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What is Puja?
Types of Pujas

Prayers for Pujas

All Pujas start with a prayer to Lord Sri Ganesh. These prayers are noted below in Sanskrit transliteration with the meanings.

Mantra:
Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva
Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa


O Lord Ganesha of Large body, curved trunk,
with the brilliance of a million suns,
please make all my work free of obstacles, always.

Prayer:
Twameva mata cha pita twameva
Twameva bandhushcha sakha twameva
Twameva vidya dravinam twameva
Twameva sarvam mama deva deva

You are my mother and my father
You are my relative and friend
You are my knowledge and my wealth
You are my all O Lord of Lords.The Gayatri mantra is chanted in the morning face the Sun in Eastern direction by offering water as an oblation. Swami Vivekananda says that if you are going to ask anything from God, this Gayatri Mantra should be your prayer.

Gayatri Mantra:
Aum Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasaya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat

I meditate on the Divine Self, Who has created the Universe, Who is fir to be worshipped, Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light, Who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellects.

Swami Sivananda (http://www.divinelifesociety.org/) says that the Maha Mritunjaya Mantra is a life-giving Mantra. This Mantra is also known as a Healing Mantra in the West. In these days when life is very complex and accidents are an everyday affair, this Mantra comes to your rescue. It wards off death by snake bites, lightning, water accidents, car accidents, air accidents and accidents of all description. Besides, it has a great curative power. Diseases that are believed to be incurable by doctors are cured by this Mantra.

Maha Mritunjaya Mantra:
Om Trayambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanat
Mrityormukshiya Mamritat Om

We worship the Three eyed - one (Lord Shiva ) who is fragrant and
who nourishes well all beings;
may He liberate us from death for the sake of Immortality even as a cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the creeper).

A song of the Yoga of Synthesis by Swami Sivananda, for your daily practice:

Eat a little, drink a little,
Talk a little, sleep a little,
Mix a little, move a little,
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little,
Study a little, worship a little,
Do Asanas a little, Pranayamas a little,
Reflect a little, Meditate a little,
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little,
Write Mantra a little, have Satsanga a little.Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize.
Be Good, Do good; Be kind, Be compassionate.
Enquire 'Who am I?' Know the Self and be Free.

The Universal Prayer by Swami Sivananda:
O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.
Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues. Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy glories.
Let Thy Name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.

Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions by Swami Sivananda:
  1. Get up at 4. a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favorable for meditation on God.

  2. Asana: Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for Japa and meditation for half an hour, facing the east or the north. Increase the period gradually to three hours. Do Sirshasana and Sarvangasana for keeping up Brahmacharya and health. Take light physical exercises as walking, etc., regularly. Do twenty Pranayam.

  3. Japa: Repeat any Mantra as pure Om or Om Name Narayanaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Om Name Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, Sita Ram, Sri Ram, Hari Om, or Gayatri, according to your taste or inclination, from 108 to 21,600 times daily.

  4. Dietetic Discipline: Take Sattvic food, Suddha Ahara (pure food). Give up chilies, tamarind, garlic, onion, sour articles, oil, mustard, and asafetida. Observe moderation in diet (Mitahara). Do not overload the stomach. Give up those things which the mind likes best for a fortnight in a year. Eat simple food. Milk and fruits help concentration. Take food as medicine to keep the life going. Eating for enjoyment is sin. Give up salt and sugar for a month. You must be able to live on rice, Dhal and bread without any chutney. Do not ask for extra salt for Dhal and sugar for tea, coffee or milk.

  5. Meditation Room: Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.

  6. Charity: Do charity regularly, every month, or even daily according to your means, say six paisa per rupee.

  7. Svadhyaya: Study systematically the Gita, the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, Vishnu-Sahasranama, Lalita-Sahasranama, Aditya Hridaya, Upanishads or Yoga Vasishtha, the Bible, Zend Avesta, the Koran, the Tripitakas, the Granth Sahib, etc., from half an hour to one hour daily and have Suddha Vichara.

  8. Brahmacharya: Preserve the vital force (Veerya) very, very carefully. (Observe physical and mental celibacy as best you can.)Veerya is God in motion or manifestation—Vibhuti. Veerya is all power. Veerya is all money. Veerya is the essence of life, thought and intelligence.

  9. Prayer Slokas: Get by heart some prayer-Slokas, Stotras and repeat them as soon as you sit in the Asana before starting Japa or meditation. This will elevate the mind quickly.

  10. Satsanga: Have Satsanga. Give up bad company, smoking, meat and alcoholic liquors entirely. Do not develop any evil habits.

  11. Fast on Ekadasi: Fast on Ekadasi or live on milk and fruits only.

  12. Japa Mala: Have Japa Mala (rosary) round your neck or in your pocket or underneath your pillow at night.

  13. Mouna: Observe Mouna (vow of silence) for a couple of hours daily.

  14. Speak the Truth: Speak the truth at all cost. Speak a little. Speak sweetly.

  15. Reduce your wants. If you have four shirts, reduce the number to three or two. Lead a happy, contented life. Avoid unnecessary worry. Have plain living and high thinking.

  16. Never hurt anybody: Never hurt anybody (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). Control anger by love, Kshama (forgiveness) and Daya (compassion).

  17. Do not depend upon servants: Do not depend upon servants. Self-reliance is the highest of all virtues.

  18. Self-analysis: Think of the mistakes you have committed during the course of the day, just before retiring to bed (self-analysis). Keep daily diary and self-correction register. Do not brood over past mistakes.

  19. Fulfil duties: Remember that death is awaiting you at every moment. Never fail to fulfill your duties. Have pure conduct (Sadachara).

  20. Surrender to God: Think of God as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Surrender yourself completely to God (Saranagati)


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