Puja



Previous
Kaal Sarp Dosh Nivaaran Puja
Artist: Pt. Rajendra Prasad Kimothi , Ph.D.
Once upon a time there was a great war between the gods and the demons. The gods sought the advice of Lord Brahma who told them to churn the oceans in order to obtain the elixir of life that would make them immortal. When this nectar emerged, Lord Vishnu took the form of a female celestial being and promised to distribute the nectar to both the gods and the demons. The gods were made to sit in a row on one side and the demons on the other side. Lord Vishnu, having no intention of distributing this elixir to the demons, started from the gods' side. One demon saw through this trick and came and sat down among the gods. As Lord Vishnu started pouring the nectar in the demon's mouth, the other gods recognized the fact. Sun and Moon, who were sitting beside this demon, cut off his head before he could drink this elixir. However, since some drops had gone down the throat of this demon, even the two severed parts became immortal. The head is called Rahu and the tail part is called Ketu. Both of these are treated as planets in Indian astrology.

Since both these planets are demonic in nature, they have the propensity to cause great harm in a person's life. Astrologically, the kaal sarpa dosh occurs when all the planets in a person's horoscope lie between these two planets. The kaal sarp dosh nivaran puja is conducted to mitigate the malefic effects of such a placement. This album contains the complete puja including the nava naag puja.

Shani Puja
Artist: Pt. Rajendra Prasad Kimothi , Ph.D.
Shani, which is the planet Saturn, is one of the nine planets that are taken into account while casting a person's horoscope. As per Indian astrology, Shani is represented by the colour black, a lame person or a person doing menial jobs. Shani also represents the highest level of intellect, hard work, lawyers and statesmen. Thus, for a person to rise in life as a great lawyer or politician he must have the divine grace of Shani bestowed upon him/her. A well-placed Shani in the horoscope can give immense wealth and power to the person. A badly placed Shani in the horoscope, on the other hand, leads to abject poverty, ill health and disrepute.

Astrologically, the cycle of Shani is thirty years, which keeps repeating itself through a person's life. Hence, a person with a normal life span will probably go through two or three cycles of Shani. During every cycle, there is period of seven and a half years called the Saade Saati period which is generally a time of hardships. Indian astrologers seriously recommend regular puja of Shani during this period.

Shani is ruled by Lord Shiva in his Mahamrityunjaya form. Thus, when a person wishes to please Shani, he/she should do so by praying to the Mahamrityunjaya form of Lord Shiva. Whether it is done to mitigate the ill effects of a badly placed Saturn, or to enhance the benefits of a well placed one, Shani puja, should be performed every Saturday.

This album contains all the ingredients that are required for seeking the divine grace of Shani. The shani aavaran puja incorporates the 108 names of Shani. This is followed by the shani rakhsa stavam, which is a prayer to Shani asking for his protection. Next is the mahakaal shani mrityunjaya stotra which, according to the Purans, was a prayer composed and sung by King Dashrath, the father of Lord Rama. The album ends with the shani stavaraaj, the shani stotra, and a prayer for forgiveness.
Havan
Artist: Pt. Ved Prakash Phondani & Manuji
Swami Dayanand Saraswati was one of India’s greatest social reformers during the nineteenth century. His aim was to get rid of the stranglehold that the braahmans (the upper castes) had on various religious practices. Swami Dayanand was also against the prevalent custom of not allowing women to chant the Vedic mantras. Therefore, he laid down the guidelines of doing a havan or yagya where, everyone, including women, could participate by reciting Vedic mantras and doing the homam (the offering in the sacred fire). He wanted to break the existing social order with regards to the performance of religious rites and empowering all sections of society, irrespective of caste or sex. Swami Dayanand expounded his ideas in a treatise called “Satyarth Prakash” (Light of Truth), in which he laid down the ten principles of righteous living.

This album contains the shlokas that Swami Dayanand compiled from the Vedas, particularly, the Saamveda, Rigveda and Yajurveda. The contents include the method for making the ‘havan kund’, the method for making the samagri (offering) along with step-by-step instructions on how to conduct the havan. Immense effort has gone into researching the original texts that were used by the Swami and we have relied on , ‘Satyarth Prakash’, ‘Arya Parva Paddhati’, ‘Panch Yagya Prakash’ and ‘Dainik Yagya Paddhati.’ Our hope is that those who do not have access to Vedic pundits can do the havan by using this album.
Aarti
Artist: Shubha Mudgal, Gundecha Brothers, Jitender Singh, Soma Singh, Pt. Hari Nath
Aarti, also called araatrika or niraajana, is the last ritual of a puja or havan. It is the practice during which one expresses one’s devotion for the deity and is transported to a state of bliss. An aarti is also a puja in itself. Each aarti is specific to a God or Goddess and extols the virtues of that particular deity. Finally, an aarti is a prayer for forgiveness. By singing the aarti at the end one is asking the God being worshipped, to forgive acts of commission during the puja or havan.

An aarti is traditionally done by placing on a plate, a lighted earthen or metal lamp, filled with ghee (liquefied butter), along with flowers and uncooked rice. While other devotees sing the aarti, one person moves this decorated plate in a clockwise direction in front of the idol. This practice, it is believed, transfers the blessings from the deity into the lamp. At the end of the aarti, the devotees cup their hands around this flame and put their hands to their foreheads, thus symbolizing that the blessings have now been received by them.

Aartis are normally done twice a day – at sunrise and sunset. There are two reasons for this practice. First is the Vedic concept of sandhya, which means the joining point of two different times of the day. Dawn is when night joins day, and dusk, when day joins night. It is said that these are the two best times to offer prayers, and hence also the best time to do aarti. The second reason is the belief that it is at sunrise and sunset when evil forces are at their greatest strength. Doing an aarti at this time protects one from these malevolent forces.

This album contains a collection of aartis – some popular and some rare. By listening to these aartis, people who are not familiar with Vedic chanting or rituals can still experience the Divine grace.
Previous