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Thread: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

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    End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Namaskar all,

    Happy Ganesha Chaturthy everyone! I hope all have been having a lovely Chaturthy. =)

    I have run into a bit of a tangle in our own celebrations. Ganesha is staying in our home again this year, we are very happy and blessed. And this year we have had many visitors as well. One is a good friend and neighbor who is Marathi, she has been coming every night so far. It's been so great having her come by so often, it's nice to have more than just myself and my other half at evening puja.

    But last night she asked me a question I can't answer, at least not with any great confidence. I'm hoping others here may have some guidance.

    In the tradition I have been learning and practicing, which is Saiva Siddhanta as taught by Kauaii Adheenam and Gurudev Subraminiyaswami, puja ends with a leave-taking prayer, or ksama prarthana. I learned this to be a part of daily puja through Loving Ganesha, but have also seen other traditions at other temples I've gone to use a similar - if not the same - prayer. This is that prayer, my apologies for any errors in the devanagari, I was not able to copy from a correct source, so could only attempt to recreate to the best of my ability):
    ॐ आवहनम न जानामि न जानामि विसर्जनम ।
    पूजाञछैव न जानामि क्ष्म्यतं परमेश्वर ॥
    मन्त्रहिनम क्रियाहीनम भक्तिहीनम सुरेश्वर ।
    यत पूजितं म्या देव परिपूर्णं तदस्तु ते ॥
    आन्यत शरणम नास्ति त्वमेव ष्हरणम मम ।
    तस्मत करुन्यभावेन रक्ष रक्ष गणेश्वर ॥
    ॐ तत सत ॐ

    Aum avahanam na janami na janami visarjanam
    pujanchaiva na janami kshamyatam parameshvara
    mantrahinam kriyahinam bhaktihinam sureshvara
    yat pujitam mayadeva paripurnam tadastute
    anyatha sharanam nasti tvameva sharanam mama
    tasmat karunyabhavena raksha raksha Ganeshvara
    Aum tat sat Aum.


    O beloved Lord Ganesha, we really do not know the proper means of invoking You or communicating with You as You are. A full knowledge of priestly rites has not been imparted, so You must overlook and forgive any mistakes or omissions. We know little of mantras or pious conduct, and we are strangers to true bhakti. Nonetheless, You must forgive us and, whatsoever worship we have been able to do, accept it as exact and complete -- because You are our only refuge, our loving Ganesha. With your blissful nature, Lord Ganesha, we beseech you, protect those who pray. Aum Tat Sat Aum.

    My friend and neighbor asked me last night why I do that every puja, she says that to her this is a visarjan chant and visarjan=immersion. So each time I do this, it's like immersing the murthi, and He's no longer there anymore, so it makes her feel bad (I'm not sure if she meant in general or just for me). She said she doesn't say such prayer even in her own puja room as it would be the same as immersing her deities and releasing them, and that would negate the point of having done pran-pratistha to seat them to begin with, one would have to do pran-pratistha every time one starts puja.

    I tried to explain that this was given to learn as the closing prayer for every puja by the tradition I study, but she has never heard of that. However, I know I have been to temples where the this or something very close to it is said at the end. Not all do it, for instance the Satsang center I go to regularly doesn't, but a Temple I go to when in Florida does. So I feel like it must be a practice specific to certain linneages, but I am not Indian and I haven't ever formally studied Sanskrit, and my neighbor is and has. so I have no idea how to answer her, and I don't want to say something wrong.

    Meanwhile, while I know my neighbor meant only to be helpful and to ask out of curiosity, and perhaps to teach, this has created some tension in my home as well. There have been at least two conversations about it since then, one ending in bad feeling when my other half insulted the validity of the tradition I have been studying for the past 2 years - though I think and hope it was inadvertent.

    So, I could really use some guidance in how to respond, and if I have perhaps somehow offended my neighbor? This is clearly something that is not a part of her tradition and I will not do it aloud when she comes, if it will help. But is she right, did I somehow misunderstand in my reading of the puja proceedure and this should only be said at the end of a major ferstival and not at the end of puja in general?

    My sincere thanks for any and all thoughts.

    ~Pranamo

    Edit to add:
    I think I put this in the wrong sub-forum, my apologies, thought I had put it in another one. Please feel free to move it if so.
    Last edited by Aanandinii; 20 September 2015 at 05:01 PM.
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Vannakkam: Curious, i searched on 'avahanam na janami na janami' and immediately found about 10 sites that had roughly the equivalent translation as the one you gave. Here's one:

    http://www.eastrovedica.com/html/humblepoem.asp

    Edited to add ... Ganga had noticed the single word 'Visarjana' earlier in her life, and had researched this to find that it means 'Good-bye' and in this context, it means goodbye for now, for this puja, not the bigger goodbye from immersion.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: Curious, i searched on 'avahanam na janami na janami' and immediately found about 10 sites that had roughly the equivalent translation as the one you gave. Here's one:

    http://www.eastrovedica.com/html/humblepoem.asp

    Aum Namasivaya
    Namaskar EMji,

    Thank you, that's one I hadn't seen. I found another such for Sri Ram Mandir as well. So it can't be so uncommon...

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Vannakkam: Visarjanam is most likely meaning #6 here: http://sanskritdictionary.com/?ienco...&action=Search

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Namaskar ji,

    Ah! Thank you! Also just saw your earlier edit. I would imagine, much like bidding a guest 'Good night', or the same before excusing yourself from company, as that's the polite way to take leave of friends, right? That makes sense.

    My friend started to tell me how her family closes puja, but we were interrupted. Next time I see her I will have to find out more, if she's still willing to share. Not that I will change the procedure given by the tradition I'm studying, but as one of the lines is "We know not how to invoke you or take your leave properly", I'm very curious and I like learning new things. ^_^

    Thank you so much, again, EMji!

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Namaste,

    If I may add my two cents worth; the masses in India take visarjan to be immersion at the end of ten days of pujas. So, that is the commonly accepted definition. However, different traditions may choose to have different meanings for the sanskrit words and use them accordingly. One of the common thread among many traditions is to have a line at the conclusion of the puja which asks for forgiveness from the deities for any and all mistakes committed unknowingly during puja. This is to reaffirm that no disrespect was ever meant to the deities for any mistakes made during the formal puja procedure. People who are staunch supporters of one tradition perhaps should not co-mingle with the ones from other traditions for puja as this is bound to cause friction. When the emphasis is more on 'my way' to do puja rather than on respecting the deities through whatever means available, we humans do tend to get wound up with the purity of procedures. Just an observation!

    Pranam.

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Vannakkam: This is off topic, but we just came back from our Visarjana this morning. My wife and a friend from Gujarat had made Ganeshas and today was the day to immerse them in a local river. Now, this river doesn't have a lot of easy access places for immersion, but when we arrived, I noticed some flowers, and then when we took a closer look, sure enough, you could see another Ganesha had already been immersed there.

    I thought it was kind of cool. We'll never know who else was there. (Besides Ganesha of course)

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    If I may add my two cents worth; the masses in India take visarjan to be immersion at the end of ten days of pujas. So, that is the commonly accepted definition. However, different traditions may choose to have different meanings for the sanskrit words and use them accordingly. One of the common thread among many traditions is to have a line at the conclusion of the puja which asks for forgiveness from the deities for any and all mistakes committed unknowingly during puja. This is to reaffirm that no disrespect was ever meant to the deities for any mistakes made during the formal puja procedure. People who are staunch supporters of one tradition perhaps should not co-mingle with the ones from other traditions for puja as this is bound to cause friction. When the emphasis is more on 'my way' to do puja rather than on respecting the deities through whatever means available, we humans do tend to get wound up with the purity of procedures. Just an observation!

    Pranam.
    Namaste Believer ji,

    My thanks for your thoughts!

    It is my understanding that the prayer I posted above is exactly what you state, an apology prayer. May I ask, do you feel it isn't?

    My friend hadn't heard of such a prayer, but I believe that may just be her family's tradition. It is what it is, I wasn't upset by her asking and I don't think there was any "my way" over "your way". She felt a bit thrown and wanted to ask, and I wasn't sure enough about how to respond is all. She and I have spoken since and the outcome seems to be that we both feel good about things. I don't mind changing my regular practice to make a guest more comfortable, and I always welcome learning new things, as I am the student here really. She has said she is happy I took her question so positively, so I'm guessing she expected me to take offense. But I'm more excited to learn more if possible, even if I don't apply it to the tradition I am studying.

    I believe the misunderstanding, unless the apology prayer I posted in the OP is indeed an immersion prayer, is that I start it as I have heard the Saiva Siddhanta monks begin in it the recordings for learning pronunciation and cadence: Aum, Visarjanam, Aum. That seems to be the title given to the apology prayer, and I learned it that way, so I speak it that way. This is the part I mean, and perhaps EMji's wife meant, when saying the name may mean a slightly different kind of leave-taking in that tradition. Perhaps I don't need to actually say that part when I start the prayer, and thus I could avoid confusion in the future?

    Any lingering bad feeling at this point is more at home. My spouse has decided that because my neighbor is a born Hindu that she must be correct and that since our neighbor hasn't heard of it before, I must have made up the puja viddhi and prayer out of nowhere, and that I shouldn't include that prayer anymore at all. This is a discussion I don't know how to have as I'm not even sure why the concern - my other half is not religious and never attends any prayer or puja except for a few of the festivals at home. I'm sure with Sri Ganesha's blessing we'll figure it out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: This is off topic, but we just came back from our Visarjana this morning. My wife and a friend from Gujarat had made Ganeshas and today was the day to immerse them in a local river. Now, this river doesn't have a lot of easy access places for immersion, but when we arrived, I noticed some flowers, and then when we took a closer look, sure enough, you could see another Ganesha had already been immersed there.

    I thought it was kind of cool. We'll never know who else was there. (Besides Ganesha of course)

    Aum Namasivaya
    How lovely!
    Thank you so much for sharing, EM ji!

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Namaste Aanandini ji

    I couldn't clearly get what you wanted to know?

    The same mantra ( with few changes like name of the deity and pooja name) is sung differently in different temples. The Aanjaneya temple priest in my locality sing this just before Mangala Aarathi (lighting camphor ) everyday.

    If you are not sure why Visarjan is done, then let us know...
    Anirudh...

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    Re: End of Puja Leave-taking prayer

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Namaste Aanandini ji

    I couldn't clearly get what you wanted to know?

    The same mantra ( with few changes like name of the deity and pooja name) is sung differently in different temples. The Aanjaneya temple priest in my locality sing this just before Mangala Aarathi (lighting camphor ) everyday.

    If you are not sure why Visarjan is done, then let us know...
    Namaste Anirudh ji,

    So nice to hear from you, thank you for replying.

    I understand why immersion is done, yes. My question is about the apology prayer I posted in the OP. There was confusion because my friend and neighbor feels it is an immersion prayer only, so when I say it to close evening puja for Ganesha, she feels I have then immersed him and He is no longer present. She says she doesn't know this prayer, but also has never heard of such a prayer at end of or during puja and/or aarti.

    So, I simply wished to confirm I'm not making a big mistake and misinterpreted the puja viddhi I have learned. It seems the answer is it is a difference in tradition only, and perhaps a difference in definition of Visarjan, which seems to have several similar shades of meaning which can depend on how the word is used.

    My thanks, I feel even more reassured I haven't made a big error in closing with that prayer.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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