Shri Satyanarayan Vrat Puja
Ironically, the serious human problems emanate from industrially advanced societies, where comfort and material growth are at their peak. No doubt modern science and technology have contributed immensely to our material development but at the cost of human aspects that contribute to the development of value-based honest and altruistic personalities and society. Mostly, in the news, we are confronted with the stories of violence, rape, wars, cheating, and disasters. The current situation warrants and we may have to think about the way we conduct our affairs. We all aspire for happiness in life, which is a combination of inner peace, economic viability, outer comfort, wellness, and world peace. As people are self-centered (it is not my problem) and motivated by greed, competition, and jealousy, it is difficult to live in harmony and peace, and in this difficult time, the spiritual approaches may provide some hope for a balanced and meaningful lifestyle.
Though religious practices are culturally diverse, most agree on the necessity to manage the undisciplined mind, which harbours selfishness and other sources of problems and to direct the way to a spiritual practice that is disciplined, ethical, peaceful, wise, and respectful to all. It is time to understand our religion and dharm and put our belief into harmony with science and other’s belief because the truth is one. We cannot escape the responsibilities of tomorrow by evading it today.
Scriptures and Rishis of Hindu dharm offer various practical methodologies for empowering and producing breakthroughs and expanding the quality of life to attain a balanced meaningful life. The teachings are based on the selfless karmic theory of fulfilling righteous desires, earning wealth with rightful means, and attaining liberation (freedom). Scriptures suggest living a dynamic and effective lifestyle with four progressive stages: brahmcharya – Learning, Grahastha – Earning, Vanaprashtha – Returning, and Sanyas – U-Turning. Each stage is grounded in transformative living, engaging, discovering blind spots to their effectiveness, and performing their best to attain freedom or bliss. Each stage varies on its customer focus and responsibilities: e.g. parents are our customers for stage 1, spouse, kids, family, friends, the job for stage 2, community and the Self for the stage 3, and the Supreme Soul for the stage 4). Though these words seem heavy in modern times but deep awareness about the self and a firm resolution to make a fundamental shift toward the purpose of human life will help us to get out of our comfort zones and to make progress to attain a fulfilling successful life. The spiritual practices support the expansion of the quality of life in all directions and inspire the ability to think and act beyond existing views and limits in their personal lives, their work, their relationships, and other areas of interest.
Among the diverse scriptures (Shruti, Smrities, Itihas & Puran, and Philosophical texts) in Hindu dharm, the current emphasis is on understanding a common and simple ancient practice of performing the Satyanarayan Puja, which is the part of the Reva Khand of Skand Puran.
The Satyanarayan Puja is performed monthly on the Purnima (full moon day) at the Hindu family homes in Kincardine. Engaged families prepare Prasad and share it with all participants after the Puja.
This Puja is conducted to ensure abundance in one’s life. Sri Satyanarayana vrat ritual is the easiest and most inexpensive way of self-purification and self-surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. Those who observe it with full devotion and faith fulfilled their righteous desires and make study progress toward the true purpose of human life (salvation/moksha).
This ritual starts with Panch dev (Ganesh, Shakti, Sun, Shiv, and Vishnu), Navagrahas (the nine planets), and Shri Satyanarayan Pujan. After Dev pujan, stories about the benefits of the Satyanarayana Puja are read along with their deeper meaning. The vrat (resolve to be truthful), puja, and Katha are dedicated to Lord Vishnu as his manifestation as Lord Satyanarayana. The Lord in this form is considered an embodiment of truth. “Satya” means truth, “nar” means man, and “ayan” means place. Thus, the place where truth resides in a man is called Satyanarayana. This Puja performed with faith helps us to overcome vices such as lust, anger, greed, attachments, negativity, and evil and aspire to attain inner sustainable peace through our thoughtful righteous actions.