Tag Archives: lord Vishnu

Our Story : Satyanarayan puja- Part 38

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

In Nepal, for any big auspicious occasion, people perform a Satyanarayan puja. My mum had planned it to be done a week before the wedding.

Satyanarayan puja (8)

Lord Satyanarayana is another form of Lord Vishnu. The Lord Vishnu in this form is considered an embodiment of truth (Satya). Satyanarayan is worshipped at home with family and friends by reciting the miraculous story of Lord Satyanarayan. This puja is performed before big events like weddings to bless everyone and to keep evil away so there is no problem during the important occasions.

Satyanarayan puja (7)

We had a priest come to our place early in the morning and my mum and aunties made all the preparation. On this auspicious day, we had lots of relatives come over to be in the puja. On the day of the puja, the devotee has to fast and it was going to be my mum, my SIL, me and a few of my cousins. I also asked AS to fast with us. Generally, men don’t do the fasting but but AS was nice enough to be supportive and be in puja with us and fast with us.

Satyanarayan puja (6)

The priest organised all the things for puja and asked us to do certain things from time to time. Here are the details of what you need for the puja and the procedure.

Puja Material

A book on the Puja (in consultation with a Brahmin), a square platform (Chaurang), mango leaves, two new cloth pieces, kalasha, lord’s idol or a photograph, turmeric, kumkum, panchamrut, six coconuts, prasad, four oil lamps, sandal paste, incense sticks, betel leaves, two garlands, areca nuts, turmeric pods, dry dates or almonds, camphor, offerings in form of cash or coins, tulsi leaves and flowers.

Satyanarayan puja (5)

Puja Procedure

The puja consists of five parts. The first one deals with the timing of the vrat and the procedure. The other four parts describe stories of the greatness of the God. The stories convince the importance of the puja. On the day of the puja, it is required to fast and perform the puja in the evening.

Satyanarayan puja (4)

In a clean room, a new clean cloth is spread on an elevated platform (Chaurang) and rice-grains, about a kilo are spread on it, in the centre. A kalash (Copper pot) capped with a new cloth piece is placed and a small idol of the Lord Vishnu is positioned on it.

The puja begins with the lighting of the lamp and praying to the God Ganesha, Lakshmi, Dikpaalakaas, Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Parvathi, Sun, the nine planets and Lord Indra.

Satyanarayan puja (1)

Lord Ganesha and Panchaloka Paalakaas should be positioned to the north of the Kalash and can be worshipped through areca nuts or almonds or turmeric pods or dry dates. Then, the nine planets should be worshipped by placing areca nuts on betel leaves followed by Lord Indra and other Dikpaalakaas.

Satyanarayan puja (2) Satyanarayan puja (3)

Later the Lord Satyanarayana‘s idol or image on betel leaf should be worshipped by Panchamrut (a mixture of ghee, milk, sugar, honey and curds) abhishek (sprinkle). At the end of the puja, there is udvaasana, a formal way of concluding the puja.

Satyanarayan puja (9)

After the puja, we all had lunch and rested for a while. That day I didn’t stress much but enjoyed being at home with everyone and staying positive that our wedding would go smoothly and would be good.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian


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Go to Part 39


According to Newari tradition, girls are married three times in their lives.

First one is called ‘Ihi’ then ‘Bara Tayegu’ and then the real human marriage.

I am writing about the first marriage in Newar girl’s life which is called ‘Ihi’. “Ihi’ is also known as Bel Bibaha in Nepali. It is performed before a girl turns 13 years old. It is a compulsory ceremony every girl has to go through in most Newar community.

I too had the ceremony held for me but I can’t remember a lot about that day. I was quite small, I think 7 or so years old when the ‘Ihi’ was held for me.

In ‘Ihi’ ceremony, the girl is married to Lord Vishnu with the bel fruit (wood apple) as a witness. This ceremony is performed to save the girl from evil and malicious spirits but the most important reason is to protect the girl from unpleasant humiliation of widowhood.  As I mention in my post Widows in Nepal, it is really hard for the women in Nepal when they become widows. They had to take part in ‘Sati’ process in the old days, so in order to save their daughters from ‘becoming Sati’, Newars started a tradition in which they married their daughters to Lord Vishnu first. So even if her human husband dies in the course of her life, she doesn’t need to take part in ‘Sati’ ritual since her first husband, Lord Vishnu is still alive.

Some also believed this tradition allowed women to be more independent of their husbands. They can divorce or become widows without losing reputation.

Ihi is performed in mass over two days. It is normally organised by priests in their own house or backyard or someone can choose to host it in their house.

The first day is called Dusala Kriya. On this day, young girls have to bathe with pure water and are dressed like a bride in ankle length skirt, blouse and shawl. These days, you will see them as mini versions of traditional Nepali brides. Then all the girls will gather in the priest’s house. They sit on the floor in a long line with their mothers. Then the Puja begins where these girls go through sequences of ritual actions of purification. They have to worship images of Suvarna Kumara, the golden Bachelor which is an aspect of Lord Vishnu. It normally takes 5-6 hours for this ceremony to be over.

The second day is the most important day of the ritual  ‘Kanyadan’ (giving away of the daughter by the father) is performed on this day. For this day as well, the young girls are dressed as brides and taken for the Puja. On this day, they wear some special ornaments as well.

There will be a special person who cut toe nails for all the girls  and then paint the feet with red colour called ‘Alah’. Also at the end of the day, ‘Thaa bu’ , a plate which had eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, Roti, meat, fish and much more for the girls to eat is served like in the real wedding.

There will be more Puja performed and the day will end by the father doing a ‘Kanyadan’ and giving away his daughter to Lord Vishnu in marriage with the Bel fruit as a witness.

‘Ihi’ is one of the many tradition the Newar community in Nepal follow and is unique to them.