Lord Vishnu, the God who is responsible for maintenance of this universe is known as Shri Satyanarayann and the puja performed to worship him is called vrita or a vow. It is observed on full moon days, new moon days and even on Sankranti days. However, the poornimas of Chaitra, Vaishakh, Shravan and Kartik are considered to be the most auspicious days.
Satyanarayan Puja is one of the best and easiest ways to seek blessings from Lord Vishnu. Typically Satyanarayan Puja is to be performed before and/or after the fulfillment of our desires e.g. if you want to achieve some important milestones in your life like success in Higher Education, Success in career, promotion, investing in property or starting a new business venture, negotiating professional deals etc... This puja can also be performed if someone in the family is unwell. It is advisable to perform Satyanarayan Puja at least once every year in order to maintain happiness, prosperity and well-being of the family. It is one of those auspicious occasions to invite friends and relatives.
Satyanarayan is also regarded as the remover of all difficulties and so nowadays his puja is performed, as a panacea for all problems and difficulties.
It is not an expensive puja ritual and there is no hard and fast rule as to when Satyanarayan Puja to be performed but a proper consultation with panditji can help you decide on an auspicious day. Either morning or evening is ideal for this puja. This puja lasts for about 3.5 to 4 hours, so it advisable to start as early as 8-8:30 am to finish in time before 1 PM. The puja is performed with the help of a priest who reads out the story of Shri Satyanarayan during the entire time of puja. The prasad consists of ’sapat’ made of wheatflour, sugar and a little ghee.
After the puja is over it is usually a custom to conduct some fun program including singing, dancing, playing musical instruments etc. surrounded by friends and family.
Nowadays, among the GSBs, soon after the wedding ceremony, the next day or the third day with the newlywed couple at the puja, vrita is invariably observed without any exception, popularly calling it ‘dev’. The whole ‘vrita’ is nothing but ‘shravan’ which is listening to devotional stories of the greatness of God whose grace alone can and will bring us happiness. There are several stories known as Katha which the priest will read out for us as a part of the worship that tell us ignoring God or His devotees will bring in untold miseries but when we rectify the mistakes on our part and do not repeat them, such actions will please God. This is the central theme of Shri Satyanarayan Puja that will inculcate devotion in us.