Shiv Manasa Puja – Adi Shankaracharya
Explain by : Swami Sarveshananda Saraswati Ji
- Verse – 2: Food Offerings
शिवमानस पूजा :
सौवर्णे नवरत्नखण्ड रचिते पात्रे घृतं पायसं
भक्ष्यं पञ्चविधं पयोदधियुतं रम्भाफलं पानकम् ।
शाकानामयुतं जलं रुचिकरं कर्पूर खण्डोज्ज्चलं
ताम्बूलं मनसा मया विरचितं भक्त्या प्रभो स्वीकुरु ॥ 2 ॥
sauvarnē navaratnakhanda racitē pātrē ghr̥taṁ
pāyasaṁ bhaksyaṁ pañcavidhaṁ payōdadhiyutaṁ rambhāphalaṁ pānakam |
śākānāmayutaṁ jalaṁ rucikaraṁ karpūra khandōjjvalaṁ
tāmbūlaṁ manasā mayā viracitaṁ bhaktyā prabhō svīkuru || 2 ||
Pāyasam is the naivedya offered to the Lord. Pāyā means milk, and pāyasam refers to something that predominantly made of milk. Some people make sweet milk pudding with rice (kheer) and use the pure cow milk – not the 1%, 2% milk! The original milk is boiled and condensed while the rice cooks in it on slow flame. Some even use jaggery and cook rice in it. We offer the pāyasam made of milk and rice garnished liberally (ghr̥tam)̇ with roasted nuts including cashews. The ghee is also made from pure cow’s milk. After cooking that on very slow flame, the condensed milk turns pinkish. With flavored rice such as basmati rice, we then pour this in a sauvarnē navaratnakhanda racitē pātrēgolden bowl beautifully decorated with precious stones. The bowl is also sanctified with ghee and you add the pāyasam as the main offering.
There are five different kinds of food we take.
• Bhaksyaṁ – food which we cook in one particular format, and it goes along with dal, rice, roti, etc.
• Bhojyam refers to other side dishes;
• Choshyam is the food that has to be squeezed and eaten (e.g. mangoes);
• Lehyam is the food that can be licked and eaten to spice up the mouth and refresh the palate (e.g. pickle);
• Peyam is the liquid form of food we can drink (e.g. buttermilk, flavored milk, or panakam, the special mixture of water, jaggery, spiced with cardamom). These are the five kinds of foods, Bhaksyaṁ pañcavidhaṁ. Imagine serving all these various kinds of foods along with the usual rice, roti, puri etc. we offer this nice hot meal on the green plain leaf. One mahatma once said that dhoopa is brought in so that we don’t taste the food (not even through smell) before it is offered to the lord!
Payōdadhiyutam rambhāphalaṁ There are various foods made from milk (payaha), curds or yogurt (dadhi). Rambhāphalaṁ – coconut (narikela phalam) or apples (Kashmir phalam), similarly, rambhāphalam is the kind of banana that is thin layered, yet the fruit is long and handsome. All this has to be placed on the green banana leaf and each ingredient has a special place to be put on the plate. The smaller side of the banana leaf should be on the left hand side because that side is still tender. The right side is the firmer part of the leaf and most of us eat with the right hand. The firm side of the leaf can handle the majority portion of the food. In the front right portion, place the pāyasam . Serve all other ingredients that are lightly touched during the meal (e.g. pickle, salt, etc.) on the left hand portion along with the tender banana and panakam.
śākānām ayutaṁ – infinite number of fresh vegetables and various kinds of pakvans (delicacies) are also served. Jalaṁ rucikaram – water is flavored with lemon or thin slices of cucumber or roasted jeera.
Usually we chant Om Bhur Bhuva swah for the naivedya and then the mantra to offer the oblations to the pancha pranas (five vital airs). When we breath the air in, it undergoes 49 types of physiological activities due to which the energy burns to produce hunger. Food is therefore directed towards the pancha pranas without whose functioning we wouldn’t have a good metabolism. Even science says that the oxygen goes in when we breathe air in and energy is produced through combustion. Transportation is required for that energy to be redirected. Breath also maintains body temperature in a certain balance. We keep going in and out of our surroundings so fast and the body has to go through a lot of adjustment through the ida and pingala (our nostrils) that open and close to maintain the temperature. Only during the Bramha muhurta (very early morning), our body temperature and pressure is in balance; both ida and pingala are open and mind is focused. Hence it is recommended to do the saadhana or serious studies during this time. These five vital airs do perform different activities to create hunger and thirst. We feed these five vital airs.
After food, the best way to avoid cravings is to rinse mouth thoroughly while washing our hands. That’s why we have the uttara portion, first we wash hands (hastau praskshalayam), wash feet (padau prakshalayam) and then wash our mouth (mukho achamaniyam samparpayami).
Tāmbūlaṁis a special preparation of betel leaf, betel nuts in numerous varities such as raw or roasted, flavored or sweet, etc. Reverse the betel leaf and remove the veins to that the fibre doesn’t lodge in between our teeth. Then apply a bit of chuna (calcium), add betel nuts, cardmom, cloves, gulkand (rose petals sweetened with sugar syrup) and a small amount of coconut. Fold it in a conical shate and then offer it to the Lord. This cleanses our mouth from any breath issues and Tāmbūlaṁis offered with dakshina of fruits and money.
Hey Prabho, imagine you wake up daily, take a bath, light the lamp, agarbatti and imagine invoking the Lord in your own heart and start the puja. How beautiful and refreshing is the Manas puja! Sky is the limit in imagination. O Lord I am visualizing this and offering it at your feet. tāmbūlaṁ manasā mayā viracitaṁ bhaktyā prabhō svīkuru.
Courtesy & Credit:
– Srimad Adi Shankarbhagwatpadacharya
– Swami Sarveshananda Saraswati Ji, Chinmaya Mission