ॐ    Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Akshata is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘whole.’

In Hinduism, Akshata refers to the unbroken and uncooked rice grains offered to the deity during pujas and other such religious ceremonies.

Akshata is known to bring prosperity, fertility, and bounty to the devotee’s life.

Before making an offer to the deity, the devotee mixes kumkum or turmeric along with ghee or oil to the unbroken rice grains.

Ashata can retain the Chaitanya of a religious ritual for an extended period.

They are the finest offerings any devotee can make during a puja.

Puja offerings have five layers of articles to be used.

They include –

1. A plate of offerings,

2. Aptattva (Absolute Water principle),

3. Tejtattva (Absolute Fire principle),

4. Vayutattva (Absolute Air principle), and

5. Akshtattva (Absolute Ether principle).

A devotee needs to have these articles while performing puja.

But in the absence of other things, especially flowers, Akshata is an alternative.

It is a boon that could aid us in our prayers.

Significance of Akshata:

Devotees sprinkle Akshata on auspicious occasions.

It is also used in marriage ceremonies to bless the bride and groom.

Devotees store Akshata in a clean place, where no one can step, especially in a home altar.

It is because Akshata can attract positive energy.

It possesses the vibrations of the deity worshipped.

Devotees place Akshata when they cannot offer daily offerings to the lord as well.

It is because they are equal to flowers and can absorb, retain, and emit Chaitanya for a long time.

There are many religious and scientific significances of using Akshata in prayer as well.

Religious Significance:

In Sivapurana, there is a mention of Akshata as an offering while worshipping the Parthva-linga or the Earthen Phallic image.

In Vedic rites, devotees can offer Akshata with the mantra, Namastaksabhyah”

There are other religious significances of Akshata as well.

  1. Akshata can attract the frequencies of five principal deities of Hinduism – Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Lord Ganesha, Sri Ram, and Lord Krishna.

Their vibrations are akin to each other.

So, they can provide us with Sattvic principles.

2. Devotees can place Akshata in their palms during Sankalpa as it improves their confidence and allows the flow of energy.

They can also imbibe the Chaitanya from the deity.

3. There are three actions in prayer:

a) Firstly, Manasika is the concentration of Linga.

b) Secondly, Vachika is the recitation of mantras.

c) Third, Kayika is the worshipping of the Linga.

For Kayika, devotees offer Akshata along with other items like Bhasma, Deepa, Gandha, Pushpa, Bilwapatra, Samarpana, and Dhoopa.

Devotees perform Pradikshna and Namaskara as well.

4. The rice grains of Akshata contain the vibrations of a deity, and devotees can consume them along with their food.

Many store Ashata in their granaries as well.

5. Akshata can transmit the frequencies to the surroundings and the devotees via Pruthvitattva (Absolute Earth principle) and Apatattva (Absolute Water principle).

These are some of the religious benefits of using Akshata in a religious ceremony.

They can provide positive energy and also give blessings to everyone in a family.

Scientific Significance:

Akshata has many scientific benefits as well.

Once mixed with kumkum or turmeric paste inthey became more potent.

Both kumkum and turmeric have many health benefits.

They have the ability to cure different ailments, as well.

Akshata is known to attract positive energy and can aid us in improving our mind-body connections.

The consumption of these unbroken rice grains and using them for prayers or pujas can give us positivity.

Why is unbroken rice used for Akshata?:

Devotees use Akshata made from unbroken rice for several reasons.

Broken rice pieces can reduce the power to attract positive energy from the deity. In Hinduism, wholeness is an essential factor for different rituals.

Brokenness represents Tama’s attitude, which can attract negative energies.

Akshata is offered to a deity in its unity due to the same reason.

When we give it as broken particles, it accepts Raja Tama, which can cause the person to suffer from negativity.

Types of Akshata offered to the deity:

There are mainly two types of Akshata commonly used in the invocation of the deity.

Red Akshata and white Akshata are the two types of Akshata used..

  1. White Akshata – Devotees offer white Akshata to Lord Satyanarayan (Shri Vishnu) and Lord Shiva.

They have the non-materialized or Nirgun principle and the savior energy or Tarak Shakti.

They can attract waves of superior deity, which are subtler streams of power from the Universe.

2. Red Akshata – Devotees tint them with kumkum or vermilion.

They are known to represent the materialized or Sagun principle and the destroyer energy or Marak Shakti.

Devotees offer them to Shri Ganapati, Goddess Durga, and other deities.

They can attract subtle streams of force from the Universe as well.

These are the two types of Akshatas used in pujas and rituals.

Akshata, thus, is a source that worshippers can use in Upasanas, Pujas, and other auspicious religious occasions.

Devotees place it below oil lamps or on the Aarati plate.

They can retain their Chaitanya or Shakti for a long time.

You can invoke the blessing of the deity with Askhata as an alternative for flowers.

Akshata – Rice Sprinkled During Hindu Puja and Weddings

Akshata (अक्षत) basically consists of uncooked rice which is mixed with turmeric.

It is used both as an offering to deity and also is used as a way to receive blessings.

It is also used to bless bride and groom during weddings.

Akshata is also sprinkled during other auspicious ceremonies. Symbolically, Akshata represents prosperity, fertility and bounty.

Symbolic Meaning of Akshata

Ashata is a symbol of fullness.

It is pure and complete.

Akshata means unbroken. Only unbroken rice should be used for the purpose.

When Akshata is offered to a deity, it is believed to be the finest offering that a devotee can make.

Akshata is believed to be equal to offering clothes, jewelry, food, or any other offering.

It is usually thrown over the head of the devotees during pujas and during functions like marriage and other auspicious events.

Akshata is always used dry – a small amount of rice is mixed with turmeric powder or vermilion.

In some regions, it is also mixed with ghee.

Mixing unbroken rice with turmeric symbolises auspiciousness.
Showering Akshata on the bridal couple is associated with fertility.

Rice is a symbol of fertility.

Hence people bless the newly wed couple with healthy children.

As Akshata means unbroken, it is said to confer unbroken prosperity.

It is also believed to scare away demons, particularly those that check fertility.

The practice of throwing akshata (broken rice) on the bridal couple arises from this belief.

After the puja and ceremony, Akshata is cleaned from the floor and is deposited in the garden or in a place where people will not step on it.

What is the significance of Akshata in rituals?

The word Akshata has been derived from Sanskrit word ‘Akshat’ which means ‘whole”.

Akshata means whole grain rice.

It is usually mixed with Kumkum and other colour powders and then used in puja rituals.

In every Hindu puja, Akshata plays an important role.

It is believed that, Akshata has the ability to attract the vibrations of five prime deities namely Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Shri Krishna and Sri Ram.

Akshata retain the Shakti and Chaitanya of the puja ritual.

When offered to deities or yantras they absorb the frequency of the idol, mantra and yantra and all other Sattvic principals present during the ritual. 

Use Akshata in following ways:

• Apply on the forehead along with Kumkum or sandal paste
• Offer to Diety idols and Yantras
• Use Akshata for preparing Swastika, Om, Navagraha, 16 matrikas and other diety idols and auspicious symbols during puja rituals
• Keep below the Oil lamp, on the Aarti plate and below the Kalash
• Keep in palm during sankalpa and then keep in front of deity for sankalpa fulfillment
• Offer during Puja rituals for substituting for any offering not present, like sweet offerings(prasad), fruits, deity clothes or money
• Keep a bowl full of Akshata (uncoloured ones) in front of the Idols and mix this energised rice in form of prasad with regular rice of the kitchen for consumption

 Akshat for Pooja and Ritual, Pooja Rice, Puja Chawal

  • During Hindu Pujas, Akshat for Pooja is a symbol of never ending abundance.
  • Used in ancient Hindu ceremonies to stand for cleanliness and fertility.
  • When you pour Pooja Rice over an image of a god, it means that your prayers are being answered.
  • It is often used in havan, weddings and other religious events as a sign of good luck.
  • Akshat brings good energy and is used in solid rituals to clean energy.

What is Akshat Rice for Pooja?

Akshat for Pooja is auspicious Rice used in Hindu religious events, especially Pooja.

It is thought to be pure and lucky, so it is given to the gods as a gift.

Holy grain is made of whole grains of Rice, and turmeric powder is often added to make it more pure.

It is also sprinkled as a gift during ceremonies and represents wealth and fertility.

Sacred Rice is generally offered with flowers, fruits, and sweets on a plate or thali.

For the Pooja, choosing good Akshata Rice is essential; extra care should be taken to ensure it has no bugs or dirt on it.

Overall, Hindus think that eating Puja Chawal will bring peace and prosperity into their lives.

Tradition says that Puja Chawal is lucky because it represents cleanliness and fertility.

During Pujas, a handful of Puja Chawal is given to the gods while mantras or Vedic songs are chanted.

Pouring this holy grain over statues of gods is a sign that a higher power is answering prayers.

It also reminds people to put all their faith and trust in God.

Ritual of worship of Vishnu and other deities

* Ritual of worship of Vishnu and other deities.

* Discipline to be exercised as regards number of idol images to be kept in Pooja.

* Ritual of performing Nyas through Purush-Sukta.

* Ritual of Sixteen Upachar Arpan through Purush-Sukta.

* Time of not breaking Tulsi.

* Discipline to be exercised for keeping Prasadi of Shivji in Grahan.

* Discipline to be exercised for performing Pooja of goddess during Navratri.

Shri Narayan muni said: –

Ritual of worship of Vishnu and other deities:

After performing Sandhya-vidhi and Homa in the morning, a Brahmin should worship Lord Vishnu.

He should collect all the necessary things like flowers, sandalwood paste; then perform the worship.

A Brahmin should himself collect all the things like Samidha, flowers etc.,

for worship; material collected by Shudras or purchased, should not be used for worship.

Any act related to Gods, Manes, Sandhya-rites and other rituals should not be done with water brought by Shudra.

A Brahmin should sit facing the north or the east, in front of God and perform the worship along with Angadeva and all the Gods with deep devotion.

There are eight kinds of images.

Shailee – of stone: white or black; wooden: sandalwood etc.

metallic: iron, copper, gold, silver; lekhya: pictorial; Saikati: sand stones; Manimayi: crystallise; Manomayi: as imagined in mind.

As per the faith of a man, any of these eight can be taken for worship by him.

He should worship the image, with deep devotion and use the material available according to time and place.

O Brahmin! There are lot of materials of worship but all is in vain without devotion, even a leaf or flower, offered with deep devotion, satisfies God and He accepts it, but even a valuable garland is refused, that is offered without devotion.

All the men and women of four Varnas have the right to worship God Vishnu. Worshipping the image of God is allowed to all human beings.

Worshipping of Shaligrama shila is allowed only to the Brahmins, but if one has taken the initiation/diksa of Vaishnava, Kshatriyas and Shudras are also allowed.

Vishnu, Shiva, Ganapati, Surya and the Goddess are the five Gods – Panchayatana, which a Brahmin should worship.

All these should be worshipped.

Vishnu is the main, among them..

Discipline to be exercised as regards number of idol images to be kept in Pooja.

If Shaligram is to be worshipped, they should be in even numbers and not odd, if one wants to worship odd numbers, he should take only one.

Even if a Shaligram is little broken, it is considered auspicious.

Two Shivalingas, two Shaligrams, two Dwarika-chakras, two Suns, should not be worshipped.

Three images of Parvati should not be worshipped, three images of Ganapati, two conchs, should not be worshipped. Similarly, broken images should also not be worshipped.

The order of placing, installing Gods, in Panchayatana worship, should be followed and then all these five Gods should be worshipped.

Lord Vishnu should be given the central place, Lord Shiva in the north-east, Ganapati in the Agnikona (south-east), Lord Sun in the south-west and Parvati in the Vayukona (north-west) for worshipping.

These five Gods should always be worshipped.

Lord Vishnu should be worshipped with Purusha-sukta and others according to their respective mantras.

Among these, the method or ritual of worshipping is: first a Brahmin should remember Lord Ganesha, along with the uttering of time and place, and then he should chant the Purusha-sukta.

Ritual of performing Nyas through Purush-Sukta.

Hands, feet, thighs, waist, navel, heart, neck, arms, mouth and eyes should be worshipped, in order of left wise limbs..

After collecting and finding the material, the Bell and conch should be worshipped and Lord Vishnu should be remembered as read, heard, seen and worshipped

Ritual of Sixteen Upachar Arpan through Purush-Sukta.

Study, penance, yoga, faith, devotion in worshipping and its intensity in devotion, should depict in the daily ritual of worshipping the images.

Every day, the Brahmin should perform-worship by uttering/ saying sixteen mantras and with sixteen Upacharas-forms and he should have deep devotion and faith.

He should invite the God, offer him seat, worship his feet, offer him water for sip (Achamana), give him a bath, clothes to wear, offer sacred thread, sandalwood paste, flowers.

A devotee (Brahmin), must also offer the God, oil lamp that is lit- move it round the God in clockwise direction, offer Naivedya, Tambula (scented betel leaf with betel nut and spices) and Daksina (gold, silver or money).

A devotee (Brahmin), should then offer flowers to the God and offer his Namaskara, with deep respect. 23.

A stable image and Shaligrama should not be given invitation, nor should be immersed.

Banalinga also should not be immersed.

No should be Avahan or Visarjan In case of three only Achal Pratima, Shalgram or Banling.

Purusha-sukta and concentration should be followed.

If there is money, it should be worshipped according to money and there should be no cheating.

Akshatas (sacred rice mixed with Kumkum) should not be used to worship Vishnu and Tulasi (holy basil) should not be offered to Ganapati.

Durvas (holy) should not be offered to Goddesses and the Sun God should not be worshipped with Bilva leaves. .

Champak and Kewda (Pandanus Odoratissimus) should not be offered, in worship to Lord Shiva.

Unmantta Apka (Dhattura) and Aghada should not be used in worshipping Vishnu.

Flowers: Mallika, Malati, Jati, Ashoka, Champaka, Punnaga, Bakula and Lotus should be used for worshipping Vishnu.

Kunda, Karavira and other fragrant flowers should be used for worshipping Vishnu but Vana-ketaki should be avoided .

Paryushita leaves and Paryushita water (stale, over bloomed flowers and water) are not good for worship.

If the gardener keeps flowers that have bloomed overnight, they are considered good (for worship).

Bilvapatra, Madhyan, Tamala and Amalaki, Kalhar, Tulasi, Lotus and Mani-pushpaka (can all be used for worship).

Lotus, Kushas and buds that are not stale or over-bloomed can be used for worship.

 O Suvrat! Sacred water from the Ganga does not become stale..

Time of not breaking Tulsi.

Basil (Tulasi) leaves should not be picked during the following times: Vaidhriti, Vyatipata, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday, full moon day (Paurnima), no moon day (Amavasya), Samkranti, Ekadashi, Dvadashi and the days of defilement owing to birth and death.

Tulasi-basil leaves should not be picked or collected in the evening and night.

While picking the leaves, the following Mantra should be uttered:

O Tulasi! You are born of nectar, you are always loved by Keshava, I am plucking you for Keshava; please bless me.

If one offers Tulasi along with Manjari to Lord Krishna, each leaf is considered more than a crore golden flowers.

Discipline to be exercised for keeping Prasadi of Shivji in Grahan.

There is no fault in accepting Nirmalya( used flowers) offered to Panchayatana (five Gods).

Apart from Panchayatana, when only Shiva is worshipped, used flowers should not be accepted without informing Him.

Any material – leaves, flowers etc. should not be taken without informing Shiva.

With Shaligrama, in the Panchayatana, everything is holy or sacred.

When self-manifested, (Svayam-bhu), Banalinga or Shivalinga is used for worship, there is no fault in accepting Nirmalya.

Discipline to be exercised for performing Pooja of goddess during Navratri.

A Brahmin should worship Goddess Parvati during Navaratri (nine bright days in Ashvin) using sweet milk-porridge, cooked from raw wheat flour and other materials.

However, it should not have been made by Asuras.

Even the presence of smell of Asuras, liquor and meat should be strictly avoided.

Naivedya of wine, meat and such, that is offered to the Goddess should invariably be avoided.

A Brahmin should only offer, black-gram cake, boiled cakes, coconut or porridge to the Goddess during worship.

One who offers the food stuff that is banned: meat, wine, liquor etc. and crosses the limits of religion and victimises animals to please the Goddess, will always fall in Kumbhi-Paka hell and his lineage will be destroyed forever.

Those who worship Goddess, without knowing the myth of the religion, with this kind of material, will beget the birth of a Brahma-raksasa and will dwell in a lonely, waterless place or dense forest.

O Brahmin! Thus, I have narrated to you the method and practice of worship.

It may change as per the place, which I am now going to tell you.

In Sthandila: a circular heap of dust, should be made by chanting the proper mantras.

The main deity should be worshipped, along with Tatvavinyasa chanting mantras, while installing God in the Surya Mandal.

He should be worshipped with the material available nearby and ghee should be offered to the sacred fire.

A worshipper, who has controlled his sense organs, should think of the God in his heart and worship others with all the materials.

He should offer meals to Brahmins.

All Vaishnavas should be considered as his brethren and he should honour them with love.

Brahmins and other devotees should worship God three times:

morning, afternoon and evening, every day; weak persons can worship him only once in the morning..

During all the three times, he should chant the mantra learnt from his teacher with deep devotion, dedication and in respect.

Gayatri-mantra should be chanted along with the Krishna- mantra, twice a day and when he is in a calamity.

This way, O Brahmin! I have narrated to you the everyday ritual of worship, to be done by a Brahmin. Now I shall tell you about householder’s religious duties.

Thus ends the seventh chapter entitled, ‘Ritual of worship of God,’ in the fifth Prakaran of Satsangi jivan, the life story of Lord Narayan, also titled as Dharmashastra (the rules of the code of conduct).

Akshata: The Holy Rice Grain

Akshata is derived from the word Akshat, which means whole or complete. Akshata are nothing but rice grains used in Hinduism as a part of rituals.

No Sanskara or the important Dharmic rituals in Sanatana are complete without Akshata.

During Mauji Bandhan or the thread ceremony, the boy is showered with the Akshata.

At the exact time during the Muhurta (auspicious time), when bride and groom exchange garlands, they are showered with Akshata.

Whenever a piece of cloth or coconut is presented to the Divine, it’s presented with a pinch of Akshata.

While praying to the Yantras, Akshatas are offered to these energy reservoirs. It is believed that Akshata has the power to attract positive vibrations.

When kept with us, these little rice grains recharge us with positivity and bestow the energies of the celestial powers.

Types of Akshata

Usually, there are two types of Akshata, white and red. White Akshata represents purity, detachment, and spiritual practice without any expectations.

In Sanatana, white Akshatas attract frequencies of deities like Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.

They are often presented to Lord Shiva and Satyanarayana, representing fundamental knowledge and action.

Red Akshatas are smeared with Kumkum (vermilion).

Whenever we want something in return from the deity, we present them with red Akshatas.

May it be a success, a resolution, or good luck, the red Akshata represents the devotion to expectations from the universal powers.

Red Akshatas are offered to Lord Ganesha and Divine Mother Durga.

Akshata is used in the following ways

-Oil lamp is kept on the small mound of Akshata. Also, the Kalasha is established on the base created with Akshata.

-Whenever there is a Puja at home, white Akshatas are kept in front of the Homa (fire ceremony) or in front of the deity.

Later, it’s added to the regular rice in the kitchen and used for consumption.

-While drawing the holy symbols like Shree, Swastika, Aum, Navagrahas, or Saraswati with Vermillion or Sandal paste during Puja rituals, Akshatas are used with the paste.

-While thinking of Sankalpa, devotees stand in front of the deity holding the Akshata in their hands.

They think about their Divine, Tell Them about their Sankalpa, and ask them for the fulfilment of the same.

-Akshata is offered to the deity or Yantras. Later, these are kept with the devotees as they are charged with positivity.

-It is applied on the forehead along with Sandal paste or Vermillion Tilak, which is believed to stimulate the third eye chakra.
Whenever you present the Akshata to the deity, hold the Akshata in the palms of your hand.

Close your eyes, and place the Akshata holding your hand on your heart.

And chant the following mantra:

अक्षताश- च सुरश्रेष्ठ- कुंकुमाक्त- ा: सुशोभिता:। मया निवेदिता भक्त्या: गृहाण परमेश्वर॥

Aks- hatashcha Surashreshth Kumkumakta Sushibhita|

Maya Nivedita BhaktyahaGruhan Parameshwara||

Meaning: Oh Lord, this Akshat, adorned with the Vermillion, is dedicated to you; please accept it.

Its meaning is that ‘Akshata,’ i.e., rice, is considered to be the best in food.

It is also called Deva-Anna because it is considered to be the favourite food of the Gods.

That is why I am offering them to you along with the fragrance.

Please accept it, and accept the feeling of your devotee.

Importance of ANGARA and AKSHATA

Any religious practice, to be valid, should be backed by a valid scripture or an authentic sampradAya.

For, what is enjoined in the scriptures or adhered to by the sampradAya becomes important and relevant.

Apart from this, in these modern times, we also feel a need for some scientific explanation or background for all our religious practices, for everyone to practice them with conviction.

Today, we find reference to some of our practices in our scriptures such as gopichandana Urdhvapundra dhArana, mudra dhArana, angara dharana etc.

But, for some practices such as akshata, there is no specific scriptural evidence available so far.

But we learn that this is as authentic as gopichandana and angara dharana as it was practiced by great stalwarts of Madhva philosophy.

All these practices may or may not have an explanation in terms of modern science.

But there must be scientific explanation for everything and these practices must also have some traditional scientific reason.

But, our scriptures, for some reason, don’t reveal the traditional scientific reasons for such practices.

Therefore, these basic questions though they look simple, become very difficult to answer with authority.

Presented below is what little the author knows about the practices of angAra and akshata.

Importance and relevance of angAra

There is a quote available from padma purana which says

na bhayam vidyate tasya divi bhaumAntarikshajam
viShNordhupasya sheSheNa yasyangam ca vilepitam

There will be no fear on earth, sky or antariksha who has applied the dhupa shesha of vishnu (angara) on his body.

bhavanti sampadastasya napadastasya dehinah
harerdattavasheshena dhupena parimarjati

One who applies the angara after offering it to Shri Hari, will be blessed with wealth and will be free from adversities.

pishachato bhayam nasti na choradi bhayam kvachit
shechayitva harerdhupam nirmalyam padayorjalam
deepam neerajanam krutvA devadevasya chakriNaH
varshakoti shatam sAgram viShNorloke maheeyate
There will be no fear of devils and thieves to one who offers deepa and neerajana, applies angara and wears the nirmalya of Shri Hari.

Preparation of angAra

Angara, basically is a burning charcoal, which is red hot.

First, dhupa should be offered to vishnu by sprinkling dashangam etc.

on the red hot charcoal during pooja.

 Later it is cooled by putting it in water.

It should be kept aside for applying after the completion of pooja.

Where to apply

It is applied at all places where gopichandana is applied.

When to apply and when not to

Should be applied everyday without fail even on ekadashi’s and even during ashaucha.

As mentioned earlier, there is no specific reference to this practice in the scriptures available to us today.

But our rich sampradaya stands as a proof to this practice.

Importance and relevance of Akshata

As we have no scriptural evidence available today for this practice we cannot give specific details on its importance or relevance.


The basic ingredients of akshata are

  1. turmeric root
  2. powder ash of burnt plantain flower

The steps to prepare akshata are as follows

  1. The covering of the plantain flower (baaLe hoovina sippe) should be dried and burnt and the ash collected.
  2. A turmeric root should be ground on a stone slab (shaaNe kallu) adding small quantities of water to make a soft paste
  3. Mix sufficient quantity of the ash from step 1
  4. The paste will turn maroon in color.
  5. Offer it to vishnu during pooja and to other deities. Keep it aside for applying after the completion of the pooja

When to use and when not to?

According to the sampradaya, akshata is not applied during ekadashis and ashaucha (due to death of some near relative)