. Fresh and sāttvik flowers should be
offered to Deities.
- Do not smell the flowers and patrī that are to be offered to the Deity.
- Patrī should be offered before offering the flowers.
- Offer leaves and flowers to a Deity that attracts the Principle of the Deity to the maximum extent. For example, bēl (Leaves of Aegle
marmelos tree) to Deity Shiva and durvā and a red flower to Shrī
Ganapati. While offering durvā to the Idol of Shrī Ganapati, cover
the entire body with durvā except the face. Durvā offered to Shrī
Ganapati are changed thrice a day. For this reason, pūjā of Shrī
Ganapati is performed thrice a day.
- Specific Deities must be offered a specific number of flowers and that too arranged in a specific pattern. For example, Shrī Ganapati
should be offered 8 flowers in rhomboid shape, and Deity Hanumān
should be offered five flowers in elliptical shape. Ensure that these flowers are not placed in an uneven manner.
- When offering flowers to the Deities placed in the temple at home, recite the Name of the Upāsyadēvatā (Deity of worship) and then begin by offering small flowers of dark colour first, followed by
medium-size lighter colour flowers and last, offer big white flowers. In a conical arrangement of Deities, only upon offering flowers to
Shrī Ganapati placed at the apex of the cone, proceed to the next
stage; in the second stage, offer flowers to other superior Male
Deities. Thereafter, offer flowers to the Female counterpart of the
Male Deity followed by the Deity’s sub-forms.
- Flowers should be offered at the Deity’s feet instead of on the head.
- While offering a flower, the stalk should be towards the Deity.
Waving lit dhoop or lit incense-stick in front of the Deity
Do not disperse smoke emitting from dhoop with the hands.
After waving the dhoop, wave incense-sticks of a specific fragrance in front of the Deity, which attracts the respective Deity’s
Principle to a greater extent. For example, wave heena (A kind of
herb) incense-sticks to Deity Shiva and rose incense-sticks to Shrī
- The number of incense-sticks required for waving in front of the Deity: In general, a seeker in the initial stage of Shakti worship
should wave five incense-sticks, those who perform pūjā as part of
their duty should wave two incense-sticks and a seeker who performs
upāsanā with bhāv (Spiritual emotion) and devotion should wave one
incense-stick. The incense-sticks should be waved thrice in front of
- While waving dhoop or incense-sticks in front of the Deity, sound the bell with the left hand.
Waving a lit lamp in front of the Deity
A lit lamp should be waved clockwise in front of the Deity thrice, while simultaneously ringing the bell with the left hand.
Points to be remembered when lighting a lamp
Do not use a lit lamp to light another lamp.
An oil lamp should not be used to light a ghee
Change the wick of the lamp placed in the temple at home daily.
Offering Naivēdya to a Deity
- While preparing Naivēdya, less amount of red chilli powder, salt and oil should be used; sāttvik substances such as ghee (Clarified butter) should be used in ample quantity.
- Banana leaf should be used for offering Naivēdya.
- Salt should not be served on the leaf prepared for Naivēdya to a Deity.
- Keep the leaf (on which the Naivēdya has been served) covered.
- When offering Naivēdya, first pray to the Ishtadēvatā and draw a mandal (Circle or protective sheath) on the floor in front of the Deity. Then place the banana leaf (or plate) containing Naivēdya on this mandal with the stalk of the leaf towards the Deity and the tip of the leaf towards yourself.
- While offering Naivēdya, water should be sprinkled clockwise around the banana leaf or the plate only once (this act is known as drawing a mandal). Water should not be sprinkled anticlockwise again.
- The act of offering Naivēdya to a Deity
Different acts to be performed after completion of the Pūjā
- Lighting a karpūr-deep (Camphor lamp): Although the upachār of lighting a karpūr-deep is not included in Panchopachār pūjā, yet due to the sāttviktā of camphor, this act imparts greater sāttviktā. Hence, after offering Naivēdya, karpūr-deep can be lit.
- Sound the conch and perform Āratī of the Deity with bhāv.
- After imbibing the Āratī, apply Vibhūti (Holy ash) from the origin of the nose to the mid-brow region.
- Drink Tīrtha (Sacred liquid) thrice. Take Tīrtha in the middle of the right palm and drink it. Then, after touching the middle of the palm with the tip of the middle finger and ring finger, touch the eyes with these fingers. Rub these fingers lightly from the forehead to the head in the upward direction.
- In the end, partake Prasād (Holy sacrament) and wash your hands.