Traditions and Customs of Brihaspati Puja
Hindu mythology is a vast domain of traditional narratives that deal with Hinduism into the core and an integral part of Sanskrit literature. According to traditional Hinduism practices, all the seven days of the week is dedicated to a particular God of the Hindu pantheon for peace, health, wealth, success and happiness of mankind.
Thursday or Brihaspativar is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Brihaspati, the ultimate Guru of the Devas. This is the reason why Thursday is also known as Gurubar or Guruvar. Apart from the regular puja norms, there are some traditions and customs followed on this day by the devotees, here are they -
- What to Wear - Yellow is the colour of the day, thus all devotees wear yellow attire and perform the puja, smearing their forehead with yellow chandan (sandalwood paste).
- What to Offer - The Lords (Vishnu and Brihaspati) has to be offered yellow coloured fruits and flowers.
- Fasting Customs - The devotees observe a fast on the day and they eat food only once. The food should comprise Chana Dal (Bengal Gram), besan and ghee. Here again, any yellow coloured vegetarian food can be eaten on that day. You cannot use salt to prepare any of the items, ghee, sugar and sweets are allowed.
- Bhog and Prasad - The bhog or Prasad offered to the Lords should have yellow sweets, chanagur, banana or yellow delicacies. After the puja is performed, water has to be offered to Tulsi plant and you can add few Tulsi leaves in the Prasad before consuming.
- Illuminate the Home - Ghee diya is a sign of wealth and success; devotees should light ghee diyas in the temple or home on this day.
- Worshipping Banana Tree - In some regions, the devotees’ plant banana or plantain and they are worshipped and watered. This is particularly done if there is no temple nearby or any idol of Lord Vishnu or Brihaspati. Banana tree is considered symbolic to this puja.
- Puja in Hanuman Temple - In some specific regions, Brihaspati Puja is conducted by visiting the Hanuman Temple. Lord Hanuman’s origins are believed to be derived from Vishnu Purana; thus praying to Lord Vishnu in a Hanuman Temple on Thursdays is considered pious.
- Gain Wealth and Success -There are many stories and folklores associated with the BrihaspativarUpvaas or the fast, it is said that the devotees who perform the puja and fast dedicatedly should gain wealth and prosperity.
- Help the Poor and Needy - It is a belief and also mentioned in the Vrata Katha that Lord Vishnu appears in the guise of a Sadhu in order to test his devotees on this particular day of the week. Thus, helping the poor and the needy is a popular custom of Brihaspati Puja.
- Offer Alms - There is another story related to Brihaspati Puja that a man named Brihaspati denies offering alms to a poor man but later realises his mistake and performs this puja to please the Gods. Therefore, following this belief the devotees follow the custom of not returning anyone empty handed from his / her home front.
- BrihaspativarVrat Katha Customs - While reading or listening to the BrihaspativarVrat Katha, no one should leave the place or speak until the vratakatha is completed. The person reading the katha should cover his / her head with yellow cloth and read the “katha” aloud. Once it is done, the people listening and reading the vratakatha must eat the Prasad, wash hands and only then resume other activities.
Brihaspati Puja fulfils all the desires and expectations of the devotees if done with dedication.