I know the panchopchar(पञ्चोपचार​) puja which is offering gandh, pushp, dhoop, deep and naivadya(गंध, पुष्प, धूप, दीप, नैवेद्य​) to God.

I have heard many times about ashtopachar(अष्टोपचार) and shodashopachar(षोडशोपचार) pujan. But don't know how to do it.

Could somebody explain

  • What is ashtopachar(अष्टोपचार) pujan? And how to do it.
  • What is shodashopachar(षोडशोपचार) pujan? And how to do it?
  • How many types of puja are there?
  • There is no such thing as ashotapachara.
    – user1195
    Aug 13 '17 at 10:38
  • @moonstar2001 i know how to do panchopchar but i don't have any info on shodopchar pujan. and Ashtopchar pujan is mentioned in Shir Sai Sat Charitra. in chapter no 40. Aug 13 '17 at 10:41
  • small correction - i think it is shodashopachar (16), not shodopachar
    – mar
    Aug 13 '17 at 10:44
  • You can check my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/18408/4732
    – Rickross
    Aug 13 '17 at 10:50
  • @SwiftPushkar But that answer does not even talk about upacharas .
    – Rickross
    Aug 13 '17 at 11:07

Shodashopachar (षोडशोपचार) is described in BrahmaVaivarta Purana (ब्रह्मवैवर्त पुराण) 4.8.10. i.e

Khanda - 4 (Sri Krishna Janma Khanda)
Adhyaya - 8 (Sri Janmastami-vrata-pujopavasa-nirupana Vows Worship and Fasting on Sri Janmastami)
Sloka 10 onwards.

You can go through Sanskrit text with appropriate translation.

Here is sample of Sankshipt Brahma Vaivarta Purana Hindi interpretation by Gitapress:

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I'm here quoting text from here:

Text 10

puja-dravyani caruni sopacarani sodasa phalany astau ca mistani dravyany eva hi narada

puja-dravyani - things for worship; caruni - beautiful; sopacarani - with worship; sodasa - sixteen; phalany - fruits; astau - eight; ca - and; mistani - sweet; dravyany - things; eva - indeed; hi - indeed; narada - O narada.

place there O Narada sixteen articles for worshiping the Lord eight fruits and candies .

Text 11

jati-phalam ca kakkolam dadimbam sriphalam tatha narikelam ca jambiram kusmandam ca manoharam jatiphalam - jatiphala; ca - and; kakkolam - kakkola; dadimbam - pomegranate; sriphalam - Sriphala; tatha - so; narikelam - coconut; ca

  • and; jambiram - jambira; kusmandam - kusmanda; ca - and; manoharam - beautiful.

the eight fruits and candies being jatiphala kakkola pomegranate sriphala coconut jambira kusmanda and manohara.

Texts 12 and 13

asanam vasanam padyam madhuparkam tathaiva ca arghyam acamaniyam ca snaniyam sayanam tatha gandha-puspam ca naivedyam tambulam anulepanam dhupa-dipau bhusanam cai- vopcarani sodasa

asanam - a seat; vasanam - garments; padyam - padya; madhuparkam - madhuparka; tatha - so; eva - indeed; ca - and; arghyam - arghya; acamaniyam - acamana water; ca - and; snaniyam - water for bathing; sayanam - a bed; tatha - so; gandha-puspam - fragrances and flowers; ca - and; naivedyam - offering of food; tambulam - betelnust; anulepanam - ointments; dhupa - incense; dipau - lamps; bhusanam - oprnaments; ca - and; upcarani - articles; sodasa - sixteen.

and the sixteen articles for worship being a sitting place garments padya madhuparka arghya water for acamana water for bathing a bed fragrances flowers food-offerings betelnuts ointments incense lamps and ornaments .

Next mantras provides the method for worshiping, quoting only English translation for further text:

wash his feet put on clean clothes perform acamana say the word svasti" sit on the seat .

place a pot there worship the five deities invite Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear there .

invite Vasudeva Devaki Yasoda, Nanda Rohini Balarama Goddess Sasthi Goddess Vasundhara .

Rohini Brahma Asthami the Sthana-devata Asvatthama Bali Hanuman Vibhisana .

Krpacarya Parasurama Vyasadeva and Markandeya and then meditate on Lord Krsna.

Then a wise person should place a flower to his head and meditate on the description of the Lord spoken in the Sama Veda O Narada please listen and I will tell you that description which Lord Brahma‘ told the Kumaras in ancient times.

I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is an infant boy who is splendid as a dark monsoon cloud who is very handsome whose lotus face is smiling whom Brahma Siva Sesa and Yama glorified for hou many days? whom the kings of sages cannot approach in their meditations whom the munis siddhas and sons of Manu cannot attain whom the kings of the yogis cannot imagine in their thoughts who is the greatest who is without peer who is all-seeing witness.

The follower of this vou should thus meditate on the Lord Then reciting mantras he should offer the flower and all the other articles to the Lord Please hear these mantras.

Here are the mantras O Lord Krsna please accept this all- beautiful jewel throne wonderfully decorated with graceful and colorful pictures and designs.

  • O Lord Krsna please accept these wonderful and colorful garments pure as fire and made by Visvakarma‘ from threads of pure gold
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this golden pot filled with water to wash Your feet Please accept this pure padya water and this beautiful flower.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept these gold pots of honey ghee yogurt milk and sugar.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this durva‘ grass whole rice white flower clear water sandal aguru and musk.
  • O Supreme Lord please accept this clear pure sweet scented acamana water.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this scented Visnu-oil amalaki paste and bath water.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this beautiful bed made of the best of jewels and covered with exquisite cloth.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this scented paste made of musk the powdered tree-roots.
  • O Supreme Lord please accept this fragrant flower so dear to all the demigods and grown from a blossoming tree.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this offering of ripe fruits sugar-candy svastika‘ candy and other candies.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this laddu modaka ghee milk molasses honey fresh yogurt and buttermilk.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept these betelnuts mixed with camphor and other things which I offer to You with devotion.
  • O Supreme Lord please accept this beautiful avira powder made with sandal aguru musk and kunkuma.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this incense made by cooking the nectars of many trees incense very dear to all the demigods.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this splendid and auspicious lamp that destroys the terrible blinding darkness.
  • O Lord Krsna please accept this pure drinking-water scented with camphor and other fragrances water that is the life of all living entities.
  • O Lord Krsna as an ornament for Your transcendental body please accept this garland of many flowers on a fine thread
  • O Supreme Lord please accept these fruits which are the seeds of trees and which make one's dynasty prosper.

In this way at that place one should offer many appropriate things to Lord Krsna.

In brief, Shodash Upachara includes:

  1. Asan
  2. Vasan
  3. Padya
  4. Madhuparka (Panchamrit)
  5. Arghya
  6. Aachmaniya
  7. Snaniya
  8. Shayya
  9. Pushpa
  10. Gandha
  11. Naivaidya
  12. Tambool
  13. Anulepan
  14. Dhoop Dip
  15. Jalapan
  16. Aabhusan

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