panchayatana puja

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Mar 27 11:11:39 CST 2000

In the thread about the role of Ishwara it was noted that an exclusive
approach to God can end up in fanaticism.  Yet the opposite extreme, to
just lump everything together into one insipid mess is not good either.
In the Smarta sampradaya we have a practice that attempts to eliminate
both problems--the panchayatana puja.  We believe it was established by
Shankaracharya himself.

According to the Digvijayas the situation was not good at that
time.  There were many sects and philosophies that misinterpreted or were
completely against the Vedas.  Amongst the astikas much energy was
misspent in arguing over whether Shiva Bhagawan was superior to Vishnu
Bhagawan or both were inferior to Mataji etc.  To alleviate this and to
get people thinking of the Advaita bhava, this puja was started.

In this puja all the five major deities of Sanatana Dharma are worshipped:
Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya and Ganesh Bhagawans.  There are five forms of
arranging Them:

Shiva panchayata

Vishnu  Surya


Devi   Ganesh

Vishnu panchayata

Shiva      Ganesh


Devi       Surya

Surya panchayata

Shiva       Ganesh


Devi        Vishnu

Devi panchayata

Vishnu      Shiva


Surya       Ganesh

Ganesh panchayata

Vishnu      Shiva


Devi         Surya

This way the sadhaka can put his own belowed form of God in center stage
but he never forgets that He has other forms too.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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