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A Full 16-Offering
English Language Puja

Included below is an English-language puja outline by Volmarr Wyrd. It is based very closely on traditional Hindu pujas, and while this one is written for Narayana - a form of Vishnu - it can easily be adjusted to suit any Deity preferences.
This is a full-length puja, requiring a full retinue of 16 offerings. This is for daily use by those of a more ambitious nature, or for use on special occasions.


A Full 16-Offering Puja (to Vishnu)



Getting Ready For Puja

Clean the altar and gather the ritual items needed.

Items needed...

2 small cups of water each with a small spoon. Fill both with spring
water - one is used for achamanam, the other for giving the deity water.
One extra, small pot, called the throw away pot.
A Bell.
A stick of incense and standing incense holder.
Sandalwood paste.
A oil lamp. A cotton wick soaked in ghee or oil is best. A small
candle can be substituted for this.
A camphor lamp.
A mixture of yogurt, honey, ghee, and milk in a small container.
Vegetarian food to offer. It can't contain any meat, fish, eggs,
onion, garlic, or mushroom. Also it has to be fresh and not tasted by
anyone (can't taste the ingredients while cooking it if it's cooked
foods. If you have nothing else offer a small amount of nuts or some
A lighter or matches to light the lamps.
A round try to hold all these items.
A deity photo or statue of Vishnu or Balaji.


Place one small pot (called the throw away pot) in front of the deity
for pouring offered water into. Normally this is a curved side vessel.

When you are offering you ring the bell in your left hand and always
use your right hand to offer items. It takes a bit of practice to do it.


The most simple thing to do is write the ritual out on note cards
and you can use these to read what to do in the ritual.


It's best if the ritual is done after bathing but always when clean. If nothing
else wash your feet and hands before performing it.


AUM can be chanted similar to OM, or it can be chanted AAAA-UUUU-MMMM.


Sriman Narayana is a common name of Vishnu.


1 Pour water onto left and right hands and feet to wash.
2 Pour water on right hand, chant "Aum Kesavaya svaha" and sip.
3 Pour water on right hand, chant "Aum Narayanaya svaha" and sip.
4 Pour water on right hand, chant "Aum Madhavaya svaha" and sip.
5 Pour water on right hand to rinse

Invite God

"Aum. O Lord dressed in very nice yellow clothing covered in jewels.
Having a beautiful always smiling face. Eyes like lotus petals.
Wearing a helmet covered with valuable jewels. Beautiful earrings, and
curling hair. With four arms all reaching to your knees. With the mark
of the resting place of the Goddess of Fortune on your chest. I
meditate on you, Lord."

State Purpose

"Now at this auspicious moment, time and place, on this wholly
auspicious day, so that I may realize the fullness of Your grace, to
the best of my ability in (place) this
(morning/afternoon/evening/night) Sriman Narayana puja I shall perform."

Put some rice or flower petals at the feet of the deity.

Purify Space

"This pure water purifies everything and drives away anything unholy"

Sprinkle water around and on self and on each of the items to be offered, on the bell, lighter, and any other items to be used in the puja (but not on the deity).

The Start of Offering 16 Things:

While making the offering of all of these 16 things you should be ringing a bell in your left hand and always always make the offering only with your right hand.

1 Give God a Seat

"I now meditate on the Lord Sriman Narayana. I have prepared for you a
jewel studded throne with soft cushions to sit upon, Lord Sriman

Offer flower petals or rice three times before the feet of the deity.

2 Welcome God

"Please dear Lord feel comfortable in my humble dwelling. If there is
anything that you would like please ask. I hope that your stay here
will be to your liking dear Lord."

Offer flower petals or rice before the feet of the deity.

3 Wash God's Feet

"Dear Lord I humbly bathe each of your lotus feet"

Offer water to deity's feet and then pour it into the throw away pot.

4 Wash God's Hands

"Dear Lord I humbly wash all of your lotus hands"

Offer water to all of the deity's hands and then pour it into the throw away pot.

5 Offer Water For Sipping

"Dear Lord I offer you this water for sipping"

Offer water to the deity's mouth and then pour it into the throw away pot.

6 Offer Refreshment

"Dear Lord I offer you this refreshing drink"

Offer the mixture of yogurt, honey, ghee, and milk by placing it near the deity and motioning to it.

7 Bathe God

"Now I bathe you, beloved Lord, with this pure water"

Pour water on deity or if this is not possible offer it before the deity and then pour into the throw away pot.

8 Offer New Clothes

"Dear Lord I now offer you new garments to wear"

If the deity is the kind that has clothes now is the time to change to new clothes or otherwise just offer flower petals or rice before the deity's feet.

9 Offer Jewels and Other Decorations

"Dear Lord I now offer you jewels and other decorations for your person"

If you have decorations to offer to the deity now place them on or you can place a garland of flowers on the deity or offer flower petals or rice before the feet of the deity.

10 Offer Sandalwood

"O Lord Sriman Narayana I anoint You with this divine and supremely pure sandalwood paste"

Put paste on deity's third eye with the middle finger of the right hand.

11 Offer Flowers

"I now offer this auspicious flower for your enjoyment O Lord Sriman

Offer a flower or flowers before the feet of the deity or if you don't have this offer rice.

12 Offer Incense

Light the incense stick.

"I now offer this fragrant incense for your pleasure, Lord Sriman

Offer incense with three circles around deity.

13 Offer Lamp

Light the oil lamp.

"I now offer this flame for illumination, O Lord Sriman Narayana"

Offer lamp or candle flame with three circles around deity.

14 Offer Food

"Now I offer you this pure tasty food for your enjoyment, O Lord Sriman Narayana"

Circle a spoon of water over the food and sprinkle it with it.

"Aum Sriman Narayana Svaha"

Waft the food essence to the deity by waving right hand over in in the direction of the deity.

"Aum Sriman Narayana Svaha"

Waft the food essence to the deity.

"Aum Sriman Narayana Svaha"

Waft the food essence to the deity.

"Please dear Lord Sriman Narayana accept this humble food offering"

15 Offer Camphor Flame

Light the camphor lamp

"Dear Lord I offer you this light which shines upon your form, making it more visible to my eyes"

Hold the burning lamp before the deity and slowly wave it before Him and look at how the light illuminates the deity's form (take darshan of the deity as the light is upon him).

16 Bow Before God Offer Prayers

Now bow down before the deity and offer any prayers and chant mantras,
do japa (chant mantras on beads), and/or sing bhajans (devotional songs).

The most simple mantra if you don't know any others is AUM. You can
chant this several times and meditate for a short while.


"Now to the best of my ability I have performed this (morning,
afternoon, evening, night) puja and worshiped you dear Lord Sriman
Narayana. May it be enjoyed by You. Surrounded by Your presence, we
place ourselves in your care, loving Sriman Narayana."

"O beloved Lord Sriman Narayana, I really don't know the proper means
of invoking You or communicating with You as You are. A full knowledge
of priestly rites has not been imparted, so you must overlook and
forgive any mistakes or omissions. I know little of mantras or pious
conduct, and I am a stranger to bhakti. Nonetheless, You must forgive
me and, whatsoever worship I have been able to do, accept it as exact
and complete. You are my only refuge, my loving Sriman Narayana. With
your blissful nature, Lord Sriman Narayana, I beseech you, protect
those who pray. Aum shanti shanti shanti."

Bow down and then clap hands three times after rising.

OM GAM Ganapatiye Namaha! OM DUM Durgaye Namaha!

Devi Spring, author and compiling editor. Copyright Devi Spring 2006.