Some Daily Hindu Prayers Prayer to be chanted on waking up Karāgre vasate lakșmeeh, Karamūle saraswatee; Karamadhye tu govindah, Prabhāte karadarśanam. “On the tip of fingers is Goddess Lakshmi, on the base of the fingers is Goddess Saraswati, in the middle of the fingers is Lord Govinda.” Remembering this, on waking up one should look at their palms first before doing anything else. Prayer to be chanted on setting foot on the ground Samudravasane devi Parvata stana maṇḍite Namo viśvambhare mātah Pāda sparśaṁ kṣamasva me. “Salutations to You, Oh Mother Earth! Who is decked by ocean as the garment and mountains as the breasts! Kindly pardon me as I touch you by my feet” Saying this, one should get up from the bed and set foot on the ground. Rules of Bathing There are a number of prayers associated with the daily bathing of the individual. These prayers vary according the place, time, class, etc. Chanting of hymns called Agamarṣana Sūktam and Puruṣa Sūktam are most popular. Those who are interested in learning these mantras can do so from the traditional scholars locally. There are number of rules concerning bathing. Again, these rules vary from region to region, etc. However, the most important one is that one should not take bath naked. Prayer to be chanted before studies Saraswati namastubhyam Varade kāmarūpini; Vidyārambham kariṣyāmi, Siddhir bhavatume sadā. “Oh Goddess Saraswati, my humble prostrations unto Thee, who are the fulfiller of all my wishes. I start my studies with a request that Thou wilt bestow Thy blessings on me”. Saying this prayer, the student should start studies daily. Prayer to be chanted before meals Brahmārpaṇam brahma havir Brahmāgnau brahmanāhutam; Brahmaiva tena gantavyam Brahma karma samādhinā. “Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the clarified butter etc. constituting the offerings, by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in all actions.” Uttering this prayer, one should start one’s meals. Prayer to be chanted before going to bed There are two prayers for this occasion. I Rāmaṁ skandam hanumantaṁ vainateyaṁ vṛkodaram śayane yah smarennityaṁ duḥswapnastasya naśyati. “The bad dream of a person disappears if he/she recollects always at the time of going to bed Raama, Skanda, Hanuman, Vainateya (Garuda) and Vrkodara (Bheema).” Saying so, one should go to sleep. II Kara-caraṇa-kṛtam vāk-kāyajam karmajam vā Śravaṇa-nayanajam vā mānasam vā (a)parādham Vihitamavihitam vā sarva metat kṣamasva Jaya jaya karuṇābdhe Śree Mahādeva Śambho. “Oh Lord, kindly forgive my wrong actions done knowingly or unknowingly, either through my organs of action or through organs of perception or by my mind. Glory unto Thee oh Lord, who is the ocean of kindness” This prayer is said before going to sleep. Some Useful Prayers for certain occasions Salutation to the Guru Gurur Brahmā Gurur Viṣṇuḥ Gurur Devo Maheśwarah; Guru Sākṣāt Para Brahma Tasmai Śree Gurave Namahah. “I salute the Guru, who is verily Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and who is also verily the Ultimate Brahman” One should chant this mantra while saluting one’s Guru. Prayer to be chanted while entering the temple Gajānanaṁ bhūta gaṇādi sevitam Kapittha jambūphala sāra bhakṣitam Umāsutam śoka vināśa kāraṇaṁ Namāmi vigneśwara pāda paṅkajam. “I worship the Lotus Feet of Lord Vigneshwara, the cause for the destruction of the miseries, the elephant faced God, who is being worshipped by His bhootaganas, who is fond of eating wood apple and jambuphala and who is the son of Goddess Uma” One should chant this mantra while entering the temple. Prayer to be chanted while travelling Vainyaṁ pṛthum haihayamarjunaṁ ca Śākuntaleyaṁ bharataṁ nalaṁ ca Etān nṛpān yaḥ smarati prayāṇe Tasyārtha siddhiḥ punarāgamaśca “Accomplishment and safe return will happen to him who remembers during journey the names of these kings – Prthu the son of Vainya, Arjuna (kaarthaveerya) of Haihaya, Bharata son of Shakuntala and Nala” Prayer to be chanted while consuming medicine Dhanvantariṁ garutmantaṁ Phaṇirājaṁ ca kaustubham Acyutaṁ cāmṛtam candraṁ Smaredauṣadhakarmāṇi “While administering the medicine one should remember Dhanvantari, Garuda, Ādi Shesha, Kaustubha, Achyuta, Amrta and Chandra” Prayer to ward off evil: Lābhasteṣām jayasteṣām kutasteṣām parābhavaḥ eṣām Indee varaśyāmahaḥ hrdayastho janārdanaḥ “Prosperity and victory come to those in whose heart is seated Lord Janardana, who is of dark blue colour like the blue lotus. Where is the scope for defeat?” Prayer for Universal Peace Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, Sarve santu nirāmayāh; Sarve bhadrāni paśyantu, Mā kaśchid duhkha bhāga bhavet “May everybody be happy. May everybody be free from disease. May everybody have good luck. May none fall on evil days.” Sources: S.C. Vasu, Daily Practice of Hindus, 2008, New Delhi: Satguru Publications. M. Raghu and S. Aruna Sundaram. Daily Prayers, 2002, Chennai: M. Raghu. Daily Prayers, 1991, Bombay: Chinmaya Mission Trust.