Para puja stotram

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By Adi Shankara Bhagawat Pada
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

The traditional worship of any deity consists of Dhyana[1], Avahana[2], Asana[3], Padya[4], Arghya[5], Achamaniya[6], Snana[7], Vastra[8], Upavita[9], Patra-Pushpa[10], Gandha[11], Abharana[12], Naivedya[13], Thamboola[14], Dheepa[15], Dhoopa[16], Niranjna[17] and Udvasana[18].

In this great prayer to the God, the poet points out how each one of these is impossible or unjustified while bringing out those great qualities of God.

Akhande sachidanande nirvikalpaika roopini,
Sthithe adwitheeya bhave asmin kadham pooja vidheeyathe 1

How do I worship that entity,
Which is limitless and without borders,
Which is full of perennial bliss,
Which has a form that is beyond imagination,
And which stands alone without a second.

Poornasya vahanam kuthra sarva dharasya chasanam,
Swachasya padyamarkhyacha sudhasyachachamanm kutha., 2

How can I place him at a place,
When he is spread everywhere,
How can I offer him a seat,
When he carries the entire universe,
How can I clean his feet and hands,
When he is the purest of the pure,
How can I offer him a sip of water,
When he himself is the nectar?

Nirmalasya kutha snanam, vasthram viswodharasya cha,
Agothraya thwavarnasya kuthasthasyopaveethakam., 3

How can I offer him a bath,
When he is the cleanest of the clean,
How can I offer him a dress,
When he has the universe in his belly.
How can I offer him sacred thread,
When he is without colour, creed and caste?

Nirlepasya kutho gandha, pushpam nirvasanasya cha,
Nirviseshasya kaa bhoosha, ko alankaro nirakruthe., 4

How can I offer sandal paste,
To the one who is beyond application,
How I can I offer fragrant flowers,
When he is beyond smell and scent,
How can I offer him ornaments,
When he is already beyond adjectives,
How can I offer him decoration,
When he does not have any form?

Niranchanasya kim dhoopair deepair va sarva sakshina,
Nijanandaika truptasya naivedhyam kim bhavediha., 5

How can I offer him a lighted lamp,
When he is the all seeing witness,
How can I offer him the scented smoke,
When he is mixture of all qualities,
How can I offer him sacred offering to eat,
When he is satisfied with eating of nectar?

Viswananda pithusthasya kim thamboolam prakalpyathe,
Swayam prakasa chid roopo yo asavarkadhi bhasaka., 6

How can I offer him betel leaf and nut,
When he is the one who makes the world happy,
And when he makes the sun and moon shine.,
With his own lustrous self.

Pradakshina hyananthasya hyadwayasya kutho nathi,
Veda vakhyair vedhyasya kutha sthothram vidheeyathe., 7

How can I offer him circumambulation,
When he is all pervasive and without end,
How can I praise with words of Vedas,
When he himself are the words of the Vedas?

Swayam prakasa manasya kutho neerajanam vibho,
Aanthabarhischa poornasya kadamudwasanam bhaveth., 8

How can I show the light of Camphor to Him,
When he, himself is self illuminating,
How can I offer him a farewell,
When he is spread inside and outside of everywhere?

Evameva para pooja sarvavasthu sarvada,
Ekabudhya thu devese vidheya brahma vithamai., 9

Those great masters of the knowledge of Brahma,
Should with single mindedness worship the lord of the Gods,
Using this external worship, always and in all times.


  1. meditating on his form
  2. Installing the deity
  3. Offering him a seat
  4. Offering him water to wash his feet
  5. Offering him water to wash his hands
  6. Offering a sip of water for internal cleansing
  7. Offering him bath
  8. Offering him apparel to wear
  9. Offering him the sacred thread
  10. Offering him leaves and flowers
  11. Offering him sandal paste
  12. Offering him jewels
  13. Offering him food
  14. Offering him betel leaf and nut
  15. offering him light
  16. Offering him scented smoke
  17. Offering him lighted Camphor
  18. Bidding him farewell