Shri Satya Narayana Katha is one of the most popular pujas (ritualistic prayers) that is offered to Lord Vishnu by almost all the Indian communities in the world. Satya Narayana puja is performed from the time immemorial by all the enthusiastic devotees whether they belong to any sects of Hinduism such as Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Sikhism, Jainism, Shakti Upsasakas or Swami Narayana devotees.
They all believe in the countless miracles of Satya Narayana Katha puja and perform this puja for abundant beneficial results. It has been observed that after the performance of this puja with belief, faith, and devotion, devotees are benefited by getting their problems and difficulties resolved through the help that is suddenly coming in from unexpected corners.
Thus, the young couple who are wishing to have offspring will be blessed with children, the sick will regain health, and students will acquire good knowledge and pursue best careers, financial hardships will go away, success and prosperity will be obtained.
The reasons for the popularity of this particular puja are many. Firstly, it is very simple and easy to perform, and secondly, it can be performed by anyone; young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, high caste or low-caste or even widows. This reveals that as far as God is concerned, there are no barriers to worship Him. It is only the sincerity, faith, belief, and devotion of the Bhakta (devotee) that counts to reach Him.
Thirdly, it can be performed on any day and at any time, although certain days and times are considered more auspicious. Generally devotes perform this Katha on any special occasions such as Graha Pravesh, before wedding, on wedding anniversary day, birthday, on achieving a milestone or fulfilling a special wish in life, and during times of great achievements/success in careers as an offering of gratitude to the Lord Vishnu who is the Lord of Lords.
Lord Vishnu is popularly known as Narayana, Laxmi Narayana, Surya Narayana, Nara Narayana and Daridra Narayana. In this Katha Laxmi Narayana Himself told Deva Rishi Narad about the importance of Satya Narayan Puja and Katha. From this story Narayana is also known by a new name Satya Narayana.The word ‘Satya’ means Truth. Narayan means He who is living in everybody and everything in this universe.
Lord Satya Narayan recommends that in order to overcome difficulties and problems either caused by the deeds of this life or previous life, one has to begin worshipping and practicing truth which is decisive. Worshipping truth means being ‘truthful’ to oneself and then ‘truthful’ to others. This can be achieved by speaking the truth, seeing the truth, and doing truthful actions. That means, the more we are becoming truthful, the more we are worshipping the Lord Narayan and his presence in ourselves and others.
By and large, Shri Satya Narayana Katha is performed with all the family members, relatives, friends, and neighbors. The purpose of inviting them for the puja is to promote and reassure the harmony and unity among family and community members. Singing prayers together for the Lord creates unity and positive vibrations in our souls that helps to overcome negative tendencies which cause conflicts and problems in our lives.
According to Hindu philosophy, we should focus not only on our own happiness but also encourage and support others in any way we can to be happy. The real truth behind this saying is that when you make others happy, in the long run you are making yourself happy. That means that what we sow today, we reap the same tomorrow. As it is also rightly said what goes around that comes around.
The stories and characters (belonging to four Varnas of Hindu society) coming in the Satya Narayana Katha are very near to our lives. Their life-styles, thinking, practices, beliefs, values, philosophy, situations, and their life’s ups and downs resemble ours. These characters make us realize how they suffer in life due to their evil actions, greed, self-ego, knowledge-ego, money-ego, and power-ego.
People suffer when they develop attachment to their wives, children, property, and wealth. A person cannot get true bhakti (devotion) in life without the Veda Gyan (true knowledge) to realize the ultimate aim (liberation) of life which is the central question of Shri Satya Narayana Katha. This Katha brings us near true devotion (Lord Vishnu) and provides us with an opportunity to shower the Lord and his dear devotees with prema and bhakti (love and devotion) and in return, get fulfilled the four rewards of life: dharma (spiritual need), artha (material need), kaama (personal need), and moksha (liberation).
To understand the hidden meanings of the moral stories, importance of listening to and performing Shri Satya Narayana Katha in this Kaliyuga, how we can lead a righteous life, alleviate our sufferings, get rid of ego and obtain salvation in life, please come to listen to the explanations, elucidations and revelations of this Katha.
Our self-realization, confession, repentance, and determination not to repeat any evil actions, thoughts and sights will provide us with a right path for following and practicing real devotion with true knowledge. This puja will bring true devotion, knowledge, happiness, benefits, peace of mind, pleasures of this world, genuine wealth, and power to seek the ultimate salvation in this life.
I humbly invite all the devotees of Lake County and Greater Chicago Land on behalf of Hindu Mandir at Grayslake, IL to participate in our Samohika Shri Satya Narayana Katha Puja to be held on May 31, 2014 from 5:30 onwards.
Pt Anil Joshi