SATYA NARAYANA: Satya means Dhrama and Narayana is a reference to Lord Vishnu.
Satyanarayana is the chief deity of Satyanarayana puja. He is an extremely
benevolent form of Lord Vishnu. Lord Satyanarayana is Vishnu’s embodiment of
self...-mortification, Tapas. He is the sacrificial Vishnu and has his white islands as His Habitation. He represents the Navaha yajna which is continued throughout the year. Thus he is always awake. He is
also not depicted with a consort.
One can say that Satya Narayanan is
the Narayanan form of Lord Vishnu. In this form, Vishnu is considered as the
embodiment of Truth. He is commonly worshipped by Hindus in their homes and as
community prayers in what is called Satyanarayana Puja. Gracious stories of Lord
Satyanarayana are recited. Some of these stories were told by Lord Vishnu
himself to the sage Narada.
Lord Vishnu is Vaikuntha Nadha, the Lord of
Paradise; Anantha Sayana, the Lord lying on the celestial waters; Sweta Dvipa,
the inhabitant of the white island and Golokanadha, the Lord of Goloka. These
are the four dwelling places of Vishnu. The Lord of Goloka has two arms but
their others are four armed. Lord Vishnu of this world is referred as Govinda.
It is also another name for his avatar, Sri Krishna. Govinda appears with His
Lakshmi is the consort of Samudra Sayana Vishnu. She is
considered as Padma or Pritvi born of the sea having ‘mrit paramanu lakshana’ or
quality of terrestrial atoms. Vaikunthanatha has five consorts; Pritivi, Tulasi,
Gana, Saraswathi and Lakshmi. Govinda Vishnu’s wife is Srimati Radharani. As
Vakjothi, Radharani is the spendour of Vak or speech. Radha is also the carrier
of jnana or Jnana Vahini. The Lord shows his extensions and his omnipotence,
through Radharani as pleasure potency.
DEPICTION: Lord Satyanarayana
is just Lord Vishnu in His standing position. Like Vishnu, Satyanaraya always
carries his four symbols white conch shell, rotating disk, golden mace, and
lotus flower with four arms, the symbol of watery elements sitting or standing
on a lotus flower or on water.
The Shankh or Conch is named Panchjanya.
It is the fountain that evolves the five elements, i.e., water, fire, air, earth
and sky or space. When blown it produces a sound that is associated with
primeval sound from which creation developed. The Chakra or Discus of Vishnu
named Suddarshana has six spokes and symbolizes six-petal lotus. It represents
the limitless controlling all the six seasons and is the fearful weapon that
cuts off the heads of all demons.
The Lotus of Vishnu is named Padma.
It is the symbol of purity and represents the unfolding of creation. It is
Sathya or the Truth. The element from which emerge Dharma, the rules of conduct
and Jnana or knowledge.The Gada or Mace of Vishnu is named Kaumodaki. It
represents the elemental force, from which all physical and mental powers are
SKANDA PURANA: Shri Sathyanaranayana katha is from Skanda
purana, Reva kaanda. The narrator is Sage Sutha Pauranika. It was prescribed to
Rishi Narada by Lord Vishnu as an antidote to all evils and suffering. After the
ritualistic pooja the Satyanarayana katha is narrated. Shounakadi Maharishi and
others were performing a 1000 year yajna for the benefit of all mankind and not
for personal benefit. Shounakadi asks the sage Sutha Pauranika an important
question. "When a man has a desire, how can he fulfill that ethically sound
desire? By worshipping whom, by what vrita, or tapas?
Sage Sutha was
pleased with the question. Afterall the participants in the yajna had abandoned
their homes and all desires. Sutha replied that it was the same question that
Lord Shiva asked of Lord Vishnu. Once Lord Shiva comes to Bhuloka after his
usual travels. Nearly everywhere Shiva finds people suffering some pain,
suffering or misery from past karmas. They did not know how to extricate
themselves from these untold miseries, which had a multiplier effect. After
these observations, he continued on his travels and reached Vaikuntha. He asks
Narayana for a right answer for people to be relieved of their ignorance.
Narayana understands the purpose of Siva’s question for the benefit of the
world by seeking an answer from him as the Preserver. He said: Yes, there is a
vrata called Sri Satyanarayana Vrata which is not known to the inhabitants of
the Bhuloka. While it remains a secret and your (Siva’s) interest being the
benefit of mankind, I shall narrate the vrata to you. It is open to everyone and
does not need a priest or expert to worship to the Lord. It is not barred by
caste or creed. Those observing this vrata will eventually get Moksha.
The sage Narada asks Lord Vishnu how the vrata is to be performed. The Lord
says, this can be done any day, in the evening. Gather friends and relatives and
perform this vrata with faith and devotion. The night should be spent in Bhajans
and praise of the Lord. All those attending Pooja should be given food and
respect. Thus the performer will get all his wishes fulfilled.
SATYANARAYANA PUJA: This puja assures abundance in one’s life. This puja is a
ritualistic religious observance in the name of Lord Satyanarayana performed any
day usually done on the Paurnami day of every monthor on a Sankranti. It is also
done on special occasions and during times of achievements as an offering of
gratitude to the Lord. Such rituals are part of major or auspicious days.
Abisheka of the deity is done first with Panchamruta which is a mixture of ghee,
milk, sugar, honey and curds.
The Vrata begins with the lighting of the
lamp, a symbolic gesture of lighting the lamp of devotion in one's heart. Then
we pray to Lord Ganesha, the dispeller of obstacles, Lakshmi, the giver of
prosperity, Vishnu, the sustainer, Lord Shiva and Parvathi, the primordial
couple who dance their way to cosmic rhythm, Sun God, the giver of good health,
the nine planets and Ashtadikpaalakas including Lord Indra.
Ganesha and Panchaloka Paalakaas should be positioned to the north of the
Kalasha and can be worshipped through areca nuts or almonds or turmeric pods or
dry dates. Later, the nine planets should be worshipped by placing areca nuts on
betel leaves: Surya-sun; Chandra-moon; Chevaai-Angaaraka; Budha- Mercury;
Guru-Jupitar; Shukra-Venus; Sani-Saturn; Rahu-demon snake and Ketu. Chanting the
Lord's namah throughout the vrata brings several benefits. One is boosted with
spiritual thoughts of the Lord.
It is said that that the worshipper
will get all his accomplishments fulfilled. One will be able to reduce the bad
effects of previous karma phalas. The prayer concludes with an Aarti, which
consists of revolving a small fire-lit-lamp in the vicinity of an image of the
Lord. Thereafter all those present participate in the Vrata katha or story
telling. The vrata can be performed by every devout individual by inviting
friends and relatives to ingest the Lord’s prasada.
Satyanarayana Swamy at Annavaram, near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is an
ancient temple. This vratam is performed daily there. Large numbers of devotees,
many with families, visit the temple, offer prayers, perform this Vratam there,
right in the temple. This place is one of the very important pilgrimages. The
deity here is also called Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy
Annavaram is said to be a blessed bhumi. ."Anna" means whatever you say or you
desire and "Varam" means boon, hence whatever you desire will be given as boon
by the Deity. So, Annavaram is a place where one´s desire or wished gets
fulfilled. There is another theory as per the puranas, the presiding Deity of
this place blesses the devotees with Ananya Varam or Countless Boon, that´s why
the place is called Annavaram. Annavaram is the shrine to Lord Veera
Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy.
Om Namo Narayana
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi