If you worship Lord Jagannath at home with love and devotion, then Lord Jagannath will shower his blessings upon you.
In Jagannath Puri temple and in Iskcon temples, Lord Jagannath along with his brother Lord Baladeva and little sister Subhadra Devi is worshipped reverentially. Thanks to Iskcon, today Lord Jagannath is worshipped all over the world. Many non-Indians have got attracted to Lord Jagannath and come to the temple to worship him.
But it is not that to worship Lord Jagannath, you always have to go to temple. Its great if you can regularly visit Lord Jagannath temples. But Lord Jagannath can be worshipped at home also along with his brother and sister. Even if you love to go to temple still you should worship Lord Jagannath at home.
But can everyone worship Lord Jagannath at home? Or only some are eligible to worship the Lord. Let us see.
Who can worship Lord Jagannath at home?
Anyone who has a desire to worship Lord Jagannath can worship him at home. One does not need to be a brahmana to worship the Lord. One does not need to be a male to worship the Lord. And one does not need to be a Hindu to worship the Lord.
Men and women, young and old, Hindus and non-Hindus all are qualified to worship Lord Jagannath. You and me and everyone in this entire universe are children of Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. So, each one of us are qualified to worship him.
The only qualification required to worship the Lord is love and intense longing to serve him.
So, if you are a lover of Lord Jagannath and have a burning desire to worship him then read further to know how you can worship him at home.
To worship Lord Jagannath at home, get a beautiful deity or picture of Jagannath
This is the first requirement. You should get a beautiful deity of Lord Jagannath. You can buy wooden deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi. If you visit Jagannath Puri then you can get one such deity. In many Iskcon temples wooden deity of Lord Jagannath with his brother and sister is also available.
If not wooden deity, then you can have picture of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi and get it nicely framed. Best is to use that picture of Lord Jagannath which is being worshipped in the temple as per the guidelines of the scriptures.
We can have picture of Lord Jagannath of Jagannath Puri temple. Or else we can have pictures of Lord Jagannath from Iskcon temples. At many Iskcon temples Lord Jagannath is wonderfully worshiped. You just see the deity of Lord Jagannath worshipped in Iskcon temples and you can see how Lord Jagannath has a big smile on his face.
Wooden deities or picture of Lord Jagannath can also be bought online.
Please note that Lord Jagannath is mostly worshipped along with brother Baladeva, sister Subhadra and Sudharshan Chakra. Whenever you will see a picture or deity of Jagannath, you will always see him along with his brother, sister and Sudharshan Chakra.
Make a beautiful and big altar for Lord Jagannath
Get a beautiful altar for Jagannath. The altar should not be just beautiful, but it should be big too.
Why we need a big altar? Because the Lord should be easily visible to our eyes.
Sometimes people have small picture of Jagannath, and they keep it in a cupboard or locker in their house. Once in the morning they open the cupboard or locker, offer some puja items to the Lord and then close the cupboard. This is not the right attitude.
Do not confine Lord to some corner of the house. In fact, in your house, Lord Jagannath should occupy a prominent place.
In some house there is special puja room where deities or picture of the Lord is kept. That is also good.
But I feel it is better to have a large altar for the Lord in our living room.
What is the benefit of having the altar in the living room?
One does not have to go to any corner of the house to see the Lord. All the family members daily come to the living room so everyone will see the Lord daily. Not just daily but many times in the day people in the house can have darshan (divine vision) of the Lord.
While leaving the house for work, you will see the Lord. As soon as you will enter the house, you will see the Lord. You will always feel the presence of the Lord in your house. The Lord will become the centre of your life.
Not just that when guests visit your house, they can also have darshan of the Lord and will feel blessed.
Having Lord in the living room in a big altar will keep on reminding you that your house belongs to Lord Jagannath. He is the owner of the house. And he has given you an opportunity to stay in the house. For this you should always be grateful to Jagannath.
Our house should become a temple of Lord Jagannath
It does not matter whether our house is big or small, in our house Lord Jagannath should be the centre and should occupy a prominent place.
What if you are a student staying in hostel?
If you are a student staying in a hostel, then you can still have framed picture of Lord Jagannath on your study table. When I was in hostel, I had made a small altar on my study table and would worship the Lord. Now with the blessing of Lord Jagannath, I have big altar in the living room for Lord Jagannath who fulfils everyone’s desire.
Follow below steps to worship Lord Jagannath at home
Worshipping Lord Jagannath is simple. It can be easily learned. Lord Jagannath is worshipped along with Lord Baladeva, Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra.
Following sacred items are required for worship.
- Achamanam cup having water. Put some Ganges water into the cup.
- Incense sticks
- Ghee lamp (Diya)
- Conch filled with water. Use non blowing conch. Put some Ganges water and if possible rose water in the conch.
- Cloth of the size of handkerchief
- Flowers. Do no use hibiscus flower. Better to use flowers having fragrance.
- Chamara (Yak tail fan)
- Peacock fan
- Small pot to collect water after bathing the Lord.
Before starting the worship of the Lord purify your hand with water from the achamanam cup.
Note: When you are worshipping the Lord, hold the bell in your left hand and keep it ringing while you are worshipping.
Let us see how to worship Lord Jagannath with the sacred items.
1) Worshipping the Lord with incense
Light the incense sticks and move it around the entire body of Lord Jagannath for 7 times in clockwise direction. After that show the incense to Lord Baladeva by moving the incense 7 times around the body of Lord Baladeva in clockwise direction. Follow the same approach to worship Subhadra Devi and then Sudharshan Chakra.
It is good to have 3 incense sticks at least. If we can have more like 5 or 7 then great.
2) Worshipping the Lord with ghee lamp (Diya)
First show the lamp to the lotus feet of Lord Jagannath by moving it around the feet of the Lord for four times in clockwise direction. We then show the lamp to the belly of Jagannath. For that move the lamp in clockwise direction two times around the belly of the Lord. We then move the lamp in clockwise direction three times around the head of Jagannath. At the end, we move the lamp in clockwise direction seven times around the entire body of Jagannath.
After worshipping Jagananth with ghee lamp as explained above, worship Lord Baladeva using the same ghee lamp. The approach will be exactly similar. First worship the feet of Baladeva by moving the lamp four times in clockwise direction, then worship belly by moving the lamp around the belly two times, then move the lamp around the head for three times and then around the entire body for seven times.
After worshipping Baladeva with ghee lamp, worship Subhadra Devi followed by Sudarshan Chakra.
The lamp should be offered slowly and with love.
After worshipping with ghee lamp is completed, the family members can purify themselves by accepting the offered lamp. They can put both the palms above the flame of the sacred lamp and touch their forehead and eyes.
3) Bathing Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva, Subhadra Devi and Sudarshan Chakra
Take the conch filled with water and move it three times on top of Lord Jagannath’s head in clockwise direction and then move the conch seven times around the body of the Lord in clockwise direction.
After that pour small quantity of water from the conch into the small pot.
After that bathe Lord Baladeva using the same conch with remaining water. Move the conch around Baladeva’s head three times in clockwise direction and then seven times around his body in clockwise direction. Again, remove little water from the conch by pouring it into the same pot in which you had poured after bathing Jagannath.
Follow same approach to bathe Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra.
Use non blowing conch to bathe the Lord.
Sprinkle the sacred water collected in small pot after bathing the Lords on your family members body and on yourself.
4) Drying the Lord with the cloth
After the 3 deities and Sudharshan Chakra have taken bath, they also have to be dried. Take a small cloth of the size of a handkerchief and move it around the entire body of Jagannath for seven times. Use the same cloth and move it around the body of Baladeva seven times. Do it in similar way for Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra.
5) Offering flowers to Lord Jagannath
Move the flower plate seven times around the body of Jagannath in clockwise direction. Similarly move the flower plate around the body of Baladeva seven times in clockwise direction followed by Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra.
After this take few flowers from the plate and put it on the lotus feet of Jagannath, Baladeva, Subhadra Devi and also Sudharshan Chakra.
6) Fanning the Lord using chamara (yak tail fan)
Fan the Lord using chamara (yak tail fan) by moving it up and down so that the entire body of Jagannath is fanned. Do it for seven times. After that fan Baladeva for seven times followed by Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra. If time permits you can fan the Lords for more number of times and not just seven times.
7) Fanning the Lord using peacock fan
Just like you fanned the Lord using chamara, similarly fan the Lord using peacock fan. Fan the entire body of Lord Jagannath for seven times followed by Lord Baladeva, Subhadra Devi and Sudharshan Chakra. As mentioned above if you have time then fan the Lord for more number of times.
While worshiping sing kirtan
While you are worshipping the Lord you can sing Hare Krishna kirtan. If your family members are also participating they can also sing along with you. They can play cymbals and mridangam. To play mridangam one needs some practice. But generally, everyone can play cymbals.
Since Lord Jagannath and Lord Krishna is same, so you can sing Hare Krishna kirtan.
Along with that you can chant prayers specifically for Lord Jagannath –
jagannāthaḥ svāmī nayana-patha-gāmī bhavatu me
If you know Jagannathastakam prayer of Sankaracarya then you can sing that too. Its lyrics and tunes are little difficult but with practice you can get used to it.
What should be the mood while worshipping Lord Jagannath at home?
Our mood should be to offer our love to Lord Jagannath. We should offer each item to the Lord with utmost care and with devotion while worshipping. Worship is not just a ritual; it is a means by which we connect to the Lord and invite him to reside in our house and in our hearts.
We should not try to complete the worship in a hurry. Those who are participating in the worship of Lord Jagannath at home should also be attentive and sincere. It should not happen that they are busy with their mobiles or are looking here and there. The person who is worshipping Lord Jagannath and those who are participating get equal benefit.
If you worship Lord Jagannath at home with love, care and attention daily, your house will become a sacred house. And in that sacred home, you and your family members will always live happily.