Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Satyanarayana Puja

Satyanarayana Puja is performed as thanksgiving and beginning of a new dream. A wedding, a house warming, a special birthday, son completes education, entrance to an MS course in the US ... are new beginnings and hence occasions for  Satyanaraya Puja. Very much a Kannada Smartha celebration too.

Preparations begin days in advance. The Lord gets a specially designated and adorned place. Silverware comes out in all its glittery finesse. A kalasha on a silver plate filled with rice, represents Lord Vishnu. Jasmines, roses, dahlias and the over-powering sampige flowers fill up baskets. Fruits and coconuts are in abundance. Cooks come in the previous night. and the enticing aroma of sweets and spices pervade.
A purohit helps the couple perform the rituals.  The couple are sweaty in their new silks ... (and the fans are off for the diya-flame will flicker).
Friends and family pour into the house. There is chatter and movement and an anticipation of a full spread in a banana-leaf meal.The purohit continues through all the din with determined concentration and the couple complete the rituals in serious attention. A vigilant grandma watches out for any omissions on the part of the purohit or the couple!
An important part of this fulfilling day is the special prasad. Sapaada Bhakshya contains 5 elements perhaps to represent the 5 elements for life on earth?
Recipe - Sapaada-Bhakshya
Sooji - fine rava - 2 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 cup
Milk - 2 cups
Banana ripe - 5
Optional - raisins, elaichi powder, kesari
  • Cut banana to thin slices. Boil milk.
  • Roast rava with 2 tablespoons ghee. Add raisins to rava while roasting.
  • Pour in hot milk and cook over very low flame.
  • Add sugar, banana and ghee. Cook over low flame turning constantly.
  • Add flavours cover, take off flame and allow to cool. 
  • Take small handfull and roll into lemon size ball. The prasad is served as small balls. 
I attend a Satyanarayana Puja in my friend's house in Delhi. What a contrast! 
During the puja there is only close family and a few of us close friends... maybe just 10 in all. We are invited to sit around the havan and offer prayers along with the family. The puja takes 20 minutes. The purohit ties threads of blessing on wrists of whoever is interested. This is followed by a simple lunch.
kachori, poori, sooji halwa, two vegetable side dishes and a salad
And that's it.
Somehow for me, this puja made more sense. There is less fanfare and more love and relaxation. What a contrast to the tension ridden affairs of Bangalore!

Puja and Party
Are we mistaking one for the other? 



  1. that was a surprise ending!
    yeahh! that is a big contrast!

  2. love and relaxation ... Puhleeez ... give me a break.

  3. reminded me of ananthana vratha at yours....
    I used to look forward to that day....only because it was an opportunity to meet a lot of the extended family members...
    Pooje was/is a(only?) way to get people to meet each other

    Thanks for the prasada recipe :)

    Dee Gee

  4. o yes dee, i enjoyed the sambrama of ananthana habba too. but ... it was a lot of stress!!!
    and hey friend, i like that puhleez comment. it says so much. hehe
    yes, big contrast. when we tire of one the other appeals!


Hey, thanks for stopping by. Do tell me what you think.