"Have you seen God"? Was a profound philosophical question posed by Swami Vivekananda (then known as Naren) to his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who answered in the simplest term -"Yes, I have seen and can see God more clearly than I can see you".
The vision of divine does not depend on the intellectual achievements of an individual but on something much more basic which is his faith. Sri Krishna describes the implication of 'faith' in spiritual journey as only a man of faith shall attain the knowledge of Supreme 'shradhaavaan labhatE jnyaanam'.
Though Lord is all pervasive, incorporeal and beyond name and form. He out of His infinite compassion for the multitude of beings manifests Himself in various forms to protect the noble and eliminate the evil and to establish Dharma. This, the Veda states in the following verse- "Ekam sat vipraa bahudhaa vadanti indram yamam maatarishvaanamaahu".
Out of the several manifestations of the Lord, the six-fold forms were identified by Adi Shankaracharya and their prime position was established in the form of "Shanmata". These were Shaiva, Shaakta, Gaanaapatya, Kaumaara, Vaishnava and Saura. It is these six forms of Godhead that receives extensive worship all over India.
Sage Vedavyaasa, the composer of Mahabharata and eighteen Puranaas, was very much aware of the need of people and there by compiled the necessary procedure for the performance of procedural worship. In the various Puranas we find the legends connected with the various manifestations of divinity along with the special occassion of worship, the specific and generic result of performance of the worship etc., in the sections called "Maahaatmya".
Later on, in works like Dharmasindhu, Nirnayasindhu etc., the total number of such Puja or Vrata came to be codified and procedures were laid down in texts like Vratakalpa etc., These Vratas and Pujas are not uniformly practiced throughout India, but the general features of all the forms of worship is inculcated. A few like Ganesha chaturthi, Krishna janmashtami etc., are commonly celebrated all over India with local varients, whereas a few like 'Karadaiyaan Nonbu' is followed in Tamil Nadu and surrounding regions.
Pattern of Worship in the form of rendering of shlokas in between the puja is 'Kalpokta paddhati' and this can be performed by both men and women. Pattern of Worship in the form of chanting ofVedaMantras is 'Vedokta paddhati' and this can be performed only by men who know the Vedic Mantras. This book has been compiled following the Kalpokta paddhati for the benefit of public at large.
Taking all these into consideration and also realizing the requirement of people comfortable with English instructions, this "Sampradaya Vrata puja Vidhi" compiled with great care by GIRl a pioneer in publishing books on Indian culture.
GIRl is proud to present this edition to the general public at large. The salient features of this publication is text in both Sanskrit script and English script, detailed instructions in English for a layman, story which highlights the significance and greatness of the Vrata and pictorial representation. These vratas are arranged in the order of their occurrence through the year and those such as Satyanarayana Puja which can be done throughout the year also included.
We are extremely grateful to Shri.A.R Parthasarathi and Shri.Kethu Ramachandrasekhar who have rendered tremendous help to us in compiling this book.
We pray to the Supreme being to bless all.
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