Sri Satyanarayana Swami Vratam is a popular, and traditional ritual of Hinduism, which is performed in many Hinu households on important occasions. This is the best and easiest way to seek the blessings from Lord Vishnu, who is the God responsible for maintenance of this Universe.
The ritual seemed to have gained popularity in modern times because it is considered to have a beneficial effect upon those who perform it with reverence and sincerity.
According to the legends associated with the ritual, several kings and merchants used to perform it in the past to overcome adversity and earn the grace of Satyanarayana swami.
Why people perform this Pooja?
- Before starting anything: Typically Satyanarayana Pooja is performed mostly when we start anything new. Couples before starting their married life, entering into new houses, inaugurations of businesses usually perform this pooja to get the blessings of the Lord and in the belief that after performing this pooja everything goes well.
- Accomplishment of Desires—Satyanarayana pooja is to be performed before and /or after the fulfillment of our desires e.g. if you want to achieve some important milestones in your life like success in Higher Education, Career, Promotion, buying a new vehicle, new house, starting a new business, negotiating big professional deals etc…
- Health Problems—Satya vratam is also performed when someone in the family is not well. In order to maintain general happiness, prosperity and well being of the family Satyanarayana Pooja is performed.
Time and Days to Perform?
- There is no hard and fast rule as to when Satyanarayan Pooja to be performed. Morning or evening time is ideal for Pooja. You can perform it after major achievements in life. So also it is ideal to perform Satyanarayan Pooja once every year. It is a great auspicious occasions to invite friends and relatives.
- Sri Satyanarayana Swami puja is an elaborate domestic form of ceremony performed both in the households and temples on auspicious days.
- It is a custom to have some program of singing, dancing, playing musical instruments etc… with well wisher friends and relatives after the Pooja is over.
- Satyanarayan is about 3.5 to 4 hours Pooja.
- Days: Full moon day, Ekadasi (11th day after fullmoon), the solar eclipse or any other an auspicious day in consultation with Panditji.
- Performed either in Mornings or Evenings based on convenience, but mornings are said more auspicious.
Sri Satya Narayana Puja is a very popular ritual in most parts of India including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bengal, Orissa, Maharasthra and Goa. It is not known clearly when the origin of puja is started, but it is believed that doing this vratam is started for the first time in Andhra Pradesh. This pooja has a special significance in Chitpavan community of Maharasthra. In west Bengal, people perform this puja before house warming ceremony. The Puja is performed by some Buddhists in Bangladesh.
All most all Hindus, throughout Andhra Pradesh have strong faith, belief and devotion towards Srimannarayana an incarnation of Vishnu.
Annavaram: There is a very ancient famous temple for Sri Satya Nrayana Swami at Annavaram, EastGodavari District, A.P, India. This vratam is performed daily in Annavaram. Large numbers of devotees, many with families, visit the temple, offer prayers, perform this Vrata there, right in the temple.
- Ganesh prayer—The puja starts by a prayer to Ganesa to remove all obstacles that may occur as a result of incorrectly performing the puja. This is done by chanting all the names of Lord Ganesha and offering prasada, and showering of flowers and akshatas.
- Navagraha pooja—Another part of the prayer involves a prayer to the Navagraha’s the nine important celestial beings in the universe. They consist of Surya-Sun, Chandra-Moon, Angaraka—Mars, Budha—Mercury, Guru—Brhaspati, Sukra—Venus, Sani—Saturn, Rahu—North node as the head of Svarbhanu and Ketu—south node as the body including tail of svarbanu.
- Satya narayana pooja—Rest of the pooja with Panchamrutha abhishekam to Satya narayana swami idol, Asthothara patanam, Sahasranama patanam. First “panchamrutham” is used to abhishek the diety and then rinsed with water. wiping with new cloth, “prathistapana” (placing the diety in the mandapam) then “alankarana” (decorating with new clothes and flowers and ornaments).
- Chanting Mantras—Chanting Asthotara and Sahasra nama sthotrams.
- Reading 7 stories on Satyadeva—Story of the pooja is to be heard among all those observing and partaking in the puja. The story involves the origin of the puja, the benefits of it, and the potential mishaps that may occur with the forgetting performance of the puja.
- Prasadam—Special Ghee Rava prasadam offering for blessings.
- Harathi—The prayer concludes with an Aratika which consists of revolving a small fire-lit-lamp in the vicinity of an image of the Lord.
After the pooja is over, participants and observers of the puja are required to ingest in the prasada that was offered and blessed by the Lord.
Materials needed for Vratam
Satya Narayana Puja preparation
- Mandapam ( A special place where the lords idols are arranged) square shaped wooden platform
- Kunkum powder, turmeric powder, Rangoli
- Incense sticks, camphor
- Thirty betel leaves, thirty betel nuts, nine coconuts
- Five almonds
- Flowers a lot to decorate the idol, mandapam and for pooja
- One thousand tulasi leaves
- Banana tree as a canopy
- One shawl
- Akshat (rice grains mixed with turmeric powder)
- Sandal wood sticks
- Flower garlands, conch shell, bell, a cloth, a ghee lamp and an oil lamp.
- 1 kg of raw rice
- 1 kg of Sweet semolina (Sirni) for prasadam
- Few one rupee coins
- Gangajalam or water
- White thread
- Blouse cloth
- 5 types of fruits, 2 dozens of Bananas, Milk, Sugar, Honey, Nuts, Raisins, Ghee, Curd, and Elaichi or cardamom.
- The Satya N?r??aya Puja is performed in reverence to the Narayan form of Lord Vi??u. The Lord in this form is considered an embodiment of truth. This puja is conducted to ensure abundance in ones life. Many people carry out this puja immediately after or along with an auspicious occasion like a marriage or moving into a new house or any other success in life. It is believed the ceremony originated in Bengal as Satya Pir and was later adapted into Satya N?r??aya puja.
- The Satya N?r??aya puja can be performed on any day. It is not a puja confined to any festivities. But P?r?im? (full moon day) or Sa?kr?nti are considered to be most auspicious day for this puja.
- Performing this puja in the evening is considered more appropriate. However one can do it in the morning as well. On the day of the puja, the devotee has to fast. After bathing the person can begin the puja.
Recipe for making Shira / Sooji Halwa:
Quantity: 7-8 Plates Shira/Sooji Halwa.
Material: 2 Vati Rava (Sooji), 1¾ Vati Sugar, ½ Vati Ghee, Badam (Almonds), Manuka (Resins), Charoli, Keshar (Saffron), Banana
- Roast Rava/Sooji in a utensil in ghee to make it well done i.e. color changes to brownish.
- Add same amount of water as Rava/Sooji if it is fine,.
- Add water 1½ times the quantity of Rava/Sooji, if Rava/Sooji is coarse.
- Heat & stir well till the water evaporates.
- Add sugar & heat again.
- Add Almond pieces, small circular pieces of banana, Keshar (Saffron), Elaychi (Cardamom) powder etc…
- Control the heat & stir well to ensure that the lumps are not formed; shira is not too thick nor too thin like paste.
Preparation of Panchamrutha—Take finely chopped 5 varieties of fruits, like apple, banana, grapes, pomegranate, orange, and add 1 or 2 liters of milk, sugar, curd, ghee, honey and nuts and raisins. Mix it well.
Sri Satya Narayaya Svami Katha
?r? Satya N?r??aya katha (narrative) comes from the Skanda Pur??a, Rev? kha??a. S?ta Mahar?i is the one narrating these account to ?aunaka Muni, in Naimi??ra?ya to the ?i?his who were performing a 1,000 year yajña for the benefit of mankind lead by ?aunaka. In the stories characters who ignored their promise to perform the puja after their wish had been fulfilled suffered as a result. Therefore one is to deduce that one must stick to the promise given to the Lord in exchange of the desire fulfilled by his grace. One is not to ignore or forget the Lord’s Grace.
Pras?da is symbolic of God’s Grace which Kal?vat? ignored as she learned of her husband’s safe return. One can understand her eagerness in wanting to be re-united with her beloved, but one must understand that if one forgets to be thankful for gifts received from the Lord, one would have to go through another test until one remembers to remember.
When a rich merchant (called S?dhu with suffixes such as Ban?ya, V??i, or Vai?ya in North and Central India) is asked what the boat contains, he untruthfully replies,
Only dry leaves
and the Mendicant says,
Tath?stu – So be it.
The above incident tells us that the spoken word has power. What you speak, manifests. Hence one must not speak an untruth. Especially an inauspicious untruth.
In the last story one learns that no one is higher or lower in status in the eyes of the Lord. Hence one must accord respect to whoever it may be, who is taking the name of God.
S?ta Mahar?i narrated the stories. Once upon a time while travelling the three worlds, N?rada Mahar?i reached Bh?-loka (Earth) and saw the human beings immense suffering. He then went to the abode of Lord ?r? Satya N?r??aya Sv?m? (the benevolent form of Lord Vi??u), who alone can relieve the mankind from the sufferings. There he met the Lord Vi??u with four arms each with ?a?kha, Cakra, Gad? & Padma, adorned with the Tulas? M?l? (garland) around his neck. N?rada Mahar?i then asked the lord for a panacea for the miseries of the world. Lord ?r? Satya N?r??aya told N?rada Mahar?i that there is a vrata (fast) and puja which can be performed by anyone to overcome these obstacles. The Lord said,
“Anyone who performs ?r? Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s Vrata and his Puja in the right way they will get all the pleasures on earth & will reach their goal.”
The fast would result in the fulfillment of his desires and also liberation from the cycle of birth and death into attaining Mok?a (salvation). Whosoever performs ?r? Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s Kath? with a Brahmin and with his family with full rites/rituals, they will be relieved off their sufferings and sorrows. They will be bestowed with wealth & wisdom, they will be blessed with children and they will get overall victory & increased devotion.
For this prayer, one requires ripe bananas, ghee, milk & choori (made with wheat flour, ghee & sugar). After the prayers, all present must have the pras?dam & then take their meals together, & then sing, praise, & chant mantras of ?r? Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?. By doing this, their wishes will be fulfilled. This Satya N?r??aya Vrata in Kali Yuga gives boon (reward) very quickly.
Thus ends the second chapter of Lord Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s Kath?.
*All chant together (say):
?r? Satya N?r??aya ji ki jai.
Swami Narayan, Narayan, Narayan, swami Narayan, Narayan, Narayan.*
Lord Satya N?r??aya then narrated to Devar?i N?rada how and who performed the puja first. In a place named Sunder Kashipur, there used to live a very innocent Brahmin. In hunger & thirst he used to roam begging for his daily bread. When the Lord saw the Brahmin in sorrow and begging daily, he disguised himself as an old Brahmin & asked him,
“On Brahmana, why are you so sad. Please tell me all about your difficulties. Is there any way I could help you?”
The Brahmin replied,
“I am a poor Brahmin & I roam daily for bread. Do you know if there is any way to come out of all this sorrow?”
Then, the Lord, in the guise of a Brahmin, said,
“Lord Satya N?r??aya grants all the wishes of all the people if his puja and fast is performed diligently. If you pray to him & keep his fast you will overcome all your sorrow and get Mok?a”
After telling him all the details of the prayer and the fast, Lord disappeared. The poor Brahmin could not sleep that night. He kept thinking of the fast and the prayer which the Lord had asked him to do. In the morning, he woke up with the thought that somehow he must perform the puja and so thinking went out for his bhik?? (alms). On that day the Brahmin got a lot of money. He used most of this money to buy all the necessary things for the prayer. He called his family and performed Lord Satya N?r??aya’s prayer. By doing so, the Brahmin overcame all his sorrows & became rich. From then onwards, he performed the prayers every month without fail. Thus everyone who performs Lord Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s puja will be relieved from all their sorrows.
The Lord then narrated another story. The same Brahmin now a rich person performed the prayer every month without fail with his family. Once a Brahmin was in between his prayer when a wood-cutter passed by. After keeping the bundle of wood outside the Brahmin’s house, he went in to quench his thirst. The thirsty wood-cutter saw the Brahmin performing the Satya N?r??aya Vrata. He bowed down to the Brahmin & asked him,
“Oh Brahmana, what are you doing, please tell me.”
The Brahmin replied,
“I am performing the vratam of Lord Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?. One who accomplishes this will overcome all obstacles and their wishes will be granted. They will attain wealth and wisdom. I have acquired my wealth also in the same way.”
After hearing about the prayer and drinking the water, the wood-cutter felt happy. He ate the pras?da from the puja and left for his home.
Thinking of Lord Satya N?r??aya in his mind – he said,
“Whatever money I make from selling wood today, I will use it to perform the Satya N?r??aya Sv?m? Vrata.”
So thinking, he loaded the bundle of wood onto his head and left for his home. Along the way home he went roaming in Sunder Nagar selling the wood. On that day, he got four times more money than what he made usually out of the wood sale. Feeling happy, he went and bought all the necessary things for the prayers (i.e. ripe bananas, sugar, ghee, wheat flour, etc.). On reaching his house and after cleaning himself, he called his family and did the prayer with due respect. He became rich and acquired all the pleasures of life. At the end of his life he went to heaven.
This Chapter consists of a childless merchant Called S?dhu and his adventures. There was a wise king named Ulk?mukha. He had a pious and beautiful wife. He would go to the temple daily and would give charity to the Brahmins. One day near the banks of river Madhu??l?, where they were performing Lord ?r? Satya N?r??aya’s vrata, a wealthy merchant was passing by. He anchored his boat, went to the king and asked him,
“Oh King, please let me know the details about the vratam you are performing with such devotion.”
The king replied that he was performing the Lord Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s vrata. He said that one who performs this vratam will gain worldy pleasures and attain salvation. The merchant with much eager asked him the details stating that,
“Oh King, I would like to know the details as I am childless and would like to perform this vrata.”
The king gladly gave the entire procedural details about the ?r? Satya N?r??aya’s vrata and its vidh?nam.
After acquiring the entire details of the vratam, the merchant and his wife decided to perform the fast if they get a child. Sometime later his wife L?l?vat? became pregnant and she delivered a girl who they named Kal?vat?. The merchant’s wife L?l?vat? reminded him about his promise to keep the fast and perform the vratam. The merchant postponed it saying that he would do so when the daughter grows and is ready to be married. The merchant told his wife that during the time of Kal?vat?’s wedding it would be easy to do the fast because at the moment he was busy in his business. So saying he left for his business trip to various villages.
Kal?vat? grew up to be a beautiful girl. When the merchant saw his daughter was of marriageable age; he called the match-maker and requested him to search an ideal match for his daughter. Hearing the merchant’s request, the match-maker reached Kanchan Nagar. From there, he brought the proposal of a young handsome boy. Agreeing to the proposal and after speaking to the boy’s parents, Kal?vat?’s marriage was performed with much fanfare and religious ceremonies & rituals. All this while and even at this time of his daughter’s wedding the merchant forgot about the promise to perform the Satya N?r??aya vratam. So the Lord decided to remind the merchant about his promise.
The merchant, after a few days, left for his business trip with his son-in-law by boat. They anchored their boat in a beautiful village, named Ratnapura ruled by King Candraketu. One day, the thieves robbed the wealth of the king. After robbing they went and stayed at the same place where the merchant was staying. Seeing the guards following them, they left the entire loot near the merchant and then hid themselves. When the guards reached the merchant’s place, they saw all the king’s wealth beside the merchant and his son-in-law. Thinking them to be robbers, they arrested them and brought them before the king stating that they were responsible for the theft. The king, without giving any chance of explaining their case ordered both be confined to behind bars. Even their wealth was confiscated by the king.
While at the merchant’s house, the thieves robbed their entire wealth. This left his wife and daughter to beg for their daily bread. One day while begging for food, Kal?vat? reached a Brahmin’s house. At that time the Brahmin and his family were performing Lord Satya N?r??aya’s puja. After listening to the prayer and taking the pras?dam, she left for home. By the time she reached home it was already dark.
L?l?vat? was worried. She asked her daughter Kal?vat?, why it took her so much time to come home. Kal?vat? replied,
“Oh Mother, today I was at a Brahmin’s house where they were performing Lord Satya N?r??aya’s vratam.”
On hearing this, L?l?vat? recollected the long pending promise by her husband and narrated it to her daughter. She soon began the preparations for the Lord Satya N?r??aya vratam. She did the fast & prayer and asked the Lord for forgiveness. She prayed that her husband and her son-in-law return home safely.
Lord Satya N?r??aya was pleased with the prayer and the fast. One day, he told King Candraketu in his dream,
“Oh King, You must release the merchant and his son-in-law as they are not the robbers. Return their wealth and set them free. If you do not do so, your kingdom will be destroyed.”
In the morning, the king called the people in his court and told them about the dream.
The people agreed that the merchant and his son-in-law should be released by the king. The king asked the guards to bring the prisoners, returned all their belongings and set them free. The king told them that due to their wrongdoings, they had to undergo this suffering, but now there was nothing to fear & they could go back home. They bowed down to the king & left for home.
In this Chapter, S?dhu, the merchant, prayed first and then gave some wealth to the Brahmins before starting his journey for home. When they went little further, Lord Satya N?r??aya wanted to test them. He disguised as an old man and went up to the merchant. The Lord asked,
“What is in your boat? Give me little from there.”
The merchant in arrogance and pride, replied,
“Oh Old man, we have nothing in our boat except hay and leaves.”
On hearing such harsh words from the merchant, the Lord said,
“Your words shall be true.”
So saying, he went from there and sat on the bank of the river. When the Lord went away, the boat started to rise higher in the water. The merchant was surprised at this. He went to check inside the boat. To his shock he saw that his boat which was filled with his wealth now contains only leaves and hay. Seeing this he fainted. When he came to his senses, he said,
“How could this happen?”
His son-in-law meanwhile told him,
“Do not cry over this. All has happened because you spoke harshly to the old man and lied to him. Still, nothing is lost. You could go back to him and ask him for his forgiveness. He may set everything right.”
The merchant, after hearing the words of his son-in-law went in search of the old man. He bowed down before him and with respect said,
“Oh Lord, please forgive me for the words I have spoken.”
So saying, he bowed down with tears of sorrow in his eyes. When the Lord, saw the merchant in his state of sorrow and crying for forgiveness, he said, “Oh foolish person, due to your deeds, you have seen all this sorrow & suffering.” On hearing the S?dhu merchant’s words filled with bhakti, the Lord was happy & he turned the boat full of wealth. When the merchant mounted his boat and saw it full with wealth again, he thanked the Lord & said,
“With Lord Satya N?r??aya’s grace, my wish is fulfilled. When I reach home, I will do his prayer & fast.”
Saying so, he left for his home.
When the merchant saw that his home-town Ratanpur is nearing, he sent a messenger in advance, to his house to inform his wife & daughter of his arrival. The messenger, on reaching the merchant’s house, bowed down to the merchant’s wife & gave them the most awaited news that the merchant & his son-in-law have reached Ratnapura.
L?l?vat? had just finished doing her Satya N?r??aya Puja meanwhile. She told her daughter to finish doing the prayer and then come & receive her husband & her father. Kal?vat? finished doing her puja quickly & without taking the pras?da left to meet her husband. The Lord got angry at her for this, and so he drowned her husband with the boat. When Kal?vat? did not see her husband; she was shocked and she fainted on the floor.
On seeing his daughter and the sudden disappearance of the boat, the merchant was shocked. He prayed to Lord Satya N?r??aya, asked him for his forgiveness and prayed to the Lord to take them out of this difficulty. The Lord said to the merchant,
“Oh merchant, your daughter, in a hurry to meet her husband has left my pras?dam. When she goes back and takes the pras?da with due respect only then she will see her husband.”
On hearing this, Kal?vat? ran home, ate the pras?da offered respects to Lord Satya N?r??aya and came back to meet her husband. When the merchant saw this, he was very happy.
The merchant then performed the Satya N?r??aya’s vrata with his family every month from then onward. They all gained the pleasures of life and after their death they got the ultimate gift of ‘Mok?a’ (Salvation – Liberation from the cycle of life and death).
S?ta Mahar?i continuing his narrative, tells the ??is, the story of a king called Angadwaja. Once, as King Angadwaja was returning from a hunting expedition, he stopped to rest under a tree for a while. Nearby a small group of cowherd boys were playing the game of doing puja. They offered their humble pras?da to the king, who out of pride left it untouched. Subsequently the king suffered great losses and realised that that was due to the contempt he had shown for those children’s puja. The king, realising his mistake, returned to the spot where he had met the cowherds, and with great faith performed the puja with them. The king regained all that he had lost.
S?ta Mahar?i now told the ??is that the Lord ?r? Satya N?r??aya Sv?m? vrata (fast_ is very effective during Kali Yuga and that whoever read or heard this story would be rid of all sorrows and difficulties.
The names of the persons who kept Satya N?r??aya vratam took rebirth are as follows:
- The Brahmin took birth as Sud?ma& in his entire life he served Lord K???a & attained Mok?a (Liberation).
- King Ulk?mukha took birth as King Da?aratha, and in that life he became the father of ?r? R?ma & attained eternity.
- The merchant took birth as King Morad, who cut his son in half & offered to the Lord & got Mok?a.
- King Angadwaja took birth as Kevat, who took Lord R?ma across the river, served him & got Mok?a.
Thus ends the fifth chapter of Lord Satya N?r??aya Sv?m?’s Kath?.
*All chant together (say):
?r? Satya N?r??aya ji ki jai.
Swami Narayan, Narayan, Narayan, swami Narayan, Narayan, Narayan
Symbolism of Sri Satyanarayana Puja
Satyanarayana puja has a hidden symbolism, which many people do not know. Every ritual in Hinduism has two aspects: an outer, visible, ritual aspect and an inner, hidden, spiritual aspect. The ritual performed with gross organs of the body externally is less significant than the ritual performed with the subtle mind and intelligence. The ritual performed with the heart is even more significant than the ritual performed with the body and the mind. This is affirmed in the Vedas itself.
“Internal rituals performed with devotion purify us and prepare us for liberation, while external rituals serve us to remember our duties and obligations in the world and earn good karma”.
Thus, Satyanarayana Swami puja is not about an empty ritual we need to perform to overcome adversity. The satyanarayana puja involves the practice of
- Peace and
- Happiness flow from truthfulness
The ritual by itself does not solve our problems, unless we develop respect for truth. Since it is very difficult to remain truthful in the present age, the internal worship of Lord Satyanarayana becomes relevant and important to our daily lives.
“By speaking Truth and worshipping Truth, one can neutralize the consequences of past action and overcome the adversity” –inner sense of the Vratham.