Saturday, March 28, 2015


     I was invited for a function and it happened to be the religious one where there was TH SATYANARAYAN KATHA. So this one is for those who have some idea about the Indian Pooja. I met some one there . The Satyanarayan Katha or the VRATA is done on many different occasions. But in this incidence , there was priest who did the narration of the Katha or the story and directed the host to perform the ritual. So this gentleman turns to me and says , 'this is good foe the priests , who can make money.' I could have kept quiet , but I did not. I just felt that he did not understand the real meaning of this VRATA or the pooja. So I did explain him some the points , but then I thought of writing this blog.I am going to try to explain the pooja as I understand it.
     So to begin , this is the ritual in which we worship the Lord Vishnu. We do the usual pooja and then we listen or read the 5 chapters of story telling about this ritual. As  in any Hindu ritual . we first invite Lord Ganesha.He is the deity who is worshiped first. There are many reasons as to why we do this . But the one that I like as explanation,is that the the Lord Ganesha removes all the obstacle ,when we want to do any thing. But more than that it is the controller deity of the first Chakra called  MULADHAR. So if we want to uplift our self in any way we need to start with the lowest Chakra and until we conquer it ,we can not go any higher. So we worship the Lord Ganesha.
     Then we invite the 9 planets and bless us . The Hindus believe that the planets and their positions control our lives. So this to some extent the environment that we can hope to have no outside obstacles. The worship that we do is called  Shodash pooja , which means it has 16 steps. Without going in to these steps. I would just say that we HUMANIZE the God . So as we would treat the guest that comes to our house ( or as we are suppose to treat) we treat the God . We offer him water to get washed up , then the bath then the various things which could be considered cosmetics in this world are offered . And then finally the food and then the 'after dinner' treat.
   We also worship various other things , commonly used in our worship and each is symbolic of deeper meaning. But today I am talking about the Satyanarayan Pooja. So then after worshiping the Lord Vishnu or Krishna, we then read the KATHA or the story. There are 5 chapters and each one has different stories. When one reds them it may not sound any different than any other Indian pooja. But the difference is what I am trying to tell.
     In the Satryanarayan Katha , there are several stories in which the main characters are different. But if one looks carefully, they belong to 4 typical classes of Indian Religion . Brahman, Kshatriya,Vaishya and then Shudra.So the message is that ANY class of person can do this pooja. (The classes are based on type of soul development and not which family one is borned.) If one looks at the stories carefully each class has own problem or the attitude. When the firewood seller, who belongs to the Shudra class, was told to do the pooja , he did not question, and followed the ritual as was told to him. But the Vaishya,did not do anything.Instead like any  businessman,he bargained with the God , (If I would get a child , then I will do the Pooja ).The king  has big ego and he refuses to worship the God ,. But then when he gets in trouble , he starts praying. Again this is indicative of different mental attitude of different souls and different Gunas .
    The third interference is that of reincarnation. All the main characters in these stories , are reincarnated in next life at a HIGHER level . (But not reached the Kaiwalya or the Nirvana).So the old, poor Brahman became close childhood friend of Lord Krishna >(though he continued to be poor), the firewood salesman become the guy who helped Lord Rama to cross the river. The one of the Kings became the father of the Lord Rama , called Dasharath, and so on .
     So the moral of the story is that , this worshiping can be done by any one needing any help from any priest, it showed the different attitude of different classes based on different Gunas, and it tells us the principle of reincarnation. 


  1. Hi Nice points

    Without understanding the deeper meaning, how can one really transcend? How can this pooja help them? How are the stories really helpful? The summary is always that someone recommends the vratha to a candidate, and if the person doesnt conduct, the God comes to teach him a lesson. looks like a fairy tale to me.

  2. The Katha is a conversation between Lord Vishnu and Narad Muni. The Divine Sage had travelled various loks and after going through mrityu lok observing the sufferings that humans were facing in every life due to past karmas he was disturbed and asked one question to Lord Vishnu. How can the common person overcome the travails in this age of Kalyug - the machine age? The different stories have many meanings. Among others is that truth and honesty in our daily actions - mental, vocal and body - towards purity and soul refinement will lead to happiness and finally to Swarg Lol. These are simple messages but of utmost importance. The meanings are multiple and the more deeper we go in the stories the highest messages of Divine nature will be clearer. As Lord Vishnu says the Pooja/Katha of Swami Satyanarayana is simple way to Moksha. 🙏🙏