Hinduism is standing tall today on three tall pillars. In common parlance, these three pillars are known as the Tridev or the Three Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Vishnu is known as the caretaker of the Universe and all its elements. Another name for Lord Vishnu is Narayan. To appease Him, we do this ‘easy to follow’ Satyanarayan Puja. It is a ritual for some and a ceremony for others. It is quite popular in different regions of India and is done with a lot of faith and joy.
Satyanarayan is considered to be a calmer and more benevolent avatar of Lord Vishnu. Many families pray to Satyanarayan so that He helps them tide over adverse situations. The name can be understood as ‘Satya’ i.e. Truth and ‘Narayan’ i.e. Vishnu. He represents truth and justice and personifies the same. Hence, a person doing the Puja is said to be one who unconditionally believes in Truth, whether it is in words or in actions. Truth is a guiding light leading people to wisdom and true happiness. Most people believe that doing this Puja with utmost faith can even lead to Nirvana i.e. Salvation (liberation from the cycle of Birth and Death).
More often than not, Satyanarayan Puja is performed either when we are looking to fulfill a desire or when the desire is fulfilled with the Lord’s blessings,; It is at this point that the Puja is performed to offer our gratitude.
Satyanarayan Katha is an integral part of the Puja and it can be recited by either the Pandit or the family members. The Katha itself speaks of multiple stories, each showing how prayers to Lord Satyanarayan can end all their respective sufferings. Maharishi Naarad during his trip to Earth (Bhu-Lok, one of the Three Worlds (Trilok), saw that the common people were suffering from number of problems that were brought upon them by their own bad karmas. Naarad Muni then shares this with Lord Vishnu who tells him that anyone performing the Satyanarayan Vrat and Puja shall get all that they desire on Earth and also attain salvation after death. He gave detailed instructions on how to do the Puja. Since then it has been passed on from one generation to another.
As discussed above, there need not be a specific day and date to do the Satyanarayan Puja. But if it is done for a specific reason then a Shubh Muhurat should be decided by consulting a Pandit. There are a lot of days according to the Hindu Panchang that are considered to be good muhurats by default. These include Sankranti, Poornima (Full moon day), Ekadashi (11th day after Full Moon day or New Moon Day), and days on which solar eclipses occur. The most auspicious Hindu months to do this Puja include Kartik and Vaishakha. The Puja yields best results when done in the morning or evening.
The main Satyanarayan katha has five sections. Each one of them should begin and end with the following Mantra:
“Shri Satyanarayan Swami ki Jai, Shree Narayan, Narayan, Narayan, Swami Narayan, Narayan, Narayan.”