Priest Services

To schedule a pooja, please email balaji_atyam@hotmail.com or call/text (512) 297-3746.

Our Priests will establish a good “muhurtha” (auspicious time) for your event.

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Why Priest Services?The rishis, saints and sages identified several problems common to most humans.  These are EDUCATION, HEALTH, FAMILY RELATIONS, AND JOB/MONEY.  We all know that through our own effort we can change our destiny.  Still, sometimes we find two people with similar family, education, resources, etc., have different success.  Why?  The rishis, saints and sages determined that past good and bad karmas also determine our success in life.To rid the people of bad karmas and troubles, and to awaken the good karmas, the rishis, saints and sages came up with formulas derived from the Vedas to bring  success in life.  The purpose was not only to bring benefits like good job, good spouse, good health, etc., but to free up a person’s time to think of God.  The “yagnas” (sacrifices) were devised so that people might have more time to find God.Types of Poojas Performed by Temple Priests at the Temple or in Devotee’s HomesArchana. This is a simple ceremony where the priest makes offering to God on behalf of the devotee.  The 108 names of God are chanted, fruit is offered on behalf of the devotee.  Typically, archana is performed to Sai Baba in the Sai Baba Temple, and to Lord Venkateswara in the Lord Venkateswara Temple.  Devotees can also do archana to any of the other idols in the Temples.Abhishekam. Abhishekam is performed to all the gods in the Sri Venkateswara and Sai Baba Temple each week.  Water abhishekam is poured as a bath for the idol (which is considered the living god), followed by alankaram (dressing of the idol).  Abhishekam generally includes at least five substances, called panchamritam (five nectars). These are milk, curd (yogurt), sugar, honey, and ghee (clarified butter).  Sometimes juice, holy ash, or other substances are also poured over the deity while sacred mantras are chanted.  The abhishekam and mantras energize the idol, and a breeze of purification enters the room while abhishekam occurs.  Afterwards, the devotees sip the “tirtham” (liquids offered over the idol).  Shiva loves abhishekam, and the Sahasra Lingam receives water abhishekam every morning.Devotees can sponsor abhishekam at their home or at the temple.  Talk to a priest about how long it will take, etc.Havan (homa).  Havan is the most powerful type of worship.  In havan, sacred mantras are chanted while ghee (clarified butter) is offered into the sacred fire.  The Sai Temple has a special homa kunda constructed just for this purpose.  Ghee is a form of concentrated solar energy.  What happens is this.  The Sun shines on the Earth.  The grass grows. The cow eats the grass.  The grass is digested and refined into milk.  The milk is refined into butter. The butter is further refined into ghee, a golden substance with the color of the Sun.When the priest chants a mantra and then says “svaha” (I offer this), the ghee is dropped into the sacred fire.  There is an explosion of solar energy as it hits the fire. This broadcasts the mantra outinto the universe, like a radio tower. The vibration of the mantra, whatever it is, is sent into the cosmos and is reflected back on those participating in the havan.  If Mahalakshmi mantras are chanted, the influence of spiritual and material prosperity is created.  If Gayatri mantra is chanted, it brings the influence of wisdom.  If Mahamritunjaya mantra is chanted, it brings good health.  And so forth.  You can sponsor havans at the Temple or at your home.  Because of the difficulties of having a fire at home, most devotees prefer to do havan at the Temple.Poojas.  There are poojas to all the the different gods.  Pooja is like you are inviting a guest to your house.  In this case, the guest is God.  When a guest comes, you offer them a chance to wash up, sip water, partake of some fruit, etc.  In the same way, 16 items are offered to God in a typical pooja. The poojas bring the influence of the god worshipped into the room.  People feel a refreshing atmosphere after a pooja.  The poojas can be used to remove negative influences from a home or someone’s life.  Poojas where a whole group of people perform pooja together are called “samuhika” poojas.  In these poojas, the priest guide each person or family through each step of the pooja, like offering light, incense, flowers, etc.   Poojas can be performed at home or in the Temple.  Many devotees perform puja themselves every day at their home alter.Kalyanams.  The rishis cognized that everything is Brahman, everything is God.  How hard this is to understand!!!  The kalyanams are marriage ceremonies where the male and female aspects of God (purusha and prakriti) are wed.  This creates a wonderful wholeness, the completeness of god.  Many kalyanams are possible, such as Rama-Sita, Shiva – Parvati, etc.  Talk with your priest about performing this ceremony at the Temple or at your home.Parayanas.  It is considered very auspicious to listen to the Vedas or Puranas recited.  Talk to a priest about having this done for you at the Temple or at your home.  Listening to the Vedas removes negativity in our mind and in our homes.  Popular are Bhagavad Gita parayana, Sundarkand parayana (story of Hanuman in Lanka), Bhagavad Gita parayana, and recitation of sections of the Vedas.Most Popular PoojasAnjaneya Worship.  Anjaneya (Hanuman) worship is believed to bring strength and courage.  Devotees can perform Hanuman archana, abhishekam, or havan.  Many devotees enjoy chanting Hanuman Chalisa, 40 verses in praise of Hanuman composed by Saint Tulsidas.Ganapati Pooja, Abhishekam, or Homa.  In many popular Hindu traditions, Ganapati is invoked before other gods.  This is to remove obstacles.  Ganapati is said to hold both a noose and a goad.  With the influence of Ganapati, if we are going in the wrong direction, he will use the noose to hold us back. If he wants us to move faster in the right direction, he will use his goad to move us forward. It is thought that Ganapati is very close to the human plane and is easily available to help us. We cannot reach the higher energies of the other gods without his blessing.  That is why he is always worshipped first.Satyanarayana Pooja.  This pooja is performed once a month in the Sri Venkateswara Temple. Devotees will also include the Satyanarayana Pooja along with other events such as house warming in their homes.  In the Satyanarayana Pooja, the priest directs the devotee on how to perform the pooja.  Families like this element of participation.  The Satyanarayana Pooja is said to be good for bringing “wish fulfillment”.  It includes worship of Ganapati, the Navagrahas (nine planets) and Lord Satyanarayana, followed by the reading of stories of Lord Satyanarayana.  Shirdi Sai Baba devotees sometimes perform a variant of this pooja with stories of Sai Baba.Rudra Abhishekam. Vishnu is said to favor worship by Pooja.  Lord Shiva, in the form of the Shiva lingam, prefers worship with liquids (abhishekam).  This is done while the Vedic hymns Rudra Namakam and Chamakam are chanted.  This can be done at the Temple or in a devotee’s home. Shiva’s favorite number is said to be 11, and it is considered very auspicious to have the priest(s) chant Rudra Namakam in one’s home 11X.  At the same time, the priest or the devotee can worship the lingam by doing abhishekam.  Rudra abhishekam is considered very auspicious and a remedy for all problems.  It is specially good for health.Ayush Homa.  This is a relatively short homa, making it good for children with short attention spans.  “Ayus” means life, and this homa is thought to bestow long life.Lakshmi – Kubera Homa. Mahalakshmi is the goddess of spiritual and material wealth. Kubera is the Lord of material wealth. This homa invokes the goddess to bring prosperity.Gayatri homa. This homa involves chanting of the famous Gayatri mantra.  It brings wisdom and success in learning.Saraswati pooja.  At the beginning of the school year, the temple usually offers this samuhika puja to students to invoke Saraswati, goddess of learning.  It can also be performed privately at home. When a child is three years old or so, the priest will take a small stick and “write” a letter from the Sanskrit alphabet on the child’s tongue.Shanti Pooja or Homa.  This puja is performed for peace.Navagraha Pooja, Abhishekam, or Homa.  The Navagrahas, popularly called the “nine planets” are thought to deliver most of the karma in a person’s life.  During the Navagraha Pooja, abhishekam, or homa all nine planets are propitiated. This is thought to be a remedy for all types of karmic problems.Chandi Homa. This yagna invokes Goddess Chandi, thought to be the Supreme Force in the Universe.  Like Ganapati yagna, this yagna brings about the removal of obstacles. While Ganapati’s changes are gradual and gentle, this yagna often brings sudden and dramatic changes.  It is a good remedy for family problems and to resolve disputes.Mahamritunjaya Homa.  Along with Gayatri, Mahamritunjaya is thought to be one of the top mantras in the Veda. It is a prayer to Lord Shiva to separate us from death. It is most often used for good health.Manyu Homa. In this homa, powerful mantras are used to control anger and disputes. It is used to control terrorism, and to settle legal problems.Sudarshana Homa. This homa invokes the sudarshana chakra, said to be Vishnu’s weapon.  It is said to bring good health, especially to the eyes.Vishnu or Rama Homa. This homa is said to bring peace, enlightenment, and help one behave righteously and obtain wealth and fame through righteous means.Sani Abhishekam and Homa.  This homa to the planet Saturn removes difficulties and slow moving karmas.  Sani is said to be fond of til (sesame) oil.   Devotees can pour til oil over an idol of Sani and circumambulate the idol on Saturday’s next to the Navagraha shrine at the back of the Sai Baba Temple.  (Please do not pour oil on the Sani in the Navagraha Building).Graha and Nakshatra Yagnas.  Some of the priests are expert jyotishis (astrologers) and diagnose difficulties coming from various grahas.  These are sometimes remedied through the various graha yagnas.  Talk to a priest about this.  In addition to grahas, karmas are also delivered by the 27 nakshatras, for which there are also yagnas.Varuna Yagna.  This yagna is done to bring rain.Citra Gupta Yagna.  The Citra Gupta is the Divine Accountant.  Performing this yagna can change our destiny.Jyoti Yagna. In this yagna, we light 1008 oil lamps.  It emblazes our sins and brings enlightenment.Putra Kameshthi Yagna.  To bring good progeny.These are a sampling of the many yagnas available from Temple priests. MORE YAGNAS & BENEFITS