Waking Temple Deities

Early-Morning Services (jagarana-seva)

Required Paraphernalia

Make sure the following items are present:

  1. a small bell on a plate
  2. a panca-patra containing samanya-arghya water
  3. a waterpot with a spout and a cover, filled with warm water
  4. a visarjaniya-patra (throw-out pot)
  5. a twig for each Deity to clean His teeth
  6. tongue-scrapers (preferably silver) for each Deity
  7. clean towels for wiping the hands, mouth, and feet of each Deity
  8. flower petals and tulasi leaves
  9. a lighter for lighting a standing lamp
  10. an asana for you to sit on.

(Substitution: instead of twigs, towels, and tongue-scrapers, you may substitute samanya-arghya water and chant the appropriate mantras.)

Before Entering the Deity Room

Outside the Deity room, sit on an asana and perform acamana.
Offer obeisances to your spiritual master, saying his pranama prayers and requesting his blessings to perform the day’s activities:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate [spiritual master’s name] iti namine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto [spiritual master’s name], who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

While ringing a bell just outside the Deity room, you may chant the following verses, meditating on the Lord awakening and begging Him to bestow His mercy:

so ’sav adabhra-karuno bhagavan vivrddha-
prema-smitena nayanamburuham vijrmbhan
utthaya visva-vijayaya ca no visadam
madhvya girapanayatat purusah puranah

The Lord, who is supreme and is the oldest of all, is unlimitedly merciful. I wish that He may smilingly bestow His benediction upon me by opening His lotus eyes. He can uplift the entire cosmic creation and remove our dejection by kindly speaking His directions. [Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.9.25]

deva prapannarti-hara prasadam kuru kesava
avalokana-danena bhuyo mam parayacyuta

O Kesava, O infallible Lord, O You who remove the distress of the surrendered souls! Please bestow Your mercy upon me by again awarding me Your transcendental glance.

jaya jaya krpamaya jagatera natha

sarva jagatere koro subha-drsti-pata

All glories, all glories to the merciful Lord of the universe! O Lord, please cast Your auspicious glance upon all the worlds.

Entering the Deity Room

Before entering the Deity room, draw the Lord’s attention by making a sound, either by clapping your hands, ringing a bell, or knocking on the Deity room door. 
Open the door, turn on the lights, and chant the names of the Deities in a festive mood:

jaya sri-sri-guru-gauranga, jagannatha-baladeva-
subhadra, radha-syamasundara [or your Deities’ names] ki-jaya

Then step into the Deity room with your right foot first and light the ghee or oil lamps.

Waking the Spiritual Master and the Deities

While ringing a small bell with your left hand, approach your spiritual master’s bed, touch his lotus feet with your right hand, and chant:

uttisthottistha sri-guro tyaja nidram krpa-maya


O all-merciful spiritual master, please rise from sleep.

Next move your spiritual master’s shoes from the bed to the simhasana (altar) while meditating that he is rising from bed to receive your services.

 Follow a similar procedure for waking the Deities:

 Approach Lord Nityananda’s bed, touch His lotus feet, and chant:

uttistha jahnavesvara yoga-nidram tyaja prabho
namno hatte divya-namam su-sraddhartham vitarasi


O Nityananda Prabhu, Lord of Jahnava, please arise and give up Your divine sleep. At the marketplace of the holy name You distribute the divine name, asking only for one’s faith in payment.

Approach Lord Caitanya’s bed, touch His lotus feet, and chant:

uttisthottistha gauranga jahi nidram mahaprabho
subha-drsti-pradanena trailokya-mangalam kuru


O Lord Gauranga, please rise from sleep and bless the three worlds with Your auspicious glance.

Next approach the bed of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama, and Srimati Subhadra, touch Their lotus feet, and chant:

tyaja nidram jagannatha sri-baladevottistha ca
jagan-matar ca subhadre uttisthottistha subha-de


O Lord Jagannatha and Lord Baladeva, please give up your sleep and arise. O Srimati Subhadra, dear mother of the universe, please arise and bestow good fortune upon us.

Then approach Radha’s and Krsna’s bed, touch Their lotus feet, and chant:

isvara sri-hare krsna devaki-nandana prabho
nidram munca jagan-natha prabhata-samayo bhavet

O supreme controller, O Lord Hari, O Krsna, O son of Devaki, O master, O Lord of the universe, please give up Your sleep, for daybreak has come.

go-gopa-gokulananda yasoda-nanda-vardhana
uttistha radhaya sardham pratar asij jagat-pate


O master of the universes, O bliss of Gokula, the cowherds, and the cows, O You who gladden the hearts of Yasoda and Nanda, please rise from bed with Sri Radhika, for morning has come.

Chant the following mantra for other visnu-tattva Deities:

uttisthottistha govinda uttistha paramesvara
uttistha kamala-kanta trailokyam mangalam kuru

O Govinda, O Paramesvara, O beloved of Laksmi, please rise and bestow good fortune on all the three worlds.

For other Deities, chant uttisthottistha, “please rise,” and the name of the Deity.
You may now return to the altar any small Deities in bed. If there are only large Deities, meditate on waking Them and leading Them from Their beds to the altar.

Then replace any crowns, turbans, chadars, or veils that belong to Their Lordships’ night dress.

After removing any remaining flowers and garlands from the previous day, clean the Deity room floor and then wash your hands.

Offering Early-Morning Paraphernalia

While chanting the following mantras, offer the appropriate items if available; otherwise, substitute samanya-arghya water from the panca-patra:

  1. Chant idam acamaniyam and guru-mula-mantra, and offer water for sipping; discard it in the visarjaniya-patra.
  2. Chant esa danta-kasthah and guru-mula-mantra, and offer a twig for brushing teeth.
  3. Chant idam jihvollekhanam and guru-mula-mantra, and offer a tongue scraper.
  4. Chant idam hasta-mukha-praksalanam and guru-mula-mantra, and offer water for cleaning hands and face.
  5. Chant idam acamaniyam and guru-mula-mantra, and offer water for sipping.
  6. Chant idam anga-vastram and guru-mula-mantra, and dry your spiritual master’s hands and face with a towel.

Now offer the same items to Nityananda Prabhu, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srimati Subhadra, Lord Baladeva, Lord Jagannatha, Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna, one after another (in that order), with the appropriate mula-mantras.

Finally, you may offer tulasi leaves to the feet of Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya (and other visnu-tattva Deities) while chanting:

etat tulasi-patram (or, for several leaves, etani tulasi-patrani) and the 
 Now that the Deities have been awakened, you may offer obeisances to Them outside the Deity room.

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