At Sri Narayani Peedam and Sripuram, many types of poojas (rituals) are conducted throughout the day. These are open to locals, pilgrims, and visitors from all over the world.
Pooja (puja in Sanskrit) is a Tamil word that means adoration, honor, and worship. Pooja refers to many Vedic rituals based on nature generally performed in temples or homes. The ultimate purpose of pooja is to facilitate a connection with the soul through offerings of love. Offerings of love bring peace and joy, opening people’s hearts to follow the dharmic path. On a larger scale, the prayers and rituals conducted by Sri Sakthi Amma are for universal peace and well-being.
Pooja is a way to express affection toward the Divine and to transmit blessings to the world. In the pooja ritual, offerings may be presented to a deity, the Vedas may be chanted, and blessings are always received. Because nature is considered divine, much reverence is bestowed upon trees, plants, animals, the sun, the moon, and the planets. The acknowledgment and worship of these may be part of the pooja ceremony. Reawakening ancient Vedic rituals is an essential facet of Amma’s work. For those who already have their devotional path, beholding these rituals may encourage and inspire them to go deeper within their faith and practice.
Sponsoring pooja at the temples is a practical way to create peace for the world and in one’s life, earn merit for oneself and one’s community, and make a spiritual offering with a powerful sankalpa (intention). Your contribution helps support the costs of the physical offerings in the form of food, herbs, flowers, etc., and facilitates the priest’s ceremonies on your and your loved ones’ behalf. Whether you want to fortify specific prayers or support new moon or full moon rituals and particular festivals, the opportunities are auspicious and manifold.
For an extensive array of pooja offerings happening daily and monthly at Sri Narayani Peedam and Sripuram, along with their corresponding sponsorship opportunities, please visit:
“The ritual of pooja is an expression of love for the Divine, for Mother Nature.
Pooja creates positive energy in the world.”
–Sri Sakthi Amma
Abhishekam is an ancient purification ritual practiced in temples across India. The beautiful and elaborate process of abhishekam is accompanied by Vedic chanting.
Offerings such as water, coconut water, milk, curd, honey, fruits, sandalwood powder, turmeric, sacred ash, rice, and thulasi (holy basil) are used in the ritual bathing of the deity. It is an offering of love and pure devotion, symbolically cleansing one’s inner self with positive thoughts.
Alankaram is the adorning of the deity, where she is lovingly dressed and decorated. This is symbolic of beautifying one’s self with positive thoughts.
Aarthi is an ancient practice of offering lamps to a deity. Symbolically, the flame is infused with the Divine’s love, blessings, and energy. The light signifies the dispelling of darkness and ignorance in a person’s life and the universe, bringing wisdom, hope, and illumination.
“All the spiritual things you do like ‘poojas,’ ‘bhajans,’ and ‘dharma’ will create good vibrations. These vibrations can change the people around you, even if they are not aware of these things and even if they don’t want to change.”
— Sri Sakthi Amma
Yagam (yagna or homam) is an ancient sacred fire ritual where auspicious items such as ghee (clarified butter) are offered into the sacred agni (fire) and to the devas (celestial beings). Vedic chants accompany this. Depending on the type of yagam, items offered may vary, with each item holding specific symbolism. The purpose of this ritual is for loka kalyan (the benefit of humankind).
Gho Pooja (ritual honoring the cow) is conducted daily at Sri Narayani Peedam. In Hinduism, Kamadhenu or Gho Mata (Divine Mother Cow) is revered as sacred. The cow serves humanity unconditionally all its life. Because of this, the cow is referred to as the ‘Universal Mother.’ Her essential qualities are purity and generosity. The cow’s giving nature, providing and sustaining her calves equally, also supports human life. It is believed that within the body of Gho Mata, all the forms of the gods reside.
Gaja Puja takes place every morning. The Siddhas (sages) tell us that the elephant is a profoundly spiritual animal that helps absorb negativity, bringing calm, peace, and happiness to all people. This is partly attributed to their ability to hold good prana (life force). In Vedic scriptures, the Elephant God Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and presides over all beginnings and successes, a symbol of respect, honor, generosity, stability, and power.
Thulasi Pooja exalts the vital energy of plant life, specifically of the Thulasi (holy basil) plant, which is considered the herbal manifestation of the Goddess Lakshmi. Plantlife is another natural element, without which life as we know it would cease to exist. Through pooja and the offering of prayer, these two fundamental energies of the sun and plant life are celebrated and revered.
Surya Pooja (sun worship ritual) has been carried out since ancient times in accordance with the knowledge that life would cease to exist without the sun. The Sun God was believed to be the prana datta (life-giver) of the entire universe and considered the only visible god one could pray to. The Vedas regard Surya as the witness of all actions, and the Surya Pooja enshrines this.
Putthu Pooja is performed daily at Sri Narayani Peedam. Since ancient times, the putthu has been identified with the village goddess and is considered her manifestation in nature. At Sri Narayani Peedam, the putthu is revered and adorned in the dress of the Goddess. Every day, a constant stream of people come to offer their prayers, aarthi, and offerings of beauty and love.
New Moon Pooja: Ammavasai
New Moon is the darkest day of the moon phase. New Moon is a day to release all negativities and to set new goals. It represents new beginnings as we release the old and start afresh. Many people start new things, new projects on a New moon day for it to grow like the waxing moon. In Narayani Peedam and many other places, Chandi Yagam is performed on New Moon day, as Chandi, another form of Kali, clears all negativities, negative energies, and blockages and bestows good blessings upon us.
Poornima Pooja: Celebrating the Full Moon
Full Moon Pooja in the lunar calendar is known as Purnima pooja. The moon has been worshiped since ancient times, and performing pooja on a full moon day can ensure that people attain peace of mind and calmness. After a full moon yagam (fire ritual), Sri Sakthi Amma gives a discourse, followed by sprinkling theertham (holy water) on all present. It is an extraordinary and auspicious day when the moon’s rays have the unique features of giving peace and calmness to our hearts and soul. Connecting with our soul and the universe on this special day is more accessible. This can charge and energize us with positive energies. In Narayani Peedam and many other places, special full moon yagams and poojas are performed. These are potent prayers to usher in all prosperity and blessings into our lives. It is nourishing to soak in the rays of the Full Moon. There are traditions where families bring dinner and eat together in open space under the full moon's rays! It’s a celebration!
‘Sahasranamam’ means 1000 names. This grand manor of Yagam has never been performed before. This Yagam will be conducted for 1000 days, each day dedicated to one of the 1000 names of the Devi from the Lalitha Sahasranamam. This means the Yagam will culminate in 2024.
The Lalitha Sahasranamam is the sacred text from the Brahmanda Purana. It describes 1000 names of the Devi. Each of these names is not a separate Divine, but rather a characteristic or Divine quality or attribute of the Goddess.
The blessed Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam Yagam is a direct result of completing the 108-day Bhadrakali Moola Mantra Maha Yagam, which took place at the height of the Coronavirus epidemic.
With Sri Sakthi AMMA’s blessing, six priests perform this grand yagam daily. Each day there are offerings of milk, rice, dry coconut, ghee, and a silk sari. The Kalasam theertham, energized with the specific mantra of the day, will then be offered in the abhishekam to Sri Lakshmi Narayani in the Sripuram Golden temple the following morning.