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A Complete Guide to Hindu Prayers

Hindu prayers

In Hinduism, Prayers are sacred mantras recited to increase devotion towards God or Ishwara. According to Bhakti Marga (the path of Bhakti or devotion), a human mind is distracted so easily.

So, repetitive chanting of mantras helps keep the mind focused on God.


  1. Benefits of Prayer
  2. Types of prayers
  3. Ways to pray
  4. Morning Prayers
  5. Prayers for specific purposes
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

In some way or another, Hindu Prayers show gratitude towards the greater power of the world. These prayers wish for the goodwill of devotee or society.

Benefits of Prayers

Reciting a prayer establishes your faith into a great power that is supreme in this world. It makes you feel that you are not all alone. And hence, it reduces stress and anxiety to a great extent.

Srila Prabhupada says, "We indulge so much in our daily life that we lose the connection with God." 

He further says, "It is the reason for our sorrows. So to keep our faith in God and to get calm and grateful by feeling his presence in yourself, you must pray at times."

Many psychologists also agree that Praying can foster a connection between you and the surrounding environment. 

It eases your thinking about everything, and you stay calmer through intense situations.

Types of Prayers

In Hinduism, there are so many kinds of Prayers that you can easily get overwhelmed.

There are various processes of reciting prayers in Hindu communities with many prayers recited for different purposes.

Subhashita Prayers- These are morning prayers, generally recited before an Idol or Sun. These prayer request blessing from God and goodwill for all.

Stotras- These are general prayers that anyone can recite. It contains a description of the form of God. These prayers generally request blessings from God.

Kavacham - Kavacha means shield. In these prayers, a devotee requests protection against enemies and bad events in life.

Namavali- Nama (in Sanskrit) means 'Name'. These Prayers contain 32 names, 108 names or 1000 names of God.

Ways to pray-

There can be many ways to pray in Hinduism. The most common way is to do it early morning, before going to daily work.

When your day starts with a devotional, spiritual experience, you remain cheerful throughout the day.

Many people find the evening time more suitable. You should make sure that you stay calm and relaxed when reciting the prayer.

When you pray, you should do it before an Idol of a deity or before Sun. 

If you are unable to do it both ways, you should pray with your eyes closed and mind focused on the image of God.

Morning Prayers

A person should chant morning prayer to start his day with positive thoughts. We request blessings from God with a prayer.

These prayers give enlightenment of mind, body and soul. One attains self-awareness chanting these prayers.

Some well-known morning prayers are-

Gayatri Mantra-

Gaytri Mantra is one of the holiest Sanskrit verses in Hinduism. In this mantra, we wish social harmony and well being to the world.

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra

Aditya Hridaya Stotra in Hindi

Navagraha Stotram in Hindi

Sri Suktam- to Godess Lakshmi

Hanuman Chalisa

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Ashtak


Stotras are hymns of praise written in Sanskrit. These are religious texts designed to sing melodically.

A Stotra can be a description, conversation or appraisal to God.

A Stotra is sung to request an apology from God or to demand something or to seek blessings. 

There can be many types of Stotras- Namavali, Kavacha or Kshamapana Stotra etc.


Namavali Stotras are hymns recited to please God and seek blessings. These are general prayers recited for spiritual experience.

These are different types of Namavalis dedicated to many deities. These contain 32, 108 or 1000 names of the worshipped deity.

Some of the well known Namavalis are-

Durga Astottara Satanam in Hindi - 108 names of Devi Durga

Durga Dwatrinsha Naamamala in Hindi - 32 names of Devi Durga

Vishnu Sahasranamam - 1000 names of Lord Vishnu

Prayers for specific Purposes

Kavacha or Kavacham

Kavachas are hymns recited to seek protection against enemies, illness and evil powers. These are also called Raksha Stotra.

There are many Kavacha hymns devoted to different deities. You can also chant these Kavachas in every morning or evening.

Some of the popular Kavacha hymns are-

Devi Kavacham or Durga Kavacham- to seek protection from Devi Durga.

Rama Raksha Stotram- to seek protection from Lord Rama.

Shiva Raksha Stotra- to seek protection from Shiva.

Kalika Kavacham- to seek protection from Goddess Kali.

Bajrang Baan Lyrics in Hindi - to seek protection from Hanuman and to destroy the enemies.

Kshamapana Stotra

These are hymns recited to request an apology from God to forgive your guilt and sins.

Some of the many Kshamapana Stotras are

Devyaparadha Kshamapana Stotram - to ask forgiveness from mother Goddess.

Shiva Aparadha Kshamapana Stotram- to ask forgiveness from Lord Shiva.

Frequently Asked questions

1 . What is the best time for prayers?

The best time is before you start your day, morning or evening for reciting a prayer. Always ensure that you take a bath before prayer and remove any distraction.

2 . Which deity should I worship?

If you are not sure who to worship and want to do general prayer, You may worship Sun or Surya.

According to Puranas, Sun God makes you free from illness and give prosperity and wisdom.

3 . What prayer should I recite for good health and body?

Devi Kavacham (requests protection from Devi Durga) or Aditya Hridaya Stotram is what you should read.

4. Should I pray after eating a meal?

Your body feels laziness after a meal, so you should refrain from praying after a meal and pray with an empty stomach.

5. Can I pray outside the home?

These are no restraints of places for chanting prayer. You chant a prayer at school, home or office.

Best Practices

> Keep the find away from any distraction and concentration on God.

> Express gratitude and acceptance towards the deity or your Guru.

> Join the hands in Namaskara Mudra while doing the prayer.

> It is best for you to know the meaning of the prayer you are reciting, so you can better communicate with God in a precise manner.

  tag: hindu collection of hymns and prayers 

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