Panchayatana puja (IAST Pañcāyatana pūja) is the system of worship in the Smarta sampradaya of Hinduism. It is said to have been introduced by Adi Shankara, the 8th century CE Hindu philosopher. It consists of the worship of five deities: Ganesha, Devi or Durga, Shiva, Surya, and Vishnu. Depending on the tradition followed by Smarta households, one of these deities is kept in the center and the other four surround it. Worship is offered to all the deities. The five are represented by small murtis, or by five kinds of stones, or by five marks drawn on the floor.[1] One is placed in the center as the devotee's preferred God, Ishta Devata, and the other four in a square around it.[1]


Philosophically, all are seen by Smartas as equal reflections of the one Saguna Brahman, i.e., a personal God with form, rather than as distinct beings.[1]

This arrangement is also represented in Smarta temples, with one in a central sanctum, and the others installed in smaller shrines.[1]


The Udasi sect follows the Panchayatana traditions. These followers, like mainstream Sikhs, believe in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sacred Text of the Sikhs) which the Udasis intepret according to Vedanta philosophy and therefore take part in both Nirgun Pooja (of reading Gurbani from Sikh texts and fixing the mind on the omnipresent, indescribable and infinite God, the cause of all forms) but also respect Sarguna Saroop (the physical and metaphysical forms of God) by Pooja and Aarti traditions of Sanatan Dharma.


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