Sri Narayanasamy may be right in his observations as for as the rituals- versions are concerned. However use of ASHADHAI is since JANAKAR periods as seen from puranas. Also, articles required reported in so many Poojas written in more than 15 major puranas have included the Mangala Akshadhai unequivocally. As seen from an incident narrated from vedangas with reference to how VEDAS were came to be differentiated,the Akshadhai was a pooja prasadam sent to King JANAKA daily by the great Rishi .’” It is said that Rishi Vaisampayana taught Yajur Veda to Yagnavalkya and other disciples. Yagnavalkya was one of the very illustrious and bright students. It was a regular rite for the Rishi Vaisampayana to perform Vedic ritual for the welfare of the country and for the King (I think the Janaka Maharaja) and after the ritual the mangala akshdhai (Holy auspicious rice added with turmeric) will be sent to the King’s palace as prasadam and aseerwadham.
Apart from these Bhagavat Gita in the following slokas describe (1) how from maximum to minimum Bhakthi can be made relished by HIM, finally, descends down to “PATRAM, PUSHPAM, PALAM, THOYAM”. (2) Most Important is devotion. The order shows step by step, enlightening Arjuna, what is the least at least with “GOODNESS-SAT”.
BG 9.27: Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.
BG 12.10: If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.
BG 12.12: If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.
BG 12.13-14: One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me — such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.
BG 14.5: Material nature consists of three modes — goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.
BG 15.19: Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is the knower of everything. He therefore engages himself in full devotional service to Me, O son of Bharata.
BG 16.21: There are three gates leading to this hell — lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul
BG 17.1: Arjuna inquired: O Kṛṣṇa, what is the situation of those who do not follow the principles of scripture but worship according to their own imagination? Are they in goodness, in passion or in ignorance?
BG 17.11: Of sacrifices, the sacrifice performed according to the directions of scripture, as a matter of duty, by those who desire no reward, is of the nature of goodness.
BG 17.26-27: The Absolute Truth is the objective of devotional sacrifice, and it is indicated by the word sat. The performer of such sacrifice is also called sat, as are all works of sacrifice, penance and charity which, true to the absolute nature, are performed to please the Supreme Person, O son of Pṛthā.
BG 18.14: The place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul — these are the five factors of action
BG 18.18: Knowledge, the object of knowledge, and the knower are the three factors that motivate action; the senses, the work and the doer are the three constituents of action.
BG 18.48: Every endeavor is covered by some fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work born of his nature, O son of Kuntī, even if such work is full of fault.
BG 18.56: Though engaged in all kinds of activities, My pure devotee, under My protection, reaches the eternal and imperishable abode by My grace.
BG 18.66: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.
BG 9.26: If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.