In Hindu Vedic rituals which exist have significant meanings and are found in ancient Hindu texts like the Vedas and Puranas. Based on what is written in these texts, it is said that any marble/stone/metal idol, be it in temple or at residence/ office should first go through the Pran Pratishthapuja ritual before worship of that Divine deity is allowed, otherwise it is considered that the idol remains just a mere stone/marble/metal idol.
The term Pratishtha means to consecrate or to make sacred and Pran/Prana literally means, the breath or life giving force, and in the context of Pran Pratishtha of deity idols it means the energy of that particular Divine deity. So Pran Pratishtha means to infuse energy/spirit/soul in the idol of the deity in the marble/stone/metal through a ceremony of recitation of Sanskrit mantras,like, the murtisthapana mantra etc.and specific ritualistic steps, by the priest/pandit. It is believed that the priest who performs the Pran Pratishtha vidhi transfers through him thepran energy to the deity to give it life.
In the temple of the Hindus the pandits/pujaris first carry out the ceremony of Pran Pratishtha and then worshipped by devotees. Similarly when a marble/stone/metal idol of deity is installed in the puja alter at home, the Pran Pratishtha ceremony should be done first. Once that is done the deity idol is considered a living form of the deity.
The Pran Pratishtha puja for Deity idols, Rudraksha beads, Yantras, Malas, gemstones etc. are done widely. Since an idol, gemstone, Yantra goes through many hands before it reaches its final destination of installation, it needs to be purified and cleansed of the negative energies collected, which is a part of the puja.
Pran Pratishtha puja at home
Generally for idols or murtis which are at home alter, the qualified pandit is invited to do the ceremony of Pran Pratishtha. Pran Pratishtha can be done by Pran Pratishtha Puja following the Pran Pratishtha Vidhi and chanting the Pran Pratishtha mantra which is specified for that particular deity.
The Pran Pratishtha Vidhi has some basic steps with different Beej mantras in Sanskrit, of the respective God/Goddess, example – Shiv Pran Pratishtha mantra for Shivlinga, Laxmi Pran Pratishtha mantra for Goddess Laxmi idol and so on.
Pran Pratishtha puja for Deity Idol –
- Select an auspicious day and time. Rahukaal should be avoided for Pran Pratishtha puja.
- Mantra chanting while bringing the deity idol from outside the house to inside, as a welcome
- Bathing and cleaning the idol with ‘panchamrit’ which is a mixture of Punchamrit which is mix of un-boiled milk, honey, sugar, ghee and curd.Wipe the idol dry with a soft cloth.
- Beautifully dress the deity with new clothes(if possible to dress up)
- Install or sit the idol in puja alter facing the East direction. Decoration of the alter with fresh flowers is common
- Along with singing of hymns, Nyasa is performed which is touching the different parts of the idol to depict the presence of the various Gods in each sense organ. Example – Surya Dev (Sun God) is the eyes, Lord Indra for the hands and so on.
- Offer Flowers and spray scented water for the ‘Chaksu͡unmilan’ ritual, which is the opening of the Divine deity’s eyes and marks the most important part of the Pran Pratishtha puja of a deity idol. The Pran Pratistha Mantra of that particular deity is recited while doing the ritual. Now it is considered that the deity idol can see the devotees. Wringing of bells, blowing of conch shell is auspicious and part of the ceremony and is an accompany the recitation of the mantras.
- Offering of fruit, food to the Deity.
The Pran Pratishtha vidhi is done. The idol is purified and energized and is a guest in the house and should be taken care of as we do a guest.
Pran Pratishtha puja for Rudraksha
The Rudraksha beads which possess Lord Shiva’s powerful energy, are worn by many because of its many healing properties. Different mukhi Rudrakshas are available and different mukhi of Rudraksha bead heals different physical and metaphysical aspects.The Pran Pratishtha puja for Rudraksha is performed before it is worn, so that it is purified and energy enhanced.
Things which are required for the Pran Pratishtha puja for Rudraksha:-
Punchgavya – Mixture of Cow dung, Cow urine, Curd, Milk and Ghee. Alternately use Punchamrit which is mix of Milk (not boiled), Honey, Sugar, Ghee and Curd.
Leaves of Peepal tree – 9
Incense sticks, Dhoop
Camphor and Ghee diya with a single wick
Sandalwood paste, aromatic oil
Rice grains mixed with Asthagandha
Offerings – Flowers, Cloth, Fruit, Betel Nut,Paan, Coconut
Rudraksha Pran Pratishtha Vidhi:-
-Sprinkling Ganga jal over all the puja items with chanting of mantra
– Mantra chanting as salutation to Lord Ganesha, Guru, Kuldevta(family deity), the worshipped deity of devotee and parents
– Achamani to be done 3 times with chanting of mantras. End with placing water on the right hand and pour on the ground.
– 3 rounds of Pranayam breaths with chanting of mantras
– With the Kusha grass from Achaman vessel sprinkle water on Rudraksha beads
– Dip a flower in Sandalwood paste and touch the beads with chanting of mantra
– Chant the Eeshan mantra
– While chanting the Pran Pratishtha mantra offer the Rice on a plate in front of the Rudraksha beads
Pran Pratishtha mantra lyrics-
Om aamhreemkrom yum rum lumvumshumshum sum haum hum sahasyamalayapranaehaprana
Om aamhreemkrom yum rum lumvumshumshum sum haum hum sahasyamalayajeevaehasthitha
Om aamhreemkrom yum rum lumvumshumshum sum haum hum sahasyamalayasarveindrayanivagmansyachakshushodragranapadaniihevagatyasukhamchiramthithantuswaha.
– While chanting mantras give the offerings one by one.
The translation of the mantra – Offering ____ to the lotus feet of Shiva MahaDevaya, I bow. So the Seat, Cloth, Rice, Coconut, Water to Drink, Sandalwood paste, Incense, Betel Nut and Betel Leaf, Flower, Dhoop.
– Burn Camphor and rotate it clock wise over the plate while chanting mantra
– Gayatri Mantra to be chanted 3 times
-Surya Mantra to be chanted 3 times
-Touch each after each mantra, right eye, left eye, and forehead.
Om Apo Jyothi
– Mahamritunjaya Mantra to be chanted 5 times while offering Rice in the plate in front of the Rudraksha Beads after each time of chanting.
– Chant Beej Mantra 108 times
– Bow down and chant-Om Purnamadapurnamidampurnathpurnamudyachite
Once the Pran Pratishtha of the Rudraksha is done the wearer can wear it and keep in mind that the Rudraksha should be taken care of.