In Hindu religion, we worship Gods/Goddesses in 16 steps called ‘Shodashopachaara’ means 16 steps of worship.. It is somewhat similar to welcoming the guests inside our homes..
Below have given steps in a simple manner … My father says that though the upachaaras(pooja steps) are performed to the diety, it is indirectly cleansing of our minds… 🙂 There are also other forms like panchopachaara and some people perform more than 16 steps as well… The 16 steps are as mentioned below for the benefit of all..
- Dhyana (ಧ್ಯಾನ )– Meditate or think on God/Lord
- Aavaahana (ಆವಾಹನ )– Invite the Lord.
- Aasana (ಆಸನ )– Place to sit.
- Arghya (ಅರ್ಘ್ಯ )– Giving water to wash hands
- Paadya (ಪಾದ್ಯ)– Giving water to wash legs
- Aachamana (ಆಚಮನ )– Giving water to drink.
- Abhisheka(ಅಭಿಷೇಕ ) — Giving water for bath
- Vastra (ವಸ್ತ್ರ)– Clothes to wear in the form of Gejje vastra/Alankaara gejje vastra
- Aabharana(ಆಭರಣ ) — Ornaments to wear
- Upaveetha (ಉಪವೀತ )– Janivaara to wear
- Gandha & akshate (ಗಂಧ/ಅಕ್ಷತೆ )– To apply post bath made out of chandana and akshate made out of kumkuma and arishina(haridra or turmeric)
- Pushpa (ಪುಷ್ಪ )– Flowers to decorate
- Dhoopa (ಧೂಪ) — Incense sticks/agarbathis for good smell/aroma
- Deepa (ದೀಪ )– Lighting diyas/lamps.
- Neivedya & Tambula (ನೈವೇದ್ಯ /ತಾಂಬೂಲ )– Food to eat like fruits, cooked food, coconuts, panchaamrutha etc.. This is later distributed to all in the form of prasaada(ಪ್ರಸಾದ).
- Prarthana or Namaskara and performing aarathi.(ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನಾ /ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ /ಆರತಿ )