addition to the normal activities associated with one's profession (varna dharma) and
stage in life (Ńshrama dharma), the daily routine of a devout Hindu is to perform pa˝cha
mahŃ yag˝as (five daily duties) and pa˝cha nitya karmas (five constant duties). These
are the minimal practices which guide a person in everyday life and ensure peace, material
and spiritual prosperity.
- Worship God (Deva Yag˝a) in the form of a family deity
(Ishta DevatŃ) in the home shrine through prayers and meditations. This practice
helps one to become God-conscious in all daily activities. Additionally, this practice
arouses a sense of togetherness in the family, since the family members worship together
and participate in the rituals, chants, singing, and study of scriptures. Tradition says
that "a family that prays together stays together."
- Study Vedas and other scriptures (Brahma Yag˝a). This
practice refreshes one's mind with sacred knowledge and also helps to preserve and enrich
- Contemplate on the teachings of the sages, saints, holy men
and women, and one's forefathers (Pitri Yag˝a). This practice is intended to serve
as a reminder to preserve, enrich and continue one's cultural heritage and family values.
- Provide food for those who are in need (Bhuta Yag˝a).
This practice is intended to create the spirit of sharing with others.
- Serve guests with love, respect, and reverence (Nara Yag˝a).
This practice is the basis for the traditional hospitality of Hindu households.
Taken from Hindu Dharma by Shree