Daily prayers to Indo-Aryan deities – explicated on the example of prayers to Lord Shiva


[Editor’s Note: this document represents a ‘team effort’ by Arya Akasha – with much of the work being done by O. Rapace, who has written all of this up. Everything in here has been compiled and cross-checked with Brahminical oversight to ensure that this represents not only an ‘accessible‘ approach to home piety – but an accurate and an authentic one as well. ॐ नमः शिवाय

Anyway, we shall let O.R. take over the narration … [-C.A.R.] ]

The following system of simple prayers to Indo-Aryan deities can be followed by anyone but it is meant mostly for those Indo-Europeans who recognize that today India is the only standing sovereign IE culture and Hinduism (or perhaps better to say Sanatana Dharma) is the only relevant Indo-European faith sovereign today, yet who were born outside of great Indo-Aryan Dharmic culture and who thus find themselves apart from the system of varnas, gotras and other social preconditions for proper following of Hindu religion. Simply put – it is meant for those goras who are living outside of India, who were not properly initiated into any authentic sampradaya and especially for those who live in areas where there are little possibilities for actual physical interaction with Sanatana Dharma, where there are little to no possibilities of regularly visiting a mandir etc.

In no way the system presented here should be viewed as something replacing the potential need to get in touch with deeper and more fundamental aspects of Sanatana Dharma, be it by pilgrimage to India, by getting touch with a mandir even if it is farther away than one would like it to be etc.

Another way how to expand and continue from this system, is the simple Puja format that Arya Akasha is currently working on and that is of pan-IE saliency.

The following daily prayers are easy to follow and have relatively little preconditions. You should be able to pray at least once daily, following either the full or the quick form.

You may modify some elements of the prayers, like including ghee lamps instead of candles etc., but do not modify the form of the formulas as presented. As you can see the form of the salutation formula is [shrI] + dative-form of the name of the deity + namaHa. Why is that? Well, that is because in case of the actual example provided [shrI] shivAya namaHa this is something that is permitted by the most strict reading of the rules for anyone to use, non-Dvijas, mlecchas and by extension non-initiated goras. There are other forms of this formula, like well known OM namaHa shivAya (so called Panchakshara), and while it is widely used, the Hindu religious authorities do not agree whether it can indeed be used by anyone or whether it is properly reserved only for those who are authorized to recite actual Vedic mantras.

You see, while in the West, everyone and their mom uses mantras like OM, namaHa ShivAya etc., it does not mean they are actually entitled to use them, or perhaps to put it better – than they are properly empowered to use them. In the best case scenario, more or less nothing happens, because the individual just doesn’t have what it takes to really tap into the mantra.

There are some are mantras (and that goes actually for most mantras) that are to be used only with proper initiation. Generally speaking only namasmaranas (“divine name mantras”) can be really used by anyone (this means totally anyone) and they are both safe and powerful enough. These mantras include the names of the deities, like “Shiva”, “Rudra”, “Mahadeva” or “Durga”, or the exclamations like “Hare Krishna”, “Har Har Mahadev”, “Jai Mata Di” etc.

The text of the following prayers was consulted with scholars, both Western and Indian, to make sure that what is included is indeed something even a non-initiated gora can rightfully and safely use. The structure was kept to be as simple as possible, for more advanced forms of worship that are still usable even by non-initiated goras, check out the Arya Akasha simple Puja project. What follows is not meant to be a substitute for the simple Puja project, but an introduction to proper modes of worship for modern alienated occidental Indo-Europeans, who, so to say, see the Light shining in the East, and who yearn to reconnect with the living streams of Indo-European Faith.

Everyday Morning Prayer


Morning prayer (both the full and quick form) can be done dressed in a dry towel or a dry bathrobe or in your day home or work clothes, provided they are clean enough. This all at least after washing your hands and face, including mouth. Ideally you would have special clothes and will take a bath or a shower before. Do not wear shoes or slippers, you can wear clean socks though.

Steps or elements in […] are not required, but can be included, steps or elements in {…} are not required, but are highly recommended. In case of lightning the candles during the morning prayer, do not forget to put the flame out (not by using your breath as that is not the proper way) before you go to work etc. In case you are making the offering of food, the most safe approach is to use the nuts (like walnuts etc.), as they are easy to store and they stay fresh for long time. Be sure not to store them directly on the ground and keep them somewhere separate from your other food. The next day you should dispose of the offering, not by putting it into trash etc., but by putting it outside somewhere where animals can take care of it.

After lightning of the incense stick it is recommended to assume a sitting praying position (sitting on both knees), or position on a bent knee etc. depending on the height of the altar and of the Murtis (you should be able to see the Murtis but you should not be standing towering above them). In case your altar is placed relatively high (so that you do not tower above the Murtis) you can remain standing.

In case you have made a mistake or an error during the “quick” version of the prayer, feel free to include the supplication for forgiveness of errors made.

  • {* Lightning of the candle(s)}
  • Ringing of the bell
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (1x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Ganesha)
  • Lightning of the incense stick (sandalwood or another “universal” kind) or burning of the small amount of incense on the burner
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (3x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice)
  • {* offering of the food
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa naivedyaM samarpayAmi
    (after the recitation, offer a nut (walnut etc.) to the deity on a prepared plate)}
  • {* Meditation on the Murti}
  • Supplication for forgiveness of errors made
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa kShamasva kShamasva
  • End of rite – ringing of the bell

In case it is not possible to conduct the everyday morning prayer, the following minimum is recommended:

  • {* Ringing of the bell}
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (1x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down after saluting Lord Ganesha)
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (3x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice)
    {* Ringing of the bell}

Everyday Evening Prayer


Evening prayer (both the full and the quick form) can be done dressed in pyjamas you sleeps in, provided they are clean enough, in a dry towel or a dry bathrobe. It is understood you have already taken a bath or a shower. If not, then at least hands and face are washed, including mouth. It is also possible, if needed, to be in your day home or work clothes. In that case you need to follow minimal washing requirements mentioned above. Ideally you would have special clothes and will take a shower before. Do not wear shoes or slippers, you can wear clean socks though

Steps or elements in […] are not required, but can be included, steps or elements in {…} are not required, but are highly recommended. Please note that for the evening prayer the lightning of the candles is meant as a required step (for the full form of the prayer). Either let the candles burn out naturally or put the flame out (not by using your breath as that is not the proper way) before you go to sleep etc. In case you are making the offering of food, the most safe approach is to use the nuts (like walnuts etc.), as they are easy to store and they stay fresh for long time. Be sure not to store them directly on the ground and keep them somewhere separate from your other food. The next day you should dispose of the offering, not by putting it into trash etc., but by putting it outside somewhere where animals can take care of it.

After lightning of the incense stick it is recommended to assume a sitting praying position (sitting on both knees), or position on a bent knee etc. depending on height of the altar and of the Murtis (you should be able to see the Murtis but you should not be standing towering above them). In case your altar is placed relatively high (so that you do not tower above the Murtis) you can remain standing.

In case you have made a mistake or an error during the “quick” version of the prayer, feel free to include the supplication for forgiveness of errors made.

  • Lightning of the candle(s)
  • Ringing of the bell
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (1x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Ganesha)
  • Lightning of the incense stick (sandalwood or another “universal” kind) or burning of the small amount of incense on the burner
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (3x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice)
    {* Offering of the food
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa naivedyaM samarpayAmi
    (after the recitation, offer a nut (walnut etc.) to the deity on a prepared plate)}
  • Meditation on the Murti
  • Supplication for forgiveness of errors made
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa kShamasva kShamasva
  • End of rite – ringing of the bell

In case it is not possible to conduct the everyday evening prayer, the following minimum is recommended:

  • {* Ringing of the bell}
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (1x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Ganesha)
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (3x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice)
  • {* Ringing of the bell}

Mondays (and other Days of Mahadev, like Maha Shivaratri)

Monday prayer (both the full and the quick form) should be done dressed in special clothes and after taking a bath or a shower. If donning special clothes is not possible, you can be in your day home or work clothes. If that is the case, then at least hands and face are washed, including mouth.
Do not wear shoes or slippers, you can wear clean socks though

Steps or elements in […] are not required, but can be included, steps or elements in {…} are not required, but are highly recommended. Please note that for Monday prayer the lightning of the candles is meant as a required step (for the full form of the prayer). Either let the candles burn out naturally or put the flame out (not by using your breath as that is not the proper way) before you go to sleep etc. In case you are making the offering of food, the most safe approach is to use the nuts (like walnuts etc.), as they are easy to store and they stay fresh for long time. Be sure not to store them directly on the ground and keep them somewhere separate from your other food. The next day you should dispose of the offering, not by putting it into trash etc., but by putting it outside somewhere where animals can take care of it.

After lightning of the incense stick it is recommended to assume a sitting praying position (sitting on both knees), or position on a bent knee etc. depending on height of the altar and of the Murtis (you should be able to see the Murtis but you should not be standing towering above them). In case your altar is placed relatively high (so that you do not tower above the Murtis) you can remain standing.

In case you have made a mistake or an error during the “quick” version of the prayer, feel free to include the supplication for forgiveness of errors made.

  • Lightning of the candle(s)
  • Ringing of the bell
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (4x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Ganesha four times)
  • Lightning of the incense (either stick, cone or that kind that goes into the incense burner), on this occasion it should be an incense to please Lord Shiva
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (9x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice, thus bow down 3 times)
    {* Offering of the food
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa naivedyaM samarpayAmi
    (after the recitation, offer a nut (walnut etc.) to the deity on a prepared plate)}
  • Meditation on the Murti
  • Devotional song or praise to Lord Shiva
    shrI shivAya namaHa shubham shubham kuru kuru shivAya namaHa
    (eventually to be replaced or accompanied by more elaborate devotional hymns, like various Shiva Stotras)
  • Supplication for forgiveness of errors made
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa kShamasva kShamasva
  • End of rite – ringing of the bell

In case it is not possible to conduct the full form of the Monday prayer, the following minimum is recommended:

  • {* Ringing of the bell}
  • Salutation to Lord Ganesha (1x)
    [shrI] gaNeshAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Ganesha)
  • Salutation to Lord Shiva (9x)
    [shrI] shivAya namaHa
    (bow down once after saluting Lord Shiva thrice, thus bow down 3 times)
  • {* Ringing of the bell}

One thought on “Daily prayers to Indo-Aryan deities – explicated on the example of prayers to Lord Shiva

  1. Pingback: Daily prayers to Indo-Aryan deities – explicated on the example of prayers to Lord Shiva – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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