Navagraha Puja

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What you see in the image above is a puja table for a Navagraha (nine planet) yagya. Each of the planets has a special place in the mandala, as well as a specific grain and shape.

In the center is the Surya, the Sun represented by wheat and to the right of the Sun is Jupiter represented by chick peas. To the left of the Sun is a reddish lentil which represents Mars.

In the front row we have, from left to right, Moon represented by rice, Venus in the center represented by a white bean, and on the right mung beans for Mercury.

The row in the back has, from left to right, black beans for Rahu, very dark lentils for Saturn and a multicolored grain for Ketu.

Of course everything is framed by the beautiful and astonishingly fragrant jasmine malas that are prevalent in south india. And all the way in the back is the kalasha pot which contains the purified water and into which the deities are invoked.

And of course after the yagya, there are flowers everywhere and the priests performs the final offering of light (aarti).

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