Shri Sai Baba – Puja and Havan
Puja is the act of showing reverence to God or a Sadguru like Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for devotees is to make a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often this connection is established through an object; an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a photo.
The first step of worshipping Shri Sainath of Shirdi starts with the invocation of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God who was blessed to be worshipped first during puja of any type. “Om Sri Gan Ganapathaye Namaha” is the mantra for Lord Ganesha. We worship Him with several other names like Vinayaka, Vighneswara, Gajanana and Ganapathi.
Materials required for worshipping Lord Ganesha are turmeric powder, saffron, gulal, Rori, camphor, coconut, incense sticks, oil or ghee lamp (Deepak), 21 grass blades (durba), 21 varieties of flowers (if possible), 5 varieties of fruits, Panchamrita (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey and jaggery), Gangajal or water of any holy river can be mixed with locally available water. 2 round betel nuts (pungiphal), unbroken rice (akshata), sandal powder, a new piece of cloth, yagyopaveet (sacred thread), betel leaves, dates and Dakshina. The image or idol of Lord Ganesha is another requirement. After collecting these materials, offerings are made to Him after giving him a sacred bath with holy water. Tilak will be applied with sandal powder, offering of 21 blades of durba will be made, 21 modaks will also be offered as prasad and fruits and flowers will also be offered. Coconut will be broken and offered and ghee Deepak and incense sticks will be lighted.
The second step starts with Navgraha puja: This puja invokes the blessings of all 9 planets. Navgraha puja is a combined Puja for all the nine planets divided into nine parts. It is extremely useful and beneficial because Navgraha puja strengthens benefic planets and increases their positive influence and pacifies malefic planets & neutralizes their negative effects. With the blessing of these nine planets, human beings can attain good health, wealth, prosperity, education and knowledge. Therefore, Navgraha puja forms the second part of all worships.
The third step is the Kalash Sthapan puja: A fresh pot (lota) of silver, bronze, copper or an earthen pot should be taken and clean water should be filled into it up to the neck. Pancha Pallavas (five types of sacred leaves) or mango leaves will be placed on the Kalash and it will be covered. Flowers, durva grass, rice mixed with turmeric (akshata), betel nuts, five gems or a gold coin or any other coin will be put into the Kalash. The Kalash is decorated with Haldi (turmeric powder), Chandan (sandalwood powder) and kumkum (vermillion powder). A coconut is placed on top of the Kalash. The Kalash Sthapan puja involves invoking God or Goddess Shakti in the Kalash or the Pot.
The fourth step is mainly Sai Baba puja: At first, he should be given a sacred bath with Holy water then with Panchamrita (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar). Another bath will be given with Ganga Jal after the Panchamrita bath. The cloth will be offered after the bath (silk chadar). Tilak will be applied with sandalwood powder. Flowers or flower garlands will be offered. Fruits and sweets should be offered. The coconut should be broken and offered. Diya and incense stick should be lighted. The holy 108 names of Shri Sai Baba should be chanted during the Puja. Finally, aarti is done and a havan with 108 names of Sai Baba is performed. Dakshina should be duly paid to the priest conducting the puja and havan.
The fifth step is the distribution of Prasad. The Brahmins who conducted the puja and the participants and audience are served with Prasad. Sai Baba was fond of feeding the poor. Hence, feeding poor people is considered good after the puja and havan of Shri Sai Baba.
Contributed by: Binod Kumar Mishra
Priest: Ram Mandir, Telco Colony, Jamshedpur
I am a Vedic astrologer by profession. I have done Jyotish Acharya from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. I am devoted to my Sadguru Shri Sai Nath of Shirdi. I am also interested in spirituality. I love to guide people.