How to Perform Shodashopachara and Panchopchar Puja at Home

In this post, I have described the simple methods of performing Shodashopachara and Panchopchar Puja, the two most popular forms of worshiping most Gods and Goddesses at home and also a most simple form of worship, if performing these Pujas is not possible for the devotee.

Shodashopachara Puja is the worship of a deity by following sixteen simple steps. The commonly followed Shodashopachara or 16 steps have been given below, this may however, differ, if a particular step has been prescribed for any particular deity.

Simple Metthod of Performing Shodashopachara and Panchopchar Puja at Home

1] Avahan – The Opening step of invoking the deity.

2] Aasan -  The installation of the deity on a seat. Normally devotees place 5 flowers or Akshata under the seat of the deity

3] Padh – The third step of bathing the Padh or feet of the deity. This is also done by dipping flowers in water and sprinkling that water on the feet of the deity.

4] Aaradhya – The fourth step of offering Jal or water to the deity. This is also done by sprinkling water mixed with Gandham on the deity.

5] Aachman – The step of filling the mind with pure and unselfish thoughts or cleansing or purifying the mind. This is also done by offering water to the deity to rinse its mouth, cloves or cardamon are added to the water.

6] Snan – Bathing the deity. This is also done by keeping the deity is a Puja Thali and bathing it with Panchamrit and the cleaning it with water. Panchamrit is a mixture of curd, honey, milk, jaggery and ghee.

7] Vastra – Offering or putting clothes on the deity.

8] Upaastra – This is the step of offering the sacred thread or Juneau also called as Upvastra.

9] Gandham – Worshiping the deity with Vermilion, Akshata, Chandana and similar items. Only Whit colored Akshata or Sabut Rice Grains are offered to Lord Shiva, for other deities, the Akshata are normally mixed with Kumkum. Akshatas are never offered to a Shaligram.

10] Pushpa – Offering flowers to the deity. The variety of flowers often depends on which flower is dear to the deity. For example, red colored flowers are usually offered to Lord Ganesha.

11] Dhoop- Offering or lighting incense before the deity.

12] Deep – Offering or lighting an Oil or Ghee Diya or Lamp before the deity.

13] Naivedya- The step of offering food, sweets or the specific favored food of the deity.

14] Pradakshina – Clockwise Parikrama of the deity. Many times this is not possible, especially if the Puja is being performed at home, in such cases, the devotes often revolve in a clockwise manner around themselves.

15] Namaskar – Praying to the deity.

16] Mantrapushpa – Chanting of Mantras and offering flowers to the deity.

If is is not possible for the deity to perform Shodashopachara Puja of the deity, then he can always perform Panchopchar Puja, which is simpler and the 5 simple steps given below have to be followed.

1] Gandham
2] Dhoop
3] Diya
4] Pushpa
5] Naivedya

All these five steps have been described above.

In case performing the Panchopchar Puja is not possible for the devotee, then, he can worship the deity by offering Gandham and Pushpa.

More information on Pujas and specific methods of worship can be seen in the section on – Articles on Mantra Vidya


  1. It is common to see Panchopachara puja prescribed in Yakshini or Apsara Sadhana, so the Panchopachara puja mentioned above also apply to normal Yakshini or Apsara Sadhana? Should we address the name of the Devi when we offer the items to her? Please elaborate Sir.

    1. यक्षिणी/अप्सरा/योगिनी/किन्नर किन्नरी /जिन्न भूत वेताल आदि अशरीरी जीवों की पूजा अर्चना उनसे सम्बंधित साधनाओं में दी गयी विधि के अनुसार ही की जाती है .यदि केवल यह निर्देश हों कि पंचोपचार/षोडशोपचार पूजा की जाय ,तो यहां दी गयी विधि से पूजा की जा सकती है .किसी देवता/देवी की पूजा के समय या तो सामान्य रूप से कह सकते हैं -हे देव (देवी),मैं आपको आसन समर्पित कर रहा हूँ ,पुष्प अर्पित कर रहा हूँ ,नैवेद्य समर्पित कर रहा हूँ आदि आदि ...आप नाम से भी इसे समर्पित कर सकते हैं .उदाहरण के लिए गणेश अम्बिका पूजन को लें ---
      (आसन)--रम्यं सुशोभनम दिव्यम सर्वसौख्यकरम शुभम
      आसनं च मया दत्तं गृहाण परमेश्वर ll
      --गणेशाम्बिकाभ्यां नमः आसनं समर्पयामि .
      (अर्घ्य )--अर्घ्यम गृहाण देवेश गंध पुष्पाक्षतैः सह
      करुणाम कुरु में देव ,गृहाणार्घ्यं नमोsस्तु ते ll
      --गणेशाम्बिकाभ्यां नमः अर्घ्यम समर्पयामि .

  2. nice post.. thanx for giving this useful infromation.


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