In every Sadhana, Upchaar or special worship of deity has an important place. Upchaar eans devotedly making some offerings to deity in order to win his or her grace.
There is no fixed rule for Upchaar but including this worship procedure in Sadhana assures quicker success. There are different types of Upchaars ranging from Ekopchaar to Sahastropachar. Our article shall focus only on Shodashopchaar, Dashopchaar and Panchopchaar forms of worship in which 16,10 and 5 articles are offered respectively. In each age, forms of worship have been different but in the present age of hustle and bustle performing a Sadhana itself is a great fortunate achievement and the shorter the procedure the better.
It is best to do Shodashopchaar worship in which 16 articles are offered but in daily Sadhana Panchopchaar worship would suffice and in it five articles namely fragrance, flowers, incense, ghee lamp and sweets are offered.
This includes 1. Aavaahan 2. Aasan 3. Paadya 4. Arghya 5. Aachamaniya 6. Snaan 7. Vastra 8. Madhupark 9. Tilak 10. Akshat 11. Pushp 12. Dhoop 13. Deep 14. Neivedya 15. Taambool 16. Naariyal
Many do not count this in the procedure and instead just offer prayers to the deity. It means inviting the deity concerned to come and bless Sadhak. For this hands are joined and the following Mantra is chanted.
A worship mat is used in order to ake the physical body free of ailments, the soul pure and gain divine powers. Basically a mat acts as a bad conductor and does not allow energy of Mantra chanting fro being earthed. Torn, burnt and used mats are prohibited. Deer skin, tiger skin, grass, silk, cotton and wood mats are best. Deer skin for gain of knowldge, tiger skin for spiritual progress and wealth and wool for riddance from sorrows and poverty are prescribed. Deities are offered a mat of flowers and then the following Mantra is chanted.
Offering water in the feet of deity is called Paadya. For this two spoonfuls of water is offered chanting thus.
Water offered to deities for washing their hands is called Arghya. Mix flowers and fragrance in water in a tumbler. Offer chanting thus.
Water offered to deity for rinsing the mouth is called Aachamaniya. Offer water chanting -
All deities are present in the ocean of knowledge, still three spoonfuls of water is offered as mark of respect for a bath.