What is the order of abhishekam for Lord Shiva?

This has been a challenge for me for a long time to understand the prescribed way to do abhishekam for Lord Shiva. I used to watch how things are done in temple. However, temple follows agama – at home, we can’t obviously follow agama and we can follow what veda says. Here is what the sloka says. During my visit, I had an opportunity to visit Brahmasri Mani Ganapadigal in W.Mambalam.  I asked him this question and he spontaneously answered me with this sloka and a text book copy (probably he knew that I wouldn’t understand sanskrit!).

Here is both for you….Hope this helps ….

I shot this with my iPad 2 – not sure why the video isn’t coming in full screen – still trying to understand this…..

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26 replies

  1. Dear Sirs: Under the order of abishekam for performing shiva puja at home (panchayatana pooja), the last item is mentioned as ‘Gandhodhagam’ (as per Brahmashri Mani ganapadigal). Could you please enlighten me what is Ganghodhagam? How to prepare? Expecting your reply.
    Thanks and regards

  2. What are the procedures to do Periyava Pada Absekam and Poja ? Please help..

  3. somewhere in the above posts,i read the xplanation for anitya trupta as someone who cannot be satisfied.
    our swamiji(from chinmaya mission) once said that the meaning here is:one who is satisfied even with things of temporary nature–even flowers that wilt very fast,….god does not demand anything of us.he has no wants or desires –fulfilled or unfulfilled.
    and the meaning of nitya trupta is :one who is always satisfied,contented. we see these two words even in lalitha sahasranamam.
    please do not portray god as some mean money lender,….
    sabitha gopalakrishnan.

  4. This is in continuation to my earlier mail ::


    Location & Direction : This temple can be reached 2 kms from Thirukandiyur and 4 kms from Thiruvaiyaru on the Thanjavur-Thiruvaiyaru bus route. This temple is situated on the banks of Kudamuruti river.

    This is the fourth sthalam of Sapthasthanam of Thiruvayyaru.

    Moolavar : Vedapureeswarar, Vazhaimadunathar
    Amman / Thayar : Mangayarkarasi
    Thala Virutcham : Vilwa
    Theertham : Vaidha theertham
    Historical Name : Vizhuthukudi
    City : Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur – Thiruvedhikudi

    As the Moolavar is raised from Banana tree field as Swayambu Lingam and purified the four Vedas at the request of Lord Brahma He is also called as Vazhai Madu Nathar. Since all four Vedas were given importance in this place this village was called as Chthurvedimangalam which in due course of time derived as Thiruvedhikudi.

    Sri Appar and Sri Sambandhar written pasurams about this temple.

    Lord Brahma who preserved and safeguarded the four Vedas has been taken away by a demon and hidden under the sea. Four Vedas has been restored by Lord Vishnu and returned to Lord Brahma. Since the four Vedas were under the custody of a demon it has became impurity and in order to purify the four vesas Lord Brahma made a plea to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva raised from banana field as Swayambu and purified the four vesas. Four Vedas requested Lord Shiva to stay back in this place. Since Lord Shiva purified the Vedas and stayed back Lord Shiva is being called as Vedapureeswarar.

    It is rate opportunity for devotees to witness sun rays will fall on Moolavar Sri Vedapureeshwar on tamil month Panguni three days 13, 14 and 15.

    At the entrance itself Vedha Vinayagar sannithanam. Vedhi means Vedam in Tamil. Since this temple is maintained by Brahman by reciting all four Vedas in this temple this place is called as Vizhuthukudi which in due course of time derived as Vedhakudi. Thiru means a salutation in tamil used for elders. This village name further derieved as Thiruvedhigudi.

    Those facing obstacles in finalizing marriage alliance may visit this temple and perform abishegam to Vedapureeswarar and Mangayarkarasi and certainly finalization of marriage will take place within a short period and it is belief among the local people and surrounding villages. Marriages materialsed to some people in the recent past after visiting this temple.

    Sri Ayyarappar of Thiruvaiyaru, Sri Abadhsagayeshwarar of Thiru Pazhanam and Sri Odhavaneswar of Thiru Chotruthurai will come together on the 10th day of Sapthasthanam festival and invite Goddess Mangayarkarasi samedha Vedapureeswarar to Thiruvaiyarru via. Thirupoonthurithi and Thilaisthanam. Sri Vedapureeswarar will return to his place on the 11day evening.

    Annabishekam, Thiru Karthigai and Maha Shivarathiri are the main festivals of this temple. All Fridays of Adi and Thai month Mangayarkarasi Amman will be in Santha Kappu alangaram.

    This temple is comes under HR & CE Department of Tamil Nadu Government. Devotees has to wait at the temple for darshan as pooja will be performed only in the morning. At request abhishekam will be performed to Vedhapureeswar. HR & CE is not allocating funds to this temple for regular pooja.

  5. This is something that has always striked me. There are several thousands that undertake Kailasha Yatra every year spending several thousands of rupees. While I understand the piety and awe this kshetram evokes, at the same time, we have many wonderful shivalayams around us that are languishing for pujas and several in dilapidated condition. Can’t those funds that are spent on the Kailasha Yatra be redirected towards the upkeep and renovation of these temples. Personally, I feel these acts may be more fruitful than the yatra per se. I may be wrong in conveying these thoughts and request others to put forth their opinions on this.

    • Dear Mr. Sudarshan :

      You are really correct but let us not control the people who are having interest to visit Kailash Manasoravar. One should get their own satisfaction in their own activities.

      As you said there are lot of temples that too in Southern India itself which are without nitya pooja, in general, and without one time Deepam, in particular. For example : Thiruvedhigudi which is famous and historical temple and one of the place of Thiruvaiyaru Sapthasthalam. Today the Shivacharyar is performing with his own interest performing one pooja instead of Aru Kala Pooja reason being the temple is under HR & CE Department and no fund being allotted for Pooja purpose. Even during Sapthasthana Festival village people are arranging funds every year and making the festival success. This temple history is very interesting. I will send you separately the history of this temple.

      Like this there are ‘n’ number of temples but even if devotees came forward to renovate no proper justification is being done. There should be separate strong Body should be constituted and mobilise funds. After fund mobilisation the Body has to take the village people into confidence and take up the renovation job with Kanchi Matam or Sringeri Matam. If the temple comes under HR & CE Department still it will be another head ache.

      For example : My village is Varagur in Thanjavur District where Sri Sri Sri Narayana Theertha composed and sung the famous Tharangini and received Viswaroopa Darshan of Lord Venkatesa Perumal. Virtually Sri Narayana Theertha Swamigal heard Salangai Oli when he was singing Tharangini. Today we are performs all festivals and Pooja the way in which Sri Sri Narayana Theertha Swamigal started about 400 years ago. One of the example – Gokulashtami called by us as Uriyadi is very famous in our village which will be celebrated for 10 days commending from Avani Avittam day and concludes with Hanumath Jayanthi. During this festival all four vedas Gana Parayanam will be arranged for all the nine days. We have certain system, procedures and samprathayam which are being followed even today. The temple is being managed by a separate Trust.

      The Temple Trust expenditure are accountable to HR & CE and 65% of Hundi collections being taken away by HR & CE. We have performed Kumbabishekam during 1991 and another one already due during this year. We have approached HR & CE for formal approval but we are unable to get approval that too for Rs. 3.5 lakhs which will not at all sufficient to meet the painting work of the temple. We, the Varagur Village origin people, are exploring the possibility of establishing a separate Trust for Kumbabishekam to mobilise funds and planning to perform the Kumbabishekam during July, 2012 or at best during Dec., 2012 but HR & CE Department demanding donars list from us which is not at all relevant for them. If this are like this how we can think about taking care of other temples. Kaliyugam will be like this.

      Let this forum members came forward and constitute a Strong Body and make out a plan before we come to a conclusion.


      • Dear shri VKSWAMY,
        Excellent replies. Glad to know that you are from Varahur. I am brother-in-law of Shri V.S. Karthikeyan son of Late sri Srinivasa Iyer. I am coming to the Uriyadi festival for the past three years. Really it is such an excellent event that we forget ourselves. I am also Janani’s (VSKarthikeyan’s daughter in law) uncle(Her mother’s own brother).
        As far as the Siva pooja discussion is concerned, my vadhyar used to say Pooja can be either simple like abhisekam with one Rudhdrani of water or exhaustive as mentioned above. By His grace, adiyen has got the Bhagyam of performing Panchayadana Pooja. During office days, I do it in simple way. But during Pradhosham, weekends, Somavaram & holidays, I carry out the abhisekams with all the dravyams mentioned above.
        Bilvam is part & parcel of Siva pooja. The good thing is that Bilvam has no Nirmalya Dhosham. i.e. already used Bilva patram can be used provided it is not broken & worn out. So daily we can do Shiva ashtotra namavali archanai with Bilva patram.
        Cow’s milk is nowadays very hard to get.
        Sivan is Asidhoshi i.e. He gets very much satisfied very easily even with Rudrani of jala abisekam.
        Let us all get His blessings!!
        Om Nama Shivaya!!!/
        Sir please give me your contact number.

        K.K. Nagar, Chennai.

      • Dear Sir ..

        With regard to Shiva Pooja I agree with your version. I didn’t do with Panchayadana Pooja. I am happy that I am doing this pooja as per the direction of my Guru and I am getting peace of mind every day. If I miss a day I feel something I lost. I will try my best to include other dravyams in my pooja.

        How people are united even though we are very near? I am glad to note that you are the brother in law of my class mate Mr. V.S. Karthikeyan. We used to call over phone very often. My mobile No. 09959939991. I am presently in Hyderabad and planning to visit Seattle, US next week for a couple of months. Mr. VSK’s son also in Seattle but Sriram is visiting India presently, as per VSK.

        I am very glad to exchange our views via this media. Thanks for Mahesh.


  6. I am extremely impressed with your commitment Shri Mahesh, doing Nitya Pooja with Abhishekams, at such a young age and that too in the US. You inspire others.

  7. For Nithya puja, important thing is the devotion and keeping it simple. Once the puja grows in size and time, our mind will start to find the whole process painful – I am repeating what my teacher told me. With that in mind, even abishekams on water is sufficient….I you can do more on a daily basis, it is great – not a must.

    I do my Nithya puja with water, milk, brown sugar, viboothi and sandal powder – some days I include curd also. In summer I do it with honey too. If I am really under time pressure, I do it with just water/milk.

    RIghtly said, you can’t make Him happy with all the dravyams and you can make Him so happy just with water….Mahaperiyava explains this panchayathana puja in “Deivatin kural” vol 1….

    • I am fully compromised with Mr. Mahesh. This is what my Vadhyar also taught. Even one of the Shiva Bhaktha Mr. Ramani who is presently in Chidambaram informed the same. Mr. Ramani worked for Indian Bank and taken VRS and fully devoting his rest of his life towards Shiva Kainkaryam. He is youngest employee who opted VRS about 8 years ago. After retirement he visited almost all Shiva Shetram and every year he will visit Kailash & Manasarovar. He is very simple and intelligent person and thorough in Vedam and Shiva Puranam, Thevaram, Thiruvachagam, Agama Sastra, etc. After retirement he learned Vedam at Thiruvananthapuram Veda Padashala. He only started the Shiva Pooja for me.

    • Hi Mahesh, I intend to do the nithya siva pooja at home in Singapore. Appreciate if you could forward me any pdf copy of the vidhi and mantras that I could follow. Even if it is a link and information as to where I could by Hindi or English version of mantras will also help.

      Thanks for your help in advance

  8. even bilvam ( vilvam ) leaves can be added if possible, even if its dried one its ok

  9. Dear VK Swamy,

    Swami is described as Nitya trupta and Anitya trupta, meaning He is ever satisfied but yet, He can never be satisfied. Puja has to be performed bearing this in mind always. Not just dravyams for abhishekam, but a lot of flowers and varieties of neivedyams are seen to be mentioned for puja. But it is not possible to perform a puja complete with all these. A kshamayachana shloka says the aradhaka ventured to perform shodasha upachara, but ended up committing 32 aparadhas. Hence, we can perform puja to the best of our knowledge and capacity. If you have the time and capacity to perform the varied abhishekams as detailed above every single day, it is excellent. If not, please continue with the present routine, which is wonderful. These days it is hard to see people performing nitya puja. So, please do continue your routine. If possible, abhishekam with the above mentioned dravyams may be done on special days, such as pradosham, pournami, and other parva dina. Lastly, if I may venture to suggest, you may include cow’s milk in your daily routine in addition to tirtham, which can be used for prashanam, too.


    • Dear Sudarshan Sir :

      You have quoted “Nitya trupta and Anitya trupta, meaning He is ever satisfied but yet, He can never be satisfied”. I could not understand. Pls. clarify.

      I enquired, in Shiva Pooja it is mandatory to include all abisheka draviyams or else we can continue our routine pooja. You have clarified, if not possible, we can continue the existing one for which I’m satisfied. The word “He” you are quoting Lord Shiva I thing. As per me He is satisfied always even if we offer one flower in his Patham.


    • I am really happy with your reply. Getting cow milk in urban areas is difficult but still I will do my best to include cow milk in my nitya pooja.

  10. Dear Mr. Mahesh :

    Your justification with regard to abishekam to Lord Shiva is factual. As per my Vadhyar I am performing simple Shiva Pooja in which I am not including all the above abisheka dravyangal. I am presently doing theertha abishekam, alangaram, archanai, neivedyam, theeparadhanai and regular slokam with prarthanai. Do you, as per your knowledge, advise that all the above abisheka dravyangal are to be included on daily pooja?


  11. information,great,mahesh,thank you

    are you back at chicago?

  12. Here is the English version of what is written in the PDF document (not the grantham lipi, but in Tamil):

    Order of Abhisheka:
    1. Gandha Tailam (Scented oil)
    2. Panchagavyam (milk, curd, ghee (the source of these 3 should be the cow, not packet milk), cow’s urine and cow dung, all mixed in appropriate proportions along with the chanting of requisite mantras)
    3. Panchamrutam – fruits (usually panchamrutam refers to milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar/jaggery, but here I think it refers to fruits)
    4. Ghee
    5. Milk
    6. Curds (not yogurt)
    7. Honey
    8. Sugarcane juice (if not available, then water with dissolved jaggery can be used)
    9. Fruit juices (preferences are mango, grape, orange)
    10. Tender coconut
    11. Sandal paste (ground sandal paste, not the commercially available powdered ones)
    12. Ganga jalam (sanctified water set aside separately, since Ganga jalam will not be always available)

  13. I had forwarded to many of my friends and many ask for the details of the book two pages seen. can you please elaborate on this.

    Please mail your contact details so that we can talk mine is 408 462 2113 at CA

  14. The sloka is in grnadam script (Grandam is only a script not a language) in Samskritam language.

  15. Very nice of sharing such useful information too. it took time for the file to open and i could download the same.

    Please ignore the comments made above.

    Well done you are doing a excellent job.


  16. It would be nice if the document is allowed to be downloaded as many may download and take out a print out or keep in their digital sorage.

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