Nine Forms of Bhakthi- Devotion- ARCHANA


Archana refers to the recital of various names of Lord and seeking His divine blessings for the prosperity of the entire humanity

Archana is a type of Bhakti yoga (the yoga of love and devotion), which refers to worship through rituals, such as a puja or fire offering. It is one of the nine forms, or limbs, of Bhakti yoga. Archana is also sometimes described as "the worship of God."

The goal of practicing Archana is the same goal of all Bhakti yoga practices - to experience pure bliss and awakening through devotional surrender and worship of the Divine.

There are many ways to practice Archana, though the purpose of Bhakti yoga is to purify the heart through surrendering the ego to God

During the practice of Archana, the important factor is that the mind is focused completely on God, or the Divine, and the qualities of mortality, divinity and bliss, as opposed to earthly matters. Devotion in Bhakti yoga must be motivated by selflessness.

The purpose of Archana is to thank god for giving us all what we need for survival – be it the strength to endure agony or the basic essentials.

“Whoever offers Me with devotion and a pure mind (heart), a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water—I accept this as devotion.” (Bhagavad Gita 9.26) Archanam, the fifth form of devotion, is the complete “offering” in the form of pujas or ritualistic worship, chanting mantras, singing bhajans, offering arati, food, flowers and even clothes to the Supreme. Love expresses in giving and as love for the Supreme Lord grows in the heart of the devotee, he naturally wants to offer his best. By doing this, the devotee derives inner satisfaction and inspiration.

"Those who perform the worship of Vishnu in this world, attain the immortal and blissful state of Moksha." Thus says the Vishnu-Rahasya.

Worship should be done according to the rules laid down in the Varnashrama-Dharma or in the case of advanced devotees worship can be done in any manner they like. The purpose of worship is to please the Lord, to purify the heart through surrender of the ego and love of God.

Yo yo yaam yaam tanum bhaktah shraddhayaarchitum icchati
Tasya tasyaachalaam shraddhaam taameva vidadhaamyaham

Whatsoever form any devotee desires to worship with faith—that (same) faith of his I make firm and unflinching. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7. 21).

There is only one God, yet He manifests in many different forms.
Although each of these various forms of God is supreme, a devotee may feel a stronger attraction for a particular deity. Hence one can perform archanam to all the deities or to a particular deity personally preferred as the istha devata. Thus archanam can be done in a temple or also in one’s personal altar at home or sometimes even manasa pooja can be done at the mind level. Archanam or deity worship combines an external ritual with internal meditation. We can do archanam by offering flowers to the lord, chanting His holy names like the Sahasranamas or the Ashtotarams.

If one does archana in his name, he accumulates Punya palan and thereby he or she is bound to be reborn, but by doing Archanai in the name of God Himself, the palan of that Archanai goes to God Himself and there is no residue left with that person to be reborn.

Periyazhwar (aka Vishnu Chitta) was a poet in the darbar of a Pandya King. He taught the king the philosophy and removed his doubts about the nature of God entity. The King offered him a bundle of gold coins in return for the help. The God in the form of the deity called Koodalazhagar in the Madurai temple came on his vehicle Garuda in the sky and blessed the Azhwar. As the Azhwar had the darshan of the God, he went into raptures and sung the poem in Tamil which is called Thiruppallaandu. In that work Azhwar wishes the Lord many years of existence (in an Earthling's understanding "existence" is all important). It is also the wish of the Azhwar that there should be no harm to the entity (which is beyond the Time) as it has chosen to come within the domain of Time to give him darshan (like a mother does a ritualistic "drishti removal" or "kaappu" to her child). Azhwar did a poem whereas the middle class bhakta does an archana wishing the God existence for ever!! So doing an archana in the name of God as it is just a MangalAsAsanam.

In vaishnavite sampradhaya every action or karma is considered to be done by God himself and the human being doing it is just upakaranam used in the performance of the karma.

Tamil Brahmins

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