Vaishali A. Patel
Car Pooja - What, Why and How to bless and protect your vehicle?
Updated: Jan 1, 2022
Yes! Car Pooja is a thing (sometimes misspelled Puja). Many of us desi folks value and treasure our cars and being able to afford one and buy one is considered a blessing. These traditions and rituals are simple and you don't have to dress up like I am in this picture. This just happened to be on the same day we had a Satyanarayan ni Katha at our house so I am all decked out.
Many Hindus around the world perfrom this ceremony to bless the vehicle that will take them safely from one place to another. Of course I would be blessing my Honda Accord. How many south asian folks you know who have or at one point owned a Honda? Interesitng story behind this car is that when I got this car I must have been around 24 and I had just gotten married as well. My brother was only 18 or 19 and one night after having the car for a week we were coming home from Taco Bell and I said "hey can you fill up the car, I am gonna stay in" and of course he wanted to feel like a grown up and got out paid for it and filled it up. We left the gas station and came around to a stop sign and my car would not start. I panicked as this was brand new car, I called my husband and he said did you by any chance fill up diesel in the car? and my poor brother was mortified, he must have accidentally filled up diesel in this car. Luckily they were able to fix the car at the dealer ship.
Back to our Car pooja part, one of the reasons Hindus perform this ceremony is to bless and protect the car from all evil eye and accidents. Many folks invite a priest to perform the ritual and you can if you like or you can do this at home for your self. Here is what you need and how you can do this:
You don't need everything you see in the picture:
What you need:
Divo / Diya
Agarbatti / Incense
Kanku (Red holy powder) (Water to make a little bit of paste)
Prasad (Usually Jaggery or gaud is fine)
Small figurine or statue of Ganesh or any other God or Spritiual symbol
How to Perform the ritual:
Put the four lemons under the four tires.
Put 5 small dots with with Kanku and put Chokhaa on the hood of the car as you recite "OM GAM GANAPATYE NAMAH" or the Gayatri Mantra.
Break open the coconut on the concrete outside the Car and sprinkle the coconut water on all four tires while reciting the Mantra.
Light a diya and incense and come inside the car and wave the light and fragrance all around with your hands
Sit in the driver seat, put the symbol of Ganesha or other on the dashboard, many choose to stick the small symbol to remind them of the blessing and protection every time they are in the vehicle.
Close your eyes and recite the Mantra 5 times and thank God and angles for your blessings and protection.
Take blessings by bowing to your elders and share the Prasad (sweet offerings) with everyone to celebrate.
You can also use this Specific Mantra for Travel safety as well:
"VIVAADE VISHAADE PRAMAADE PRAVAASHE
JALE CHAANALE SHATRU MADHAYE,
ARANYE SHARANYE SADAA MAAM PAAHI
GATISTAVUM GATISTAVUM TVMEKAA BHAVAANI"
Meaning: During Dispute and Quarrel, during Despair and Dejection, during Intoxication and Insanity, in Foreign Land, In Water, and Fire, in Mountains and Hills, amidst Enemies, In Forest, please Protect me, You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.
Have you ever blessed your car or do you know someone who does? Let me know in the comments.
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