The 84th year: Chaurasi as termed in Nepali count, is the year that sets a human to be more than just a normal mortal being. Living for almost 8-long decades, the said individual gets a form that is equal to the gods and almost close to the form of it.
Nepal is a country where Hindu culture and tradition are practiced by more than half the population. The belief is based upon the Hindu transcripts that have been passed down from the time of gods.
This same religious belief has brought the tradition of worshipping the god-like individual after they cross nearly a generation span of their life. It is called Chaurasi.
Chaurasi or Chaturasiti in common Nepali term and Jankhu in Newari tongue is almost the same tradition of worshipping the person who is almost over 8 decades old.
Some Information about Chaurasi
What is Chaurasi Puja in Hindu?
A human after crossing 80 years, is considered as a form of god. They are treated as the figure representative of the closest figure to the almighty.
So, in celebration of being a mortal god, the person is worshipped in the same form.
The next thing about Chaurashi is to create a path of heaven for the elder person with a Gai-dan and other associated rituals along with it that are believed to create a path to heaven.
The journey in the afterlife towards heaven and during Purgatory is said to be made smooth due to this ritual. And after the Purgatory period, they reach the heavens where the gods welcome them to their new home.
What is the focus element of Chaurasi?
Chaurasi is the ritual where the Purnima Fasting of the lifetime is worshipped which is said to be a boon and a blessed element for the afterlife. It can be understood as getting ready with acceptance for the afterlife.
Some individuals practice the process with a full celebratory mood to celebrate their life. And some are found to be an emergency case of ritual, where the old elderly get severely sick and with no point of return to good health, the family does the Dus-Dan Karma.
With all the beliefs set in, it is considered a must ritual before a person’s death.
When should Chaurasi Puja Ceremony be done?
On a normal term of this ritual, it is recommended on the Chaturdashi tithi of Suklapakchya part of the person’s birth month. With analysis of the day where the Rudri and Agni are suitable for the day. As we need to have Hawan and Rudri Rudrabhishek with Shiva puja, this should be importantly considered.
But in case of emergency, and the family cannot have the Chaurashi celebration, the Dus-Dan Karma is done as the person goes through the red line of life and death.
How much does this Chaurasi Puja Ritual cost?
The total allocation bill for the cost of achieving this ceremony cannot be stated just like that. But the estimation average can be said to be more than NRs. 1 Lakh. Gathering all the elements required for gifting Dan with the things like Saiyan Dan (Bed, Mattress, Pillow, Blankets), a new set of clothes (Brahman Baran) to the Brahman Guru, all comes inside this budget. If interested, having the chanting of Veda or Gita for the day can also be observed, along with Lakh Batti puja.
And including this, people also have the custom of doing Tula Dan on this day, in which the weight of the person equal Dan money is donated too.
How long does Chaurasi Puja last?
The ceremony ritual takes a full part of two days on a normal prospect of having the ceremony. It might even lead to the next day. Presently, this three days celebration is found to be complete within two days.
The first part of the day is allocated for the Purwanga Karma and the remaining time for the Chaurashi puja processes.
Purwanga Karma covers the aspect of getting ready with the base for the Main day of the ceremony.
Chaurasi Puja Process
The day before the main ceremony, takes place the preparation and arrangement of the required elements that needs to be worshipped for the puja. And some puja processes take place as a pre-ritual. They are termed as Purwanga Karma.
Chaurasi Purwanga Karma
Purwanga Karma covers the aspect of getting ready the day before the Chaurasi.
For this Purwanga Karma, the Basic element of puja is carried out. It is represented by Diyo, Kalash, and Ganesh Puja. Any ceremony has these basic three elements that need to be worshipped before getting into anything else.
A detailed view of these elements’ puja process is presented on this Article page.
Matrika Puja is a way of worshipping the gods of the family home with the traditional approach followed by the ancestors.
- Dotted on seven places with Cow dung on a wall or the door of the house.
- Then, the same sequential design of cow dung in 17 places is pasted on a rectangular surface on the topmost space.
- Next in line 10 spaces of cow dung are placed.
- Next line, again 7 spaces of cow dung is placed
- The last line contains 16 spaces of cow dung.
Each sequence of cow dung represents each Matrika and is worshipped with each step.
This is the way of worshipping our dead and gone ancestors with a Hindu tradition of Shradhha. Like any normal shraddha, Abhyudayik Shraddha is the offering to the Pitris, before the day of Chaurasi. It can be simply understood as the process of offering remembrance to the ancestors before the ceremony.
These are the processes that have been stated in the Shastras. But, In practice, the other purwanga karma can be done as favorable to the Karta. It has been merged into the second day if the Karta and the Chaurasi elder are not fit to manage it. The reasons could be concerning location and even health condition of the elderly.
It is the process of preparing the Yagya place where the ceremony is going to be held. It can be completed beforehand or on the morning of the main day.
Surrounded by the Banana plant, Hawan place is positioned in the middle and decorated in four directions with different leaves and colorful clothes. It is prepared to make it as bright as possible. After all, it’s a celebration of a godlike human.
The Chaurasi Day
The day of celebration blooms with the early morning light. With a clean and rinsed body, the family members gather for the ceremony.
The elderly person is to worship or touch with their presence while their child, the Karta does the puja ceremony that follows.
The Chaurasi Ceremony Begins.
Though we have not mentioned it up until now, it should be understood that all the rituals are taking place with the guidance of the guru Pandit Ji. He attends the Purwanga Karma before the main day and guides through everything that needs to be done. With his orders, all the required processes and the materials are prepared.
The main day requires more than one guru to avoid a rush in the puja ritual. If present, the group of gurus will divide the work to keep the ceremony smooth and efficient.
The beginning of the Chaurasi puja conducts the same Pujas of Diyo Kalash and Ganesh from the Purwanga. The prepared Mandal is now arranged with the required materials as the Pandit Guru Ji sets to work.
Hawan is a highlighted process that is used in different steps of the ritual. So the wood arrangement and the Yagya space are to be managed before getting into other details.
This whole process of puja is called Agni Sthapana.
Purified with mantras, the guru gives out Panchagavya which is the mixture of Cow urine, curd, etc. It is taken by the people around and the one who is going to be doing the puja. After which the puja can begin, as the individuals are all purified and cleansed.
Preparing the Karma Patra, where water with Kus is prayed and made holy and pure for the puja. It is used for most of its needs through the process. After which the Kus and Water are used for Sankalpa stating the start of the Chaurasi ceremony.
This Sankalpa is taken as a Vow in Sanskrit, for the tasks and rituals that are about to take place in the family. Gotra and name are also stated as the one who is about to be worshipped as a Karta of the day.
Havan Vedi Preparation (Readying the place)
The arrangement of different spaces for different gods around the Yagya is all done with the Hawan in the middle of it. Seating arrangements towards the South and facing North for the family of Karta, West and facing East for the Guru.
A series of ancient Vedic mantras uttered by the Brahma guru is called Swasti Bachanam. It starts the good vibrations for the puja.
Four directions puja
The area around the Yagya is to be worshipped in each direction.
Samhita is the woods that are used for the Hawan. It should be placed in order as stated in the Agni Sthapana process. The fire for Hawan is ignited with the mantra after the structure base of the wood is designed.
Agni is first prayed upon with Prathna and placement of Agni takes place followed by Agni puja. As for the process and materials required to do the Agni Sanskar (Agni Puja), it is explained in our article about Nwaran.
Igniting the Fire
The fire essence in the middle with some ignited cotton threads is worshipped as the Agni and placed upon the Samhita. After this different steps are done by pandit guru Ji to worship the fire. And its attributes.
Towards the South of Agni three placement of Kus represented figures as Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh. And Guruji simply does its puja there.
Brahman Baranam is a process of handing out the Dakshina Tika and other necessities like Dhoti and Topi to the brahman for doing the puja, and including him as the initiator and a family guide for the ceremony.
Punyahabachan starts the puja after the brahman bharanam. It counts the brahman as the family with sankalpa mantras, and the puja can also be done by guru brahman.
Charu Hawan to all the godly deities
Now, the Puja rituals start parallel as the Hawan process with Charu offering progresses in the Agni Sthapana process. All the deities are offered with the Charu continuously as the ritual keeps progressing.
Deities like Ganesh, Surya, Devi, Shiva, Laxmi Narayan, Moon and 9 Graha (planets) are each offered with 108 count of hawan charu.
Rituals During Chaurasi
The Initiation of the Chaurasi puja ceremony is conducted by the guru with guidance to the Karta family members. All the family members’ united effort makes the celebration a grand event.
The puja listed are some puja processes that are going to be conducted parallelly by the group of Pandit Guru Ji leading family members through the puja. Otherwise, it can be conducted separately through Purwanga Karma too.
Shiva Puja and Rudrabhishek
Rudri path in an offering of prayer to Lord Shiva is observed after a series of Puja rituals of Shiva. Lord Shiva and Rudri’s path is a custom of a complete Yagya puja that brings blessing for the worshipper. The puja ceremony is conducted with Shiva puja and mantra chant from a Sanskrit Scripture of Rudri, the Mantra of Lord Shiva.
Since the day is heavily related to the worshipping of Purnima Moon for the blessing of the person, the Moon should be worshipped with the process of Chandrama Puja Bidhi. The process requires a complete puja ritual of the Moon that requires Diyo, Kalash, and Ganesh Puja. Which will be followed by a series of puja offering to the moon. As Moon is compared to the Silver element, the Kalash and the Plate required for this puja is also recommended to be of Silver.
The Puja can also be done during the evening of the Purwanga day but is found to have been done on the day of the Chaurasi too. As the Purnima Tithi is observed during the time of puja.
Laxmi Narayan Puja
Satyanarayan or Laxmi Narayan Puja is a process of worshipping Lord Narayan for his blessing on this auspicious day. It is believed that his blessing brings happiness and good fortune to any human.
The same puja ceremony takes place with the offering of different elements in a methodological way as specified by the guru.
The planets of our solar system affect our life in a way that can be observed as per the Hindu Astrological belief. This effect takes a toll on us if we have a weak Graha situation. So, to please and neutralize the effect of the Grahas on our life, Graha Puja helps us make it better if it is bad, and stronger if it is good.
Chaurasi puja includes this ritual to give a positive aspect of Graha situation for the Chaurasi Karta.
Vastu determines the position of alignment of the house with the position of the connected nature. It impacts the ruling of the ambience and the effect upon the house residents. It is considered a positive energy building mechanism to conduct a Vastu puja in the house.
The four directions and the four corners around the house and the position of different rooms of the house are worshipped with different gods and goddesses that reside over that position.
Sarvatobhadra Devata Puja
Four different corners are picked and each one is placed with one Diyo and one Kalash. And each corner is worshipped with different gods and goddesses’ names. The main ritual takes place on a map of Sarvatobhadra Chakra.
This process is a basic ritual that worships the field of Astrology. This method is used to showcase the field of predictions with the Astrological understandings.
Chaturasiti Sidhha Puja
A chart is drawn with ten vertical and ten interconnected horizontal lines. There are 84 rooms inside these drawn lines. The line from East-West and North-South is worshipped from northeast and southwest respectively.
Wheat is placed as the base. 84 pot Kalash and 84 Diyo is prepared for the process. With decoration on each pot, it is placed on top of rice which is prepared individually for each one of the pot. Each room is placed with Gold and Betelnut. And each Siddha Puja is done with the utterance of each Siddha Mantra.
Siddha Yogini Puja
Siddha Yoginis are the goddesses who are worshipped for a complete form of ritual. In this map, 84 different names of different Yoginis are worshipped.
Then, the lords known as Adhidev and Pratyadidev are each worshipped 84 more times with their 84 different names.
Next, starting from northeast, all 84 Kalash are worshipped 7 times with 12 names of Lord Surya. That makes it 84 round of offering in Lord Surya’s name.
Next, on top of the covered Kalash, 28 Nakshyatras are worshipped 3 times each. Again that makes it 84 offerings to Nakshyatras.
And lastly, 12 Rashis are worshipped 7 times in the same manner.
Chaurasi gaudan is a process of Gifting away 84 cows that are believed to prevent the way down to hell. All the names of 84 gateway to Hell are each named through each Gaudan.
Purnapatra, Pushpanjali and Bisharjan
Purnapatra, prepared in a vessel with a completely filled rice, and Supadi with Janai is prepared as a full form of completeness. It represents that the complete form of ritual has just been completed and offering a complete vessel full of rice to the gods as a gift. After praying and worshipping about the special occasion and the name as directed by the Guru the offering is complete.
All the gods that were called during the whole ritual process need to be sent back home towards the heavens. So, a mantra praying is chanted by Pandit Guru to show worship towards the gods with which flowers and Akshyata are sprinkled over the Mandap Yagya and everyone present bows down to god.
Now, the duty of the son is to carry the Mortal God of the family and circle around the Mandap Yagya.
Pandit Guru Puts tika on everyone with good blessings. And everyone retires back to rest. And the family gathering of food and celebration begins.
The Pandit Gurus are offered with Tika and justifiable Dakshina for their service, presented with Prashad, food, and rest.
Closing the Ritual Before You End This Article
The day is complete, making the Elder person a god-like figure. It is believed that the person who has attained this form can bless anyone and it comes true in the form of a blessing. So every family member worships and receives blessings from them.
The ending celebration is celebrated together with talk and joyous celebration and communicating with meanings of different things and processes or what should be done and should not. And Pandit guru shares his knowledge with the family. The ceremony ends with a happy note after a long day.