Ahneeka Prakarana 2
(The details of the acts to be performed ) 2
I Prabodha Samaya:- 3
(Waking up time) 3
II.Brahme Muhurthe Japyani”:- 3
(To be chanted in the Brahma Muhurtha) 3
III, Soucha Vidhi 4
(laws of cleanliness) 4
IV. Gandoosha Vidhi 6
(Rules for gargling) 6
V. Achamana Vidhi:- 6
(Rules for inner cleaning) 6
VI Dandavadhana Vidhi 8
(rules for cleaning of teeth) 8
VII Snana Vidhi 9
(Principles of Bathing) 9
VIII. Snana Bedha:- 11
(different types of bath) 11
IX. Snanrhani Jalani:- 12
(waters suitable for bathing) 12
X.Samudhra Snanam 13
(Sea bathing) 13
XI Naimithika Snanam:_ 13
(Bath for a reason) 13
XII . Sankramam 15
(Starting time of the months) 15
XIII . Rajaswala Snanam 16
( Purificatory bath of the girl after periods) 16
XIV. Kamya Snanas 16
( Optional bathing) 16
XVMalakarsana snanam 17
(Oil bath) 17
XVI. Naraka Chathurdasi Snanam. 17
(Deepavali bath) 17
XVII. Nadheenaam Rajaswala Dosha 18
(The tainting of rivers by period) 18
XVIII. Vasthra pareedhanam: 19
(Rules for dressing) 19
IXX.Pundra dharana Vidhi:- 19
(Rules of wearing sacred religious marks) 19
XX. Sandhyavandana Vidhi. 21
(rules of worship at dawn , noon and dusk) 21
XXI. Kamya Japani 24
(Desirous chants) 24
XXII.Durbha Prasamsa 25
(The appreciation of Durbha grass) 25
XXIII .Homa Vidhaana 26
(Rules of fire sacrifice) 26
XXIV. Homa Kala:- 28
(The time of Homa) 28
XXV, Homarhasamidha:- 28
(the holy sticks suitable for Homa) 28
XXVI. Homa dravyani:- 29
(materials for Homa) 29
XXVII. Brahma Yagna Vidhi 31
(Rules of Brahma Yagna) 31
XXVIII. Dwitheeya Bhaga Kruthyani 32
(Those rituals that are to be performed in the second part.) 32
IXXX Thritheeya chathurtha bhagayo kruthyani. 33
The duties in the third and fourth part. 33
XXX Deva Pooja:- 34
Worship of Gods 34
XXXI Vishnu Pooja:- 35
(worship of Lord Vishnu) 35
XXXII.Shiva Pooja:- 36
(Shiva worship) 36
XXXIII .Vaiswa deva homa 37
(Offering in the fire) 37
XXXIV Aathidhavyam 39
XXXV. Bhojana Niyama 41
(Rules of taking food) 41
XXXVI. Bhojana Pathrani 42
(Vessels for eating food) 42
XXXVII Bhojana Karana Vidhanam 43
(The method of taking food). 43
XXXVIII. Bhakshya abhakshya viveka 46
Food those can be eaten and those which cannot be eaten 46
IXXXX.. Bhojanathara Karyani 49
(After meals activities) 49
XXXX. Rathrou Karthavyani 50
Duties at night. 50
(The details of the acts to be performed )
Ahneekam are the acts that we should perform during the day and night. This chapter gives in detail, the proper ways of doing our duties from the time we wake up on a day till we wake up next morning.
I Prabodha Samaya:-
(Waking up time)
We should wakeup during the Brahma Muhurtha (4.30 AM) . As soon as we wake up we should take a stock of
1.The actions we did yesterday.
2. The money we earned by just means
3. The actions that we plan to do today.
4. How we are going to earn money today.
5. How we have to behave so that we do not hurt others. And
6.The efforts involved in doing the duties.
And then we should think of God.
The last part of the night is Brahma Muhurtha. The night s divided in to four Yamas of three hours each. Each three hours is subdivided in to 3¾ Muhurthas. Thus there will be two last Muhurthas in the in the final Yama of the night. The first of these is called Brahma and the second would be called Roudhra. Approximately the Brahma Muhurtha would start at 4.30 Am.
Daily as soon as we wake up we should take stock of our life. We should think about 1. The activities of the previous day
2. Whether we gave any charity during the previous day
3 .Even if we have not given anything in charity, did we ask some body else to give
4. The truths that we have spoken and think about our age , death disease , sorrows, passions and also the future when we would become older.
II.Brahme Muhurthe Japyani”:-
(To be chanted in the Brahma Muhurtha)
The following Slokas are to be chanted as soon as one gets up:-
Oh Brahma, Oh Vishnu, Oh Lord Shiva , Oh Sun God, Oh Moon God,
Oh Budha, the son of earth, Oh Guru, Oh Shukra, Oh Saturn ,
Oh Rahu Oh Kethu , All of you please make this morning good to me. 1
Oh Sage Shukra, Oh sage Vasishta, Oh sage Krathu, Oh sage Aangeeras ,
Oh king Manu, Oh sage Pulasthya , Oh sage Pulaha , Oh sage Gowthama,
Oh sage Rahibhya, Oh sage Mareechi , Oh sage Chyavana ,
And Oh Daksha, all of you please make this morning good to me. 2
Oh sage Sanathkumara, Oh sage Sananda, Oh sage Sanathans,
Oh sage Appyasura, Oh sage Simhala , Oh seven notes,
Oh seven great mountains , Oh seven sages , oh seven holy rivers,
Oh seven animals , and oh seven worlds, make this morning good to me. 3
Oh sweet smelling earth along with its rivers , Oh air which touches me,
Of fire , which burns fiercely, Oh sky . Oh passing sounds,
And all the great things, make this morning good to me. 4
If these very holy verses are read in the morning or at least remembered,
that would destroy bad dreams , and make the morning good, by the blessing of God.
Reading the epic Mahabharata , or singing it with blessing of Saraswathi.
If Brahmins also sing the name of Lord Kesava as soon as they get up,
Would be blessed by Nala , Yudhishtra , Goddess Sita and Lord Janardhana. 6
In the early morning the names of God should be repeated in a loud voice. Singing the names is considered equivalent to reciting prayers.
The Brahmin who recites Vedas in the morning and sees lucky people , cow , fire and the person doing Yaga would be saved from all dangers.
III, Soucha Vidhi
(laws of cleanliness)
After getting up from the bed , gargle and clean your mouth , do Achamana (ritual of inner cleaning) , cover your head with a cloth and without spitting as well as taking deep breath, attend to your calls of nature in bushes covered by grass which are not used for worship. It is clear from here that when we are engaged in some activity and want to answer the calls of nature, we have to do Achamana before that.
During day time as well as dusk , hang the sacred thread on the right ear and face north while answering calls of nature. In the night face the south.
Take with you water and mud for cleaning yourselves and attend calls of nature facing north in the day time and face south at night. If we collect water and mud afterwards, then we have to take bath with the cloths that we are wearing.
If you happen to urinate in a place where water is not available for cleaning , then clean yourself as soon as you get water and take bath. If you happen to attend calls of nature with wet cloths, do Pranayama three times and take bath again. If you attend calls of nature before cleaning yourself after vomiting, after shaving and after cropping and after making love , you become dirty for three days. That is you cannot do any rituals for three days.
You should not attend to calls of nature in the way , or on ash, or in cattle house or while seeing air, fire , Brahmin, Sun , Water and cow. We should not attend to calls of nature in ploughed land, water , land meant for fire sacrifice, in dilapidated temples, in ant hills and in nests of animals You should not attend calls of nature while standing, walking , in the river shores and on the top of a mountain. We should not attend calls of nature in front of fire, Sun , moon, water, Brahmin, cow and wind. If such wrong things are done by one, he will loose his intelligence and become mad.
You should not attend calls of nature wearing slippers and holding umbrella. You should not attend to calls of nature in the sky, in front of a woman, Guru and a Brahmin.
If we forget to put the sacred thread on the ears while attending calls of nature, then we have to wear a new sacred thread.
After attending to calls of nature one should not get in ponds and rivers to clean yourself. We should take water in a pot and clean yourself.
The water are mud which we get in a place or country is suitable for cleaning one self.
The method of cleaning oneself using mud is described. We should clean the penis once by using the mud and anus thrice using mud after attending the calls of nature. Then the left hand should be cleaned using water mixed with mud ten times and right hand cleaned seven times. This number is for the householder. For Bramacharis it is double this number and Vana Prasthas thrice this number and for Sanyasis four times this number. The leg should be cleaned seven times using the mud. Water should be taken in a broad necked pot , water poured in the concerned place , then the place cleaned by left hand. Then the water should be transferred to left hand and the right hand cleaned.
First you should clean the anus, then penis, then feet and then the hand.
The above rules of cleanliness has to be observed in the day time. In the night half of it only need to be observed, and while on travel quarter only need to be observed. When you are sick or handicapped, observe as much as possible.
Even boys who have not received sacred thread, women and non Brahmins also should use the above method using water and mud. The number rules above does not apply to them. They have to clean themselves adequately.
If you happen to touch man’s bone, open flesh, stool (other’s) , urine , semen and blood , you have to take bath , apply ointments , clean yourself again and do Achamana. Suppose these were our own, then we need only to clean that spot and do Achamana,
Suppose some one takes the entire water of Ganga and uses one mountain of mud to clean oneself till he dies , if he does not have faith , the operation of cleaning will never clean him. So it is necessary to follow the ritualistic rules with faith.
Cleaning can be done either by time, fire , water , mud , mental satisfaction . Even if we do not know how they clean, they would definitely clean.
Act of cleaning brings fame to Brahmin. So he should take special effort for doing that. Cleanliness and Dharmic laws unless followed will not give results for any action.
IV. Gandoosha Vidhi
(Rules for gargling)
After cleaning ourselves with mud and water to the prescribed number of times , and after tying the matted hair and the loin cloth , man should gargle and then do Achamana.
On the right side of the Brahmin, the gods live. So he should sit and gargle facing the left.
After answering calls of nature, we have to gargle twelve times, and after urinating four times and after taking food 16 times.
V. Achamana Vidhi:-
(Rules for inner cleaning)
Wash your hands and legs and face , keep the sacred thread in normal position, and keeping both hands in between the knees , we have to do Achamana. Then we have to clean the teeth.
Make your right hand in the shape of the ear of the cow , and take water three times, Then wipe your lips twice.
Keeping the thumb and little finger open and folding the other three fingers , you have to drink the water, This is called the Achamana method.,
Every time you have to take water sufficient to drown a single grain of black gram.
Achamana should be done using Brahma theertha which is not hot , facing east or north . For getting clean we should bathe in water reaching up to the chest in case of Brahmins, reaching up to the neck in case of Kshatriyas, reaching up to the mouth in case of Vysyas and reaching up to the bottom of the mouth in case of Shudhras and ladies .
Achamana should not be done standing or firmly sitting or with hands held outside the knees. Immediately after meals Achamana can be done sitting firmly on the earth. You should not Achamaneeyam with upper cloth worn on one side of the body or with cloth hiding the shoulders. It should also not be done without sacred thread, wearing dirty cloths and not tying the hair. All activities following such wrong Achamana need to be repeated again. If Achamanas are done facing south or west , then we need to take bath again and do Achamanam again.
While doing Achamana we have to touch water (pot or river) with the left hand. This is because in the left hand live the twelve Adithyas as well as Varuna the lord of water,
Water in the Bronze vessel, copper vessel and silver vessel is always pure. So you have to hold the Udharani ( ceremonial spoon) and take the water from the vessel and pour it in the right hand and do Achamana. Taking it directly by the left hand is considered equivalent to drinking of Alcohol.
Brahman should always do Achamana using Brahma Theertha , He can also do it using Rishi theertha and Deva theertha but he should never do it using Pithru theertha.
This classification is based on where we hold the water in the right hand. If we hold it just below the thumb it is Brahma Theertha. If it is held just below the little finger it is Rishi Theertha and at the edge of four fingers , then it is Deva theertha. If it is held between the thumb and the first finger , it is called Pithru Theertha.
The water has to be taken after washing the hand and legs. The water that we see clearly should be used. The water which can just drown a black gram should be taken and it is sufficient if it reaches up to the chest.
After the Achamana, we have to close our lips and wipe the mouth by the base of the thumb twice. Then we have to touch the mouth by all fingers held together.
It is said after this all organs should be touched by the fingers. We drink the water saying Achyuthaya Nama, Anathaya Nama and Kesavaya Nama and touch the organs using fingers chanting the 12 names of Vishnu. This method has been taught by our elders. We should touch our eyes using thumb and first finger, touch the nose using the thumb and the third finger, touch the ears with thumb and the little finger, touch the shoulders using the thumb and the second finger, touch the belly button using the thumb , touch the chest using three fingers and touch the head with all fingers. There can be differences in this rules. The family tradition has to be followed.
Achamana can be performed standing in water but should not be done in water if the depth of water is below our knees.
Achamana must be performed after bath , after taking food , after drinking fluids, after sneezing and after sleep.
If during chanting of mantra, we happen to see anything dirty, Achamana should be performed and chanting recommenced.
Manu and Parasara are of the opinion that the sacred waters of Prabhasa, the ganges , Sun, Varuna , Chandra, Fire and wind are always in the right ear of a Brahmin.
If we are not able to do Achamana, or if we are not able to get water for Achamana when we have to do Achamana , we need only to touch our right ear. This is equivalent to Achamana. During meals, Homa, taking of alms , eating , or giving of alms, we need to perform Achamana twice.
After eating mango , sugar cane piece , betel leaf and Soma Pana, there is no need to do Achamana. After taking the Vishnu Pada Theertha also Achamana should not be performed. You should not wash your hand in this case.
VI Dandavadhana Vidhi
(rules for cleaning of teeth)
Daily the mouth becomes old. So one becomes defiled. So we should clean our mouth using one of the sticks prescribed. Then only the teeth and mouth become clean.
We have to first wash our hand, legs and face and then to Achamana and clean the teeth facing east in a sitting position.
Whichever stick we use to clean our teeth it should be purified by recitation of the following Mantra:-
“Rishi Prajapathi , Anushtup Chanda and Brahaspathi devatha
Aayurbala yaso varcha praja pasu vasuni cha,
Brahma pragnam cha medhaam cha thwannoi dehi vanaspathe.”
Please give me long life, fame , children cattle ,
Make me realize Brahmam, give me wisdom, ,
You who have been grown in the forest.
Sticks from all trees with thorn are suitable for cleaning the teeth. They give us punya. All sticks from trees having milk would give us fame, The stick should be as thick as the tip of our little finger and should not be dry.
Sticks of Khadhira, Khadambha, Kharanja, Kharaja Thrasini, Venu , Pruthwi , Jamboo, Nimba , Apamarga , (In Tamil Karungali, Kadambai, Pingu, Charadai , Kla, Moongil(Bamboo) , Ven, Mandarai , Naval , Vembu (neem) , Nayuruvi , Bilwam, Yerukku ,Athi), are suitable for cleaning the teeth. Sticks of Peepal tree , purasu and Simshubha are not suitable .Some saints feel that sticks of bilwa should not be used.
During Chathurdasi, Ashtami , Amavasya (new moon) ,Pournami(full moon) , Sankramana (month beginning) we should not use meat , should not make love nor clean teeth( The commentator says , meat eating is the Dharma of Kshatriyas)
To clean teeth on Sradha (devotion day of manes) and during days of Starving , cleaning teeth is a sinful act. If it is done by mistake then water over which Gayatri is chanted 100 times should be sipped.
We can clean the teeth using grass and leaves on all days except Amavasya (new moon) and Ekadasi . It can be done using the leaves of Jambu , Plakshas, Ichi and Mango. Among them Mango is very good. A widow, a virgin and a Brahmachari should not clean their teeth.
You can clean the teeth using tooth powders using any finger except the second finger
VII Snana Vidhi
(Principles of Bathing)
As soon as you get up in the morning , it is absolutely necessary to take bath in great rivers after cleaning the body and cleaning the teeth.
By taking bath man attains strength , beauty , fame, Dharma , wisdom , pleasure , courage and great health.
One should not eat anything without taking bath, without chanting stotras , without oblations in the fire and without giving charity. If some thing is taken without these then the food is equivalent to stool , spoiled blood, worm and poison.
All the rituals told in Vedas are to be done after taking bath. The man who has not taken bath is not suitable to meditation and fire oblations.
The householder and Vana prastha should take bath both in the morning and noon. The Sanyasis should take bath thrice, in the morning, in the noon and at dusk. The Brahmachari need to take only the morning bath.
All sections need to take bath only once , if they are sick or when there is scarcity of water. If one is healthy and if plenty of water is available , one should take bath. Bath is ordained for Brahmins and non Brahmins.
The Brahmin should stand in the middle of water and without any thoughts in the mind , think of only Lord Vishnu , do Achamana and take bath by thrice going below the water. While under water he should chant the Aghamarshana Suktha.
During bath and other acts , one should meditate on Lord Narayana, By this he gets rid of attachments and reaches Brahma Loka. He will not be born again in this world.
The bathing act has five parts viz. Sankalpa (telling of intention), Chanting of Varuna Suktha, sprinkling water on self with chanting, Telling of Agamarshana Suktha and giving oblations to Devas.
While taking bath in the pond or while washing the feet of a Brahmin or while chanting Gayathri or while giving water offerings one should do it facing the Sun.
When one is taking bath in the river, he should bath against the tide do marjana and chant Agamarshana, In other places it should be done facing the sun. At night he can take bath facing east or north. In ponds belonging to the Gods, you should take bath opposite them.
One should tie his hair, do Achamana, wash the shore with water , keep durba there, wear pavithram, with folded hands recite Varuna Suktham and worship the Goddess of water and then take bath .Then he should clean his body including arm pits and again take bath , do Achamana twice , sprinkle water using the chant “aapohishta..” , chant Agamarshana Suktha , take bath , do two Achamanas and offer oblations to Gods. This can be learned from scholarly elders.
A man who is sick can take bath in hot water.
The period of 96 minutes before sun rise is called Arunodhaya period. Taking bath at that time is supposed to be great. That is we have to take bath around 4.30 AM.
There are three types of bathing. They are Nithya Snana (daily bath), Naimithika Snana (causal bath) and Kamya Snana (desirable bath). During all types of bath Tharpanam (oblations to satisfy Devas, Rishis and manes) should be performed. Bathing after cropping the hair or after shaving is called Naimithika Snana. Any bathing after we become defiled is Naimithika Snana. On such occasions two times bathing is prescribed. During the first time, no Tharpana needs to be done. After drying oneself we have to take bath again, Then Tharpana should be done.
The Tharpana after the bath should be performed with wet cloths , standing in the water, where we have taken bath.
We have to do Tharpana to Gods in the same water. The water has to be lifted to the height of the horns of a cow. Tharpana (that which satisfies) should be done to Gods, manes and Rishis in that order. If the order is changed the water is equivalent to blood and will invite the wrath of Devas.
For devas the Tharpana should be done facing the north with sacred thread in the Upaveethi (left shoulder to right hip) position. In case of Rishis it should be done facing north wearing the sacred thread like a garland(niveethi) and for manes (pithrus) it should be done with sacred thread worn in the Pracheena veethi (From right shoulder to left hip) facing the south. We should stand in the middle of water and take water with both hands while doing Tharpana.
After doing Tharpana for devas and Rishis , we should do Tharpana for the God called Yashma in the banks of the river(pond). We have to say, “due to my washing my body with water, I have made the water dirty and so I am giving oblations to Yashma so that the sin committed is pardoned.”
A Brahmin after the bath , should wear the sacred thread in the Prachina veethi position and stand in the shore till all the water in his body dries away so that all animals are satisfied.
If water falls from hair towards our back , it is equivalent to toddy and if it falls in the front, it is equal to water of Ganges. So we have to bend towards the front while drying our hair.
The uthareeya (upper cloth should be folded twice (four fold) and water allowed to fall through its tips. We should never make it three fold.. We should not remove the water from the upper cloth in the middle of the water. When we remove the water from cloths, we have to wear the sacred thread in the niveethi(garland) position.
After removing the water from upper cloth , in the four fold state, we should put the sacred thread in proper position (upaveethi) and carry the upper cloth by our left wrist and do two Achamanas.
After taking bath we have to do Tharpanam to devas, sages and manes , do Achamana and dry our body and head by the two cloths that we wear. We should not remove water from the hair by shaking it.
VIII. Snana Bedha:-
(different types of bath)
There are two types of bathing called as Gowna and Mukhya
The nines types of bathing viz Agneya, Varuna , Brahma, Vaavya, Divya, Manasa , Parthiva , Kapila and Saraswatha are mentioned in the Sasthras.
After washing our hands and legs , sitting facing the east and after doing Achamana , the Basma Snana (Ash bath) should be started.
Using the white from the fire sacrifices and after chanting eesana manthra , the ash should be sprinkled on our heads.
Ash should be sprinkled after chanting Thath Purusha manthra on the face, Agora manthra on the chest, Vamadeva manthra on the private parts, sathyajotha manthra on the legs and Pranava ((Om) on all parts of the body. This is called Agneya snana (bath by fire) , If we get ash from fire sacrifice it is much more divine but it can be performed using any ash.
The bath by reciting Jala Deva Daga manthra in the middle of water and dipping in the water and later doing Tharpana to devas, Rishis and manes is called Varuna snanam (( bath by water)
Sprinkling water on the tips of our breast after chanting the Aapohishta manthra and using Deva theertha (water from tips of fingers) is called Brahma snanam. This is called Mathra snanam.
The falling of the dust raised by the hooves of cows during dusk is called Vayavya snamam (bath by wind)
Bath which occurs as per the advice of great people is called Saraswatha snanam.
Bathing in the rainwater in the Northern solstice of Sun (utharyana) when there is rain as well as sun light is called Divya Snana.
Meditating on Lord Vishnu with four arms as carrying conch , wheel and mace is called Manasa snanam (mental bath)
Taking clean earth , chanting mantras and taking bath is called Parthiva snanam.
IX. Snanrhani Jalani:-
(waters suitable for bathing)
Ponds and lakes are those water deposits made by man. Devakhata are natural collection of water. Those water deposits worshipped by sages is called Saras. Katham is a stream. Bigger streams which flow for a distance of more than 800 bows are called River. Bigger streams with lesser lengths is called Arivi.
You can take bath in the water of well or pond constructed by our ancestors, kings. Great sages, and Devas. It is better to take bath by dipping in water than taking from well and taking bath. Better than that is the water of the mountain spring. Better than that is the water from Saras(water worshipped by sages) and better than that is water of rivers. Even better than that is the sacred water worshipped by elders. Better than everything is the water of Ganges.
You should not take bath in the pond constructed by others. If you happen to do it, take out seven clods of mud from the pond and put it on its shore. If it is some body else’s well, remove three pots of water and throw it away before taking bath. It is proper to take bath in wells and ponds which are public and have been constructed as charity. If you happen to take bath in wells constructed by atheists and debased people, we should perform Prajapathya Kruchram(?).
If there is a river you should not take bath in well or a pond, When there is a lake you should not take bath in a pond.
We should always worship the Banyan tree and the sea, You can take bath in the sea during Parva (Festivals/Full moon day) periods. On Saturdays we can touch the Banyan tree,. During other times both should not be touched.
During the Krishna Paksha ( waning moon) Tuesdays which come along with Chathurdasi , we can take bath in the sea. During the parva (full moon) with Chathurdasi , you can take bath in the non Chathurdasi period. Similarly during the Pucha Amavasya (new moon) , we can take bath only when there is Amavasya. The husband of a pregnant woman should not take bath in the sea.
In Rama Sethu (Bridge constructed by Rama) you can take bath in the sea daily. The rule that you have to take bath only in Parva is applicable only to other places.
When you are taking bath we have to think of Kuru Kshethra, Gaya, Ganga , Prabhasa and Naimisaranya. It is not proper for intelligent people to think of some other river when they are taking bath in a river. But Ganges is an exception.
Water is always pure, Mixing it with fire is very special. So it is always good to take bath in hot water. But this is normally done by only by a sick person. When you are not ill, it is better to take bath in cold water. Taking bath in cold water mixed with hot water is considered specially good.
XI Naimithika Snanam:_
(Bath for a reason)
After doing Sankalpa, take bath in the river and then chant one of Aagamarshana , Dadvishannor Paramapadha, Gaythri and Yunchademana, while still dipping in the water and then do Pithru Tharpana (worship of manes)
Those who touch a woman in periods , one who has given birth to a baby, sinner, corpse and the man who has touched a corpse , should take bath immediately with the dress one is wearing.
If one sees a bad dream or if he vomits , if he gets a shave or if one makes love or if the smoke of a dead body falls on one’s body , then he has to take bath immediately.
But in times of sorrow or pain , or in narrow streets , or in streets with large number of up and downs , in shopping streets and in towns, try to move away from a person (as told by above) as much as possible. It is told that it should be to a length of a cow’s tail. There is then no need to take a bath.
If the body of a dog touches you , then you have to take a bath along with dress or that part should be shown in the fire before washing . Then if we wash our feet and do Achamana , we become pure. Some other people are of the opinion that if we happen to touch the under belly part of a dog , it is sufficient if we wash that part and do Achamana. If we happen to touch the upper part, it is necessary to take bath immediately.
After seeing the festival of Gods, or after doing a good act or after bidding farewell to relatives and friends, we should not take bath. We should not take bath at the middle of night.
During eclipse , Sankramana (Beginning of a month) , marriage , and birth , we can take bath and do charity at night. During other periods we should not bathe at night.
If we are forced to take bath at night, we can take bath using the water brought during the day time. If we do not have such water we can take bath in the river after lighting a fire in its shore.
During lunar and solar eclipse , it is very special to take bath in the Ganges. We can take bath in other rivers also.
During the time of eclipse all river waters are equivalent to Ganges water, all Brahmins are equal to God and all charities are equal to charity of land.
The benefit of giving in charity crores of cows can be got by taking bath in the Ganges during the eclipse.
If we take bath in the Ganges during lunar and solar eclipse, we get the benefit of taking bath in all holy rivers of the world. It implies , that there is no need to take bath in other holy rivers , after such a bath.
During the time of eclipse, it is essential to take bath, do charity and Sradha towards worship of manes . The people who do this get immense blessings. When solar eclipse comes on a Sunday and Lunar eclipse comes on a Monday it is called Choodamani eclipse.
We can take bath and do all the above during the eclipse , even if we are in the untouchable period.
XII . Sankramam
(Starting time of the months)
The Sun travels from Mesha to Meena Rasi. The time , it enters a particular Rasi is called Sankramam(Most of us follow solar months). For us this is the month beginning also. The bath, charity and other holy deeds during that time gives good blessings from the Sun God for the next seven years.
The actual time of Sankramam is minute and cannot be easily known by us. So understand that thirty Nazhigas (12 hours) preceding and succeeding Sankramana are also holy periods.
Understand that there are two Ayanas, four shdaseethi, four Vishnupathi and two Vishus, among Sankramanas.
Makara (Utharayana) , Kumbha (Vishnu pathi), Meena (Shadaseethi), Mesha (Vishu), Rishabha (Vishnu pathi), Mithuna (Shadasethi ) , Karkidaga (Dakshinayana), Simha (Vishnu pathi) Kanya (Shadaseethi) Thula (Vishu) , Vruschiga (Vishnupathi ) and Dhanus (Shadaseethi)
The first Twenty Nazhigai (Eight hours) in Dakshinayana is a holy period. And the succeeding twenty Nazhigai in Utharanayana is the holy period. For the Sankramanas The Ten Nazhigai (4 hours) before and Ten Nazhigai after are holy periods.. If Sankramanas (as well as Utharayana) like Vishu happen 45 Nazhigai after Sun rise then Tharpana should be done on that day. If it happens afterwards, the Tharpana should be done on the next day. But this is not true for Karkidaga Sankramana. The holy period in on the same day whenever Sankramana happens.
It is told that Ayanas are billion times effective , Vishu thousand times effective and Vishnupathi and Shadaseethi are also one thousand times effective.
XIII . Rajaswala Snanam
( Purificatory bath of the girl after periods)
A woman undergoing periods becomes pure only after taking rest for three days and after taking bath on the fourth day.
A woman in periods is an outcaste woman on the first day, on the second day she is equivalent to a woman who has given birth to a child and on the third day just a woman in periods. On the fourth day during Sangava time (after 8.30 AM) if she takes bath she becomes pure. When taking bath she has to wash her body with mud 21 times and pour water over herself one hundred times. After taking bath, she should see the Sun God and pray for a birth of a son. This is the proper method according to Sastras.
A woman in periods becomes pure after a purificatory bath on the fourth day. If she bleeds again after 18 days , she becomes impure only for one day, but if it happens after 20 days , she has to take rest for three days and take bath on the fourth day. When she is undergoing periods, she should not apply collyrium to the eye , should not comb her hair and should not spin yarn. She should take food without anybody seeing her. If some body sees her she should do redemption. If a woman in periods happen to touch another girl in periods or a girl who is impure, she has to take rest for three days and take purificatory bath. When in periods impurity due to birth or death happens, then she should take bath before taking food. If Yekadasi comes in between, she should not take any food during that time.
If she gets sick during the periods and is not able to take the purificatory bath , then on the fourth day , another woman should touch her and then take bath. She should then wear cloths, touch her gain and again take bath. Like this she has to do ten times and then the sick girl in periods should give some thing in charity and also sprinkle herself with holy water Then she becomes pure.
XIV. Kamya Snanas
( Optional bathing)
On the occasion of god’s festivals , marriages and fire sacrifices , the impurity of touch does not cause impurity., There is no need to take bath then.
The one who takes bath in the river in the Pushya (poosam) star, his own birth star, Vyathipatha, vydrithi and Amavasya helps seven of his earlier generations to get rids of their sin.
People who take bath in the river on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays get rid of sickness like a deer cannot catch hold of lions.
He who takes bath in the Krishna Chathurdasi of the chaithra month in the ponds in Shiva Temples or in river Ganges, does not attain the status of corpse after he dies.
He who takes bath in the Ganges on the Amavasya day which falls on a Tuesday , gets the benefit of giving 1000 cows in charity.
He who takes only the Havis (food offered to God) daily during the Krithiga month chants mantras and daily takes bath in rivers , would get rid of all sins.
Daily taking early morning bath in Thula , Makara and Mesha month helps you to get rid of all sins.
Taking bath using the powder of gooseberry fruit on ekadasi day gives great happiness to Lord Vishnu. But you should not take bath in the parva period , sapthami and Navami.
The good days for taking oil bath(bathing after applying oil all over the body) are given here. If we take oil bath in those days then we will gain health, increase in strength etc.
Taking oil bath on Monday , Wednesday and Saturday , the concerned planets would bless you and grant peace , wealth and pleasures in life.
Four thidhis starting with Dwitheeya , Sapthami, Navami , Dasami and Thryodhasi are very suitable for taking oil bath.
Sunday, Tuesday , Thursday and Friday are not suitable for il bath. Oil bath should not be taken on the day of your birth star , Sankramana and Vyatheepatha
During Ekadasi , Chaturdasi , Ashtami, Prathama and Parva days, oil bath should never be taken. Oil bath should not be taken by those who desire a pleasant life on Uthram, Kettai , Thiruonam , Thiruvadirai and at night
In case of children , elders and those who are sick oil bath and bathing in hot watrer can be taken according to the circumstances.
XVI. Naraka Chathurdasi Snanam.
Oil bath in hot water has to be taken along with sun rise on Aswayuja Chathurdasi in the Krishna Paksha (Waning moon days)
Those who desire to be wealthy should take oil bath with scented oil and using hot water on Aswayuja Krishna Chathurdasi along with Sunday and Swathi Nakshatra .Because it is Deepavali on that day, Mahalakshmi resides in the oil and Ganges in hot water .So if we want to remove poverty, oil bath on that day is essential. Then we have to wear new cloths and ornaments.(Please note that Swathi and Sunday will occur on Deepavali day only in rare cases)
That later part of night when Narakasura was killed by Lord Vishnu , we have to take oil bath so that we avoid going to Naraka (hell)
Ghee, mustard oil , scented oil with flowers and oil which has been boiled can be used for oil bath always. You should not take oil bath after shaving or hair cutting. After adding Ajya (Ghee) in oil, oil bath can be taken in days when it is barred also. If we put a leaf of Thulasi in the oil . the bad effects of Thidhi, Vara(day) and Nakshatra will not happen. But Oil bath should never be taken on a Dwadasi day.
Oh king, that man who provides help to 100 Brahmins to take oil bath , is considered as having taken bath in the Ganges for one hundred years. Understand that it is considered as great , if ladies can take oil bath on Fridays and Tuesdays
XVII. Nadheenaam Rajaswala Dosha
(The tainting of rivers by period)
Rivers in India are considered as women . It is believed that they too are tainted for three days in a year.
Godhavari, Bheema, Thunga Bhadra , Venika , Thapi, Payoshnike in the south of Vindhya mountains and Ganges , Narmada, Yamuna , Saraswathi, Vishoka , And Vidhastha to the north of the Vindhyas are the great rivers of India.
Ganges, Yamuna , Godavari, Thunga Bhadra and Kaveri are considered as great rivers.
The rivers have periods on the first three days of Karkidaka month(July-August) and people are requested not to take bath in rivers during that period. From fourth day , they become as pure as the Ganges. Ganges does not have the tainted nature due to periods.
The rules for taking bath in the rivers are as follows. The man who carries Umbrella to the river looses quarter of the punya (result of good deeds) , he who wears slipper looses half the punya , he who travels in a palanquin to the river looses the entire punya. So even if you are rich, you should go to the sacred rivers as a common man. But if you are sick instead of a bullock cart, one can go in a cart drawn by a horse.
XVIII. Vasthra pareedhanam:
(Rules for dressing)
After reaching the shores from the water you have to wear two white cloths, one as a shoulder cloth (Uthareeya) These cloths should be clean, Then you have to wash your feet with water mixed with mud. You should not dry your hair by shaking.
While taking bath in the river, we should wear the dried cloth first and then remove the wet cloth underneath. When you are taking bath in a well (private places) , remove the wet cloth first (in the sky direction) , tie the dry upper cloth over your head like a turban , wear the sacred thread like a garland and then change cloths
Dark red coloured cloths , blue cloths , black cloths, cloths without border and wet cloths should never be worn. Even cloths with blue or black border should not be worn.
People wearing cloth without tucking, One who does not tuck one side of the tail end of the cloth., people who tuck the portion in between instead of the tail end, , People who tuck cloth upwards , people who tuck cloths on the waist thread are considered as people who are not dressed.
Man without Katee Suthra (Waist thread) who does all dharmic rituals does not get any benefit from such rituals. He is also equivalent to a man without dress.
Man who does not wear a tucked cloth but wears it like Dhothi (lungi) and a man without upper cloth is considered as nude. ,. These people are not eligible to do rituals. If they do , it would be dear to the asuras.
A wet cloth shaken seven times is equivalent to a dry cloth. This is a Apath Dharma or a dharma where there is no other go.
You should sprinkle cloth with Shcheevo mantra , take it chanting Devasthava mantra , shake it chanting Avadhootha mantra , show it to Sun chanting either Dharani or Udhithya Manthra and wear it chanting Aavahanthi mantra.
Bathing, giving charity, chanting of mantra, homa , chanting of Vedas , Tharpana , Sradha and taking meals should not be done with one cloth.
IXX.Pundra dharana Vidhi:-
(Rules of wearing sacred religious marks)
In this Kali Yuga, house of any one who has Gopi Chandana mud in his house, is considered as equivalent to Dwaraka.
Any one who is seen by a man wearing Gopi Chandana becomes pure. We have to wear Urdhva Pundra(Long mark) using Gopi Chandana.
You have to apply the long mark with Gopi Chandana, which indicates the feet of Lord Vishnu , for our benefit in the forehead and other places. By doing so one would become dear to that great Purusha called Narayana and he would become suitable for getting the reward of salvation.
3,Vasu deva Upanishad:-
The detailed method of applying Gopi Chandana is given here:-
First we have to salute Gopi Chandana and take it. And pray as follows:-
This Gopichandana which destroys all sin,
Has been born out of the body of Lord Vishnu,
Salutations to him who holds the holy wheel,
Please grant me salvation because of wearing this.
You have take water with the chant starting with “Imam may Varuna..” and because it came from the body of Vishnu you have to add water , kept in the left hand and make it a paste keeping it on the right hand . Then we have to chant thrice with the Rik starting with “ Devaa avanthu na..”and then pray the lord using,
Oh Achyutha who lives in Dwaraka,
Who holds the conch , wheel and the mace,
Oh Govinda who has as eyes like Lotus,
I surrender before you, please take care of me.
The householder should then chant the Vishnu Gayathri and , should take the Gopichandana using his ring finger and apply it , chanting the twelve names of Lord Vishnu starting with Kesava, on his own forehead, belly, chest, neck , right arm, right upper arm , left arm, left upper arm , left side of the neck , behind portion of the belly, and behind the neck. And then chanting the name ,“Vasudeva” he has to apply it on his head.
Vanaprastha and Brahmachari should apply chanting either Vishnu Gayathri or five names of Lord Krishna in forehead, neck, chest and upper arms.
The sanyasis called Kuteethaka, Bahoodhaka and Hamsa should apply it with the second finger on forehead, head and chest chanting “Om”.
The paramahamsa Sanyasi should apply it only on his forehead.
Performing Yagna , Giving charity, doing meditation, doing Homa , Chanting of Vedas and doing Tharpanam for the manes without applying Urdhwa pundram is useless.
(please note that in many families such marks cannot be worn while doing Tharpana.)
Now the rules of Tripundra (Three lines using sacred ash)
Using the ash generated by fire , chanting the five mantras called Sathyojatha and also chanting the Manthra starting with “Agneerithi..”
Take the ash chanting “Manasthoke, “ mix it with water and put three lines each in forehead, chest and shoulders in the lateral fashion , and chant mantras starting with “triyayusham..” , “triyampadam..” etc. Wearing sacred ash like this is called Sambhavee vrutha and is very dear to Lord Shiva,
So any one desiring salvation, should definitely wear the sacred ash.
Those Brahmachari, learned man , householder, Vanaprastha and Sanyasi who wear tripundra would get rid of all their sins. They would have prayed all Gods by doing this. They would have been deemed to have taken bath in all sacred waters.
He who applies the sacred ash, will get all types of wealth. He would enjoy all types of pleasures. He would be considered equal to the one who has chanted all mantras of the Vedas. After death , he would not take birth in this world again. He would attain salvation. This is told by Kalagni Rudra.
Chanting the triyayusha mantra , you have to apply sacred ash in the forehead, two arms, belly , head and chest as well on both sides of the body. For applying this Sacred ash should be made in to a paste with water. This should definitely be done by all Brahmins knowing Vedas.
We should wear sacred ash in Sradha, Yagna, meditation, Homa , Vaiswadeva and worship of Gods. Any ritual done without applying sacred ash is useless.
(In many families wearing sacred ash is forbidden while doing Sradha.)
All people desirous of long life, wealth and salvation should definitely wear sacred ash. This should be worn regardless of the Varna we belong to. Whether to wear Tripundra or Urdhwa pundra depends on the practices of our clan. We should not change it.
Tripundra should be worn laterally using sacred ash. Urdhwa pundra should be worn using Gopichandana in a vertical fashion. You should not change this. But sandal paste can be worn vertically or laterally. We should never wear it in a circular fashion.
We should not wear ordinary ash or charcoal . We can wear Kumkum , if it is given as Prasada.
We should do all rituals wearing either Urdhwa Pundra or Tripundra. We should never do them with an empty forehead.
XX. Sandhyavandana Vidhi.
(rules of worship at dawn , noon and dusk)
The period from fading of stars to sun rise is called dawn.
The last 48 minutes of the last part of night is the beginning of dawn. When you see the suns rays upwards on the sky, it is dusk. Because Sandhya indicates a period of time in a day , the worship done during that period is called Sandhya Vandana.
During Sandhya, we have to worship the Goddess of Sandhya. We should not do Sandhya Vandana in the evening after Sun has set. Similarly we should not do it after Sun rise. Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva worship Sandhya at the proper time. So a Brahmin should also definitely do it.
Learned people are of the opinion that Sandhya Vandana should be done thrice in a day-at dawn, noon and dusk.
The dawn worship should be done when stars are still there, the noon worship after the noon bath and the dusk worship when Sun is still there.
Any Brahmin who does all other Dharmas except Sandhya Vandana undergoes untold sufferings.
He who because of the lack of wisdom , engages in only matters other than Sandhya Vandana should be banished from rituals by Vedic Pundits.
He who observes Sandhya steadfastly , gets rid of all is sins and attains the world of Brahma.
A Brahmin who commits sin by body, mind and word during the day, if he performs the Sandhya Vandana at dusk with devotion , gets rid of all sins.
A Brahmin who commits sin by body, mind and word during the night if he performs the Sandhya Vandana at dawn with devotion , gets rid of all sins.
Some elders are of the opinion that Argya (water offering) , Sandhya Dhyana (meditation) , Gayathri japa and Upasthana are the four important aspects of Sandhya Vandana.This is a confirmed truth. Other things like Prokshana are only branches.
Forty eight minutes before Sun rise is the most important time for Sandhya Vandana. One hour and 24 minutes after Sun rise is the Gowna ( average time ?) time for Sandhya Vandana .After that you are not supposed to do Sandhya Vandana
In the Gowna time above you can do Sandhya Vandana , only if there is revolt in the country, if water is scarce , if you are ill and if you are in danger Like that Sandhya Vandana can be performed in Gowna time during noon as well as dusk.
A man who is healthy and is not ill should do Sandhya Vandana at the proper time. If he does not do it, he is a great sinner who troubles the Sun God.
Sandhya Vandhana performed in falling water is faulty, The Pithrus and Gods will not appreciate it.
After wearing the sacred thread and tying the hair properly and after doing Achamana twice, the Sandhya Vandana should be performed with great attention
You have take water in the cup made by both hands , and chanting Gayathri , face the Sun and offer Arghya (Water oblation) three times
You have to take water in the cup made of both hands and lift it to the height of a cow’s horn and then pour it.
Arghya should be done in water. If water is not available , you can clean a place and offer Argya there.
Arghya should be given standing in the dawn and at noon and should be given sitting at dusk.
After giving Arghya , you have to give Prayachitha Arghya(Arghya of redemption) , perform Achamana , do Athma Pradakshina with water(Throw water around your head in a circular fashion) , stand near a Durba grass in a clean place , wear Durba and meditate on the soul. Then we have to Tharpana to the nine planets and the twelve devathas starting with Kesava.
The specification of the place where Japa(meditation) is to be done is described. If you get one effect for doing Japa at home, if you do it by the bank of the river you get two times, in the cattle shed 10 times, before homa fire one hundred times, In great temples and sacred waters and before God thousand times of one hundred crore times.
You should assume a comfortable seat and posture , control all your senses, recall the name of sage, Chandas(meter) and Devatha(God to whom it is addressed) and do Pranayama understanding its import silently.
You have to do Gayathri Japa after chanting ten times Gayathri with the seven Vyahruthis, You have to do Gayatri Japa after doing Pranayama ten times, during dawn, noon and dusk.
Brahma put all the Vedas in one part of the scale and Gayatri Manthra in the other part of the scale .Both were at par. That is Gayathri is equivalent to all the four Vedas together..
In the morning Gayathri Japa should be done standing till the Sun rises, In the evening it should be done sitting till the stars rise.
Daily the house holder and Brahma Chari should chant Gayatri 108 times during each Sandhya Vandana. Vana prastha and Kuteesika Sanyasi should chant 1008 times.
Gayathri should be chanted within the mind. Chanting with the movement of the face, toungue and other body parts without it being heard by others is considered Madhyama (medium) and chanting it with other people hearing is Adhama (bad)
Gayathri should be counted using phalnges of the fingers. This is done because Gayathri is the mother of the Vedas. This rule is not applicable to other Japas.
After chanting Gayathri till sun rise , you have to complete it by chanting the mantra starting with “Uthame Shikare Devi”
Then you have to pray Sun god using the chants of the three Vedas in a standing posture (upasthana) . Similar Upasthana should be done all the three times.
After doing Upasthana, you have to salute the four devathas starting with Sandhya. The four devathas are Sandhya, Savithri, Gayathri and Saraswathi.
24.Then you have to salute east, south , west, north , up, down, environment and earth chanting the names of these directions/Gods in a perambulating way. Then you have to do Upasthana of Yama, Vishnu , Virupaksha and Savitha chanting the proper mantras and facing the proper directions. Sandhya Vandana should be done as per the customs of the family, Then the entire act should be dedicated to God.
XXI. Kamya Japani
Please know that After sprinkling with water chanted by cleansing mantras , if Rudram is chanted eleven times, then you get freedom from all sins.
It is definite that if we chant Rudram eleven times we get rid of the sins like great crimes.
After taking bath chant divine mantras which makes you get rid of sins. Specially chant Savithri and Purusha Suktha daily, There are no mantras equal to them.
He who chants Purusha Suktha observing celibacy and with controlled limited food for five to six months , will get rid of all sins.
Chanting of Hari’s name is the greatest. We have to always meditate or sing or chant names of Hari. If we do that, we would become happy and would get solace.
A wise man by chanting the names of Lord Vishnu gets rid of all sins and becomes pure.
A devotee of Hari ,gets benefit equal to the conduct of Raja Sooya Sacrifice , by chanting the names of Rama and Krishna. But he has to do this after doing his daily duties.
Chanting the thirteen letter chant “ Sri Rama Jaya Rama , jaya jaya Rama” twenty one times , you can get rid of crores of the Brahma hathya sin.
Even if crores of dangers which give fear toi man comes, if he chants “Rama Rama” , those dangers will vanish,
The Kali Purusha will not spoil the man who sings the six names of Shiva viz. Shiva, Shankara, Rudhra, Eesa, Neelakanda and Trilochana.
Those people are blessed who chant the Shiva’s names “ Mahadeva, Viroopaksha, Gangadhara, Mruda and Avyaya”
(The appreciation of Durbha grass)
This is grown on the shores of Ganges. In its root resides Lord Brahma, in its middle resides Lord Vishnu and on its tip lives Lord Shankara. In all other areas all the devas reside. So it is important to use Durbha in rituals.
Any ritual or acts performed using the sacred purifying ring made of Durbha (Pavithram) like chants, meditation charity, taking of food would result in immeasurable benefits.
A seat made of Durbha grass is very holy . This is the best seat for a Sanyasi. You would get victory in yoga, quickly if you use this seat.
If you do not get Dhurbha, you can use Kasa grass(Naanal in Tamil) . This grass is equal to Durbha.
Seven types of Dhurbha have been referred to. They are Viswamithra, Dhurbha, Kasa, Durva grass, paddy straw,. Balbhaja grass and Barley grass.
Dhurbha is dear to Brahma, Kasa grass to Rudhra, Dhoorva grass to sages, And Viswamithra to Lord Vishnu.
Viswamithra is so named because it is friendly to Brahmins for doing all their rituals and enemy to all the sins done by them,
If Kusa(Durbha) and Kasa are not available , the other types of Dhurbha can be used.
The Pavithras to be worn in the hand should be either made of Dhurbha grass, or silver or gold, They should be worn in right hand.
Since there is a rule that you have to do Achamana wearing Pavithra, you should never do Achamana wearing Pavithra made of Kasa grass.
Dhurbha should be collected in the month of Maagha or Sravana. These are considered new always.
Dhurbha collected in other months can be used only for that month.
A Brahmin should use Dhurbha, flowers and Samith (Sticks) collected by himself and not use those collected by others.
XXIII .Homa Vidhaana
(Rules of fire sacrifice)
All Vedic acts should be begun after bath, Sandhya Vandana , and sprinkling of all materials for Homa as well as for other things in the house by water brought after bath.
Brahmin should do Sandhya Vandhana properly, then do Surya Namaskara (salutations to Sun) and should do Homa both in the morning and evening in the fire started on the day of marriage.
In the stalipaaka done in fire , two hand full of rice , two hand full of barley should be offered to the fire. Some people are of the opinion that the first offering in the morning should be to the Sun God. Before and after the offering to the fire Parishechana (sprinkling water all round the fire telling mantras) should be done.
In the place where we intend to keep the fire, two sets of three lines, one ending in the east and another ending in the west should be drawn, water should be sprinkled on the place and the fire kept over it. The water remaining after sprinkling should be emptied either in the east or north and new water taken.
The householder should use the Oupasanagni lit on the day of marriage for performing acts like Sthalipakam and Sradham. The Vedic sacrifices should be done in Trethagni and all public rituals should be done in the normal fire and not in Oupasanagni of an individual.
If we are not able to observe Vedic rituals then the rituals of Smarthas should be done. Otherwise it is enough if we do bath, Sandhya Vandana, Meditation and worship.
In the Homa performed in the Oupasana fire, the head of the family is the chief performer. Suppose due to some reasons he is not able to do it, then his wife or , daughter, priest, disciple, teacher, brother, nephew or son in law can do Homa instead of him. If the wife and daughter happen to do it, then they should not do parishechana (sprinkling water all round fire) but only Homa.
A married householder should never be without fire, If he does not have it, he is termed as debased or sinner.
The food offered by householder who does not have Oupasana fire , will not be eaten by wise people. He would be called Vithaapakan (He who cooks without reason).
If we do not perform Oupasana for one year, then he should give in charity 6o measures of rice and three measures of ghee and restart the Oupasana fire.
All the intended material for Homa , when you do not perform it for a long period should be given in charity to a Brahmin and then the fire lit again.
Homa should not be stopped because of untouchability due to birth as well as death, weakness , eating of meals in the Sradha or going out of town. The Homa should be got done by others.
XXIV. Homa Kala:-
(The time of Homa)
The time when in the evening rays of Sun are on the top of a tree (Athi Vruksha Soorya) and the time when the sun’s start to light up the sky (Avissorya kala) are most suitable for Homa.
2. Graha parisishta:-
In the evening Homa should be performed before the sun sets and in the morning before Sun rises.
For the people who do Homa, the Sanghava kala following sun rise and three hours and 36 minutes after Sun set is the Agnihothra time(Time to worship fire) ,After that is the Gownava kala. If you happen to do agnihothra then , you should do redemptive ritual for delay and do Agnihothra.
After completing the Sandhya Vandana, lit the Oupasana fire, using fuel such as the cow dung cake and after flames raise, we have to perform the Oupasana Homa. If the man performing does not get material for Homa, the offering of the morning can be extended up to evening, . Similarly the evening offering can be extended till next day morning. If the entire month’s Stalipaka is left out , it can be carried out till Amavasya(new moon) . Similarly the Darsa Sthalipaka can be carried out till Pournamasya (full moon). By doing this you do not have the sin of being late. But understand that is the Gowna period and the proper period is Prathama,
The morning Oupasana can be done up to evening and the evening Oupasana can be done up to morning.
(the holy sticks suitable for Homa)
Palasa, Khadeera(Karumkali) Aswatha (Peepul tree) Shamyu (Vanni) , Bharaja (athi-fig) sticks and grasses like Apamarga (Nayuruvi) Arka (Yerukku), Dhoorva(Arugam pul) and Dhurbha can be used for Homa.
(Since I do not know the English equivalents of these plants, I am reproducing the Tamil equivalents from the book)
All the sticks (samith) should be covered with bark , straight, soft and similar looking. The length of ten or twelve inches is ideal. They should be slightly wet, dry , properly cut, as thick as the index finger, not split , without branches and without insect attack.
The Samith (stick) , Pavithra and Veda should be the length of the thumb. Idhma should be double that , Paridhi thrice that length. (these are for Vedic rituals). In the domestic rituals Idhma should be the size of the thumb and Paridhi twice that.
The names of trees which should not be used as fuel are listed. Kovidha Ravi ( Malai Agathi ) , Bheethaka(Thanee ) , Kapitha ( Vilaa ) , Aamalaka(gooseberry) , Raja Vruksha(Konnai) , Shakadhruma(palai) , Neepa(kadambu) , Nimbha(neem tree) , Karanja(Pongamia-punugu) , Thilaka(mullilavu—silk cotton) , Shalmali(naruvili ), Sleshma should not be used for Homa. Using dried sticks of Thulasi (Ocimum) would give great strength to us.
The sticks which are offered in the fire should be sprinkled with water (prokshana) before putting them in the fire.
XXVI. Homa dravyani:-
(materials for Homa)
There are three types of offerings to the fire. They are Krutha(refined), Kruthakrutha (partially refined) and Akrutha (raw).
Cooked rice and rice flour are examples of Krutham, , rice , barley etc examples of kruthakrutham , and Paddy is an example of Akrutham
He who desires cows should offer milk in Homa and similarly he who wants to satiate his senses should do Homa with curds, he who wants increase in friends and relatives with gruel, he who likes to have food with cooked rice, he who wants power with uncooked rice, , he who wants fame with meat, he who wants knowledge of Brahman with Soma juice, and he who wants power with aajyam(ghee).
Daily Homa with milk would give good results. It is mentioned as one which leads to strength.
He who does Homa with the milk of a black cow , would be able to break open the sun and reach perennial state of Brahmam.
The same material which was used in the evening for Homa should be used next morning also.
The rice of Red paddy, ragi , neevara, white paddy , wheat and barley are suitable for Homa. The germ of barley , Priyanku , Neevara , Paddy , wheat , and samba paddy and Barley can be also used as such for Homa offering. Similarly gingelly (sesame) also can be used for Homa.
The Homa article which is liquid should be taken by a ladle and offered o the fire. All solids should be taken by hand and offered to the fire.
Milk, curd, gruel , ghee, cooked rice , rice, Soma, meat , oil and water are suitable for Agnihothra(Fire offering)
Similar to Agnihothra, even in case of the Oupasana fire , Homa can be lit without chanting of mantra but spraying(prokshana) three times. But we should not offer meat in Oupasana fire.
In case of Agnihothra the most important is milk. If this is not available we can offer either paddy or barley as Homa offering. We can also offer medicinal herbs. But we should not use black gram, wild beans , ragi and Nai thinai(English equivalent not known).
One measure( Padi) of grain is sufficient for 64 offerings. In case of gingelly half measure and in case of Ghee quarter measure is sufficient.
100 numbers of paddy or barley is one offering. In case of cooked rice , it is double the quantity , which would be same size as egg of a pea hen. The equivalent of a hen’s egg is called Pinda. Avadhana is equal to the size of one phalange of thumb and Swishtakruth is bigger than that and is equal to four phalanges of the thumb.
Oupasana Homa has to be done by the tip of the fingers, It is written that it should be done by the northern side of the fingers.
With the open palm , holding the offering (havis) by the folded thumb and the four fingers , Homa should be done silently.
Smrithi says that fire should not me made to burn by use of cloth , leaf , hand , chaff, mouth , stick and fan.
It should be made to burn by a pipe., grass and stick by blowing by the mouth, You should also blow directly by the mouth ,. It is told that the fire should be made to burn by the face.
Homa should be done in the fire raised by dried sticks , which does not have smoke and where the fire is of small size.
The embers of the fire join with the thin ashes giving out blue flame. Performing Homa at such a time is equivalent to Performing Homa to the Brahmam.
The fire sacrifice should be done according to the Grihya Suthras applicable to our family.
If you talk when you are taking bath , Varuna will steal your beauty. If you talk while doing Homa., Agni will steal your wealth. If you talk while eating you would be attacked by God of death. So these three actions should be performed silently.
The oupasanagni (oupasana fire) should always kept alive. If the fire gets out due to some reason , it can be started again by churning wood or borrowing fire from the fire in the home of a householder.
Even if fire is alive , if Homa is not done for 4 days , it becomes ordinary fire.
If the fire goes out or if Homa is not performed twice or if the couple goes out of the home together, the fire becomes ordinary fire. That is , it is not suitable for Homa.
If the oupasana fire becomes ordinary fire , for 12 days we can do Homa after redemptive fire offering. But after 12 days, the fire has to be relit.
If the oupasana fire is put out , for three days we should do Homa chanting the Rik “Ayase Agnaye”, then for six days chanting the Rik “Thanthumathi” and from 7th to 12th day by chanting the Rik “Manojjyothi”. After that only it becomes the sacred fire. But in several clans this procedure is not followed.
You have to do it according to the practice of the family.
If the oupasana fire goes out it can be lit in wooden sticks, in oneself and in sticks of the banyan tree(samith). The self raising of fire should be done by oneself. The other two can be got done by Rithviks(Vedic Pundits)
The benefit (punya) of maintaining Oupasana fire is equal to giving away the entire world as well as the Golden mountain of Meru in charity.
The Homa done in fire reaches the Sun God. From Sun we get rain. From rain the earth produces food. And people are happy because of that. So the man who does Homa religiously is taking care of this world.
XXVII. Brahma Yagna Vidhi
(Rules of Brahma Yagna)
After scratching on the back of the cow, going round and saluting the Peepul tree, you have to go near the elders and teachers and salute them by falling at their feet. Then we have to do Brahma Yagna,
The Vedas say that the man who intends to do Brahma Yagna should go to the east ,north or north east of the village , go out of the village till you do not see any homes, choose a clean area and do Brahma Yagna.
Brahma Yagna should be done either in the morning or noon . If it is to be done in the morning, first do Sandhya Vandana and Oupasana and then only do it. If it is at noon, it should be done after performing Madhyahneeka. Then you have to do Deva , Rishi Pithru Tharpanam,or Brahma Yagna can be done after performing Vaiswa Deva.
Before lunch , clean yourself, go near a water body and perform Brahma Yagna.
Chanting one’s own Veda is called Brahma Yagna. He who is interested in Brahma Yagna would attain the world of Brahma.
A Brahmin should sit on Dhurba grass, and wear Dhurba Grass and do Brahma Yagna as per rule with concentration.
Commentary by the author of Samkshepa Dharma Sastra.
He should do Sankalpa chanting “Brahma Yagnena Yakshye..”, clean his hands with water chanting “Vidhyudasi..”, wash his left hand and leg with water , do Aachamana thrice , wipe his lower lips with water, touch his head , eyes , noses , ears and chest, sit in the lotus pose on a Dhurba grass seat, wear Pavithra , chant Gayathri mantra followed by recitation of Vedas. He should start the next day from the place he stopped the previous day, It should be completed by chanting thrice “Namo Brahmane”
In Brahma Yagna, after meditating on Lord Vishnu, Purusha Suktha has to be chanted. This would give the benefit of reading Vedas with all its branches.
Those rituals which are to be performed in the day time can be performed till the end of the First Yama at night. But In case of Brahma Yagna and Soorya Namaskara, it should be performed only in day time.
XXVIII. Dwitheeya Bhaga Kruthyani
(Those rituals that are to be performed in the second part.)
The second part of the day is one and half hours after sunrise. This section gives the duties to be done after that.
After doing Oupasana Homa, we should chant the mantras of Sun God. Then we have to meditate on Vedas, Then we should teach what we know to those who want to know. We should also collect flowers, Dhurba grass and Samith(small dry sticks of Peepul tree).
We should pluck the leaves of Thulasi chanting
Mokshaika hetho, dharani prasoothe, vishno samasthasya guro priyethe,
Aaradhanartham purushothamasya lunami pathram , thulasi Kshamaswa 1
The cause of our salvation, , the mother of all earth,
The one dear to Lord Vishnu and all elders,
For the sake of worshipping the greatest God,
I am plucking your leaves, please pardon.
Praseeda mama devesi , praseeda hari vallabhe,
Ksheerodaya madanoth bhute , thulasi thwam praseeda may. 2
Be pleased with me my goddess ,
Be pleased with me, Oh consort of Hari,
Be pleased me, Oh one born when the ocean was churned,
And Oh Thulsi , be pleased with me.
Thulasi leaves should not be plucked on Tuesday, Friday , month beginning, year beginning and in the after noons. It also should not be plucked on Sankramana days, full moon, New moon, Dwadasi, nights and dusk, If done you would get the sin of hurting the head of Lord Vishnu.
IXXX Thritheeya chathurtha bhagayo kruthyani.
The duties in the third and fourth part.
To be done between 9 Am to 11.30 Am.
You should earn money to look after those who should be protected by you in the proper Shastric way. We can also ask for this money from kings who are just.
The people who should be protected are mother, father , teacher, wife, child , servant , those who seek our protection, Wayfarer, Guests and fire. Also people of our clan , relations poor people and those who have been driven out by their relations also need to be protected. Protecting them is a meritorious act. We would reach good worlds after our death by protecting them.
The only man who is alive is the one on whom his relations depend and live. The other one who earns money for himself is like a dead man.
The morning Sandhya Vandana should be done when stars are still there in the sky. Five hours after this , after taking the noon bath, Madhyahneekam (noon prayer) should be observed. The evening Sandhya vandana should be done when half the sun has set. The water offering (argya) should be done once during Madhyahneekam , Then after Dhyana and Gayathri Japa , the Tharpana for Devas, Rishis and manes should be done.
If Brahma Yagna is not done in the morning it should be done after Madhyahneeka. Then the Tharpanam should be done for satisfying Devas, Rishis and manes.
For Tharpana for rishis and devas water with akshatha (rice) should be used. But in case of manes water mixed with Gingelly should be used.
In case of Tharpana for devas , the sacred thread should be worn over the left shoulder(upaveethi), for Tharpana addressed to Rishis, the sacred thread should be worn as Garland and in the case for manes the sacred thread should be on right shoulder (Pracheena Vidhi) The Tharpana should be done once for Devas, twice for Rishis and three times for manes.
The man who knows shastras should wear dry clothes, sit on dry Dhurba grass and do Tharpanam. Tharpana should never be done in to another vessel. The Tharpana with Gingelly should be done only outside the house.
The weak person can do it within the home. He can offer water offerings in to another vessel. But he should not use earthern vessel.
In times when we are barred from doing Tharpana it can be done using water mixed with rice.
Devas and Pithrus like the water offerings. So if the sons do not do Tharpana, they will go back disappointed and we would be subject to their curse.
XXX Deva Pooja:-
Worship of Gods
You have to first do all rituals prescribed and then do Agnihothra and then worship lord Vasudeva.
After doing Sandhya Vandanam, Oupasanam, Brahma Yagnam, and Soorya Namaskarams , we have to worship Gods.
In the noon after doing Tharpana and after collecting Chandana, flower and Akshatha(rice) depending on ones devotion, you have to worship either Brahma or Vishnu or Shiva using Vedic Manthras and with names with prefix Nama.
You have to pray Lord Sun for health, pray Lord fire for wealth, pray Maheswara for intelligence and Pray Janardhana for salvation.
The householder should either worship Sun God or Lord Vishnu or Lord Parameshwara or Lord Brahma using Vedic mantras. You can also worship all of them or more than one of them.
The householder who performs the Pancha Maha Yagna(five great sacrifices) should specially worship Sun or Ambika or Vishnu or Ganapathi or Maheswara.
XXXI Vishnu Pooja:-
(worship of Lord Vishnu)
Lord Vishnu shines in sacrificial fire to those who do fire sacrifices, In Sun for those who do formless worship, in Salagrama stones for those involved in domestic life and in the heart to those Yogis who meditate.
In the places where Salagrama and Dwathawathi stones are there , salvation and Purushartha are there. People who die near Salagrama stone would get rid of all attachments and attain salvation. In the Salagrama stone Lord Vishnu along with Goddess Lakshmi live for ever. So You should not do Prathishta(consecration), Aavahanam (putting in to)and Visarjanam(putting out) to such stones.
Purusha Suktha is specially suited for worship of Lord Vishnu. There are 18 Riks (manthras) of this suktha in Krishna Yajur Veda. Out of which 15 are set to Anushtup meter and three are set to Thrishtup meter and The devatha is Narayana .
Each of the 18 Riks of Purusha Suktha in Yajur Veda have separate Rishis and Devathas. The eighteen acts of worship namely Avahanam (putting in to, Asanam (giving seat), Padhyam (giving water to wash feet) , Arghyam (giving water) Achamanam (inner cleanliness) Madhuparkam(preliminary offering of a compound of honey), Snanam (bath) Vasthram (offering of cloth, Upaveetham (offering of sacred thread), Chandanam (offering of sandal wood), Pushpam (Offering of flowers), Dhoopam (offering of incense) , Dheepam (offering of light) Naivedyam (offering of food) Thamboolam (offering of betel leaf) Pradakshinam (perambulation) and Namaskarams (salute) should each be done by reciting one Rik. Afterwards, Deeparadhana (worship with light) should be done and Manthra Pushpa chanted. These are besides the 18 part worship indicated above. In Rik Veda the worship should be done by 16 Riks.
We have to worship God using Ashtakshara with sandal , flowers and other homage. This is dear to the God. “Om Namo Narayanaya” is a great Manthra. With this you can attain good effects which cannot be attained even by meditation, name chanting, Thapas and Yaga
Like butter and curd comes out of milk , by doing Abhisheka (ritual bath) of Lord Vishnu, you will realize all that you want.
People who apply saffron, Akil(incense), musk and sandalwood paste on the idol of the God would be able to live in heaven for one crore years.
Flowers which are white and red or blue and red are very close to the heart of Lord Krishna. Kadamba, Vakula, Sugandhi(Makizham poo) and Kalhara (chenkazhuneer) are dear to the God. If you worship with these flowers you would shine well in Vaikunta.
Even if you worship Lord Krishna once with Bilwa leaves , you would reach near him and be without any sorrow.
He who worships Lord Krishna with sweet smelling Thulasi (Ocimum sanctum) leaves and completely covers the idol , he would attain all comforts.
He who lights a lamp in the temple , in the house of a Brahmin or in the street junction would become wise and get very good eye sight.
Cooked rice, sugar mixed with ghee, payasa made of wheat, cooked rice mixed with either milk or ghee, curd, milk honey, fruits , edible roots , vegetables and modhakas should be offered to the God.
Offering cooked rice in milk (havis) all the three times is very good. Offering it twice is moderate and offering it only once is Adhama (bad).
Afterwards we have to offer Thamboola (betel leaf) , worship with lamp, Manthra pushpam,Pradhakshina (perambulations) and Namaskara(saluting) and drink the theertha (water offering to God)
We have to be pure in body and mind before worshipping Lord Shiva. Chant Rudra Gayathri , or Pranava (Om) or Eeasana manthra or Sri Rudra or Thrayambaka and make pooja offerings to the God. Worship lord Shiva with flowers , Bilwa leaves and sandalwood paste.
He can be worshipped by Panchakshara (Om Nama Shivaya) which is the king of all Manthras.
The good effect of worshipping Shiva linga for one day is more than that of giving millions of milch cows to Brahmins who are expert in Vedas.
The seeing of Shiva linga gives Punya. Touching it gives more and worshipping it more than that and meditating and saluting of Shiva Linga much more than that. The effect of worshipping Shiva Linga once a month is more than that of one who keeps Vrutha and eats only once in a month.
The ceremonial bath (abhisheka) of Lord Shiva once with milk has equal effect as giving in charity 10000 milch cows to Vedic Pundits
He who gives ceremonial bath to Lord Shiva with curd on the Krishnashtami day clears the seven generations of his manes and goes to heaven.
Giving Ceremonial bath with ghee to the God burns the sins committed by us in thousand Kalpa years like a fire burns a dry piece of wood.
Giving ceremonial bath with milk, ghee, honey or sugar along with chants of Eesadhi mantras would lead one to salvation.
He who gives ceremonial bath to God with sweet smelling sandal paste would reach the land of Gandharwas and would be worshipped by Gandharwas. Lord Shiva likes Abhisheka. Doing Abhisheka with scented oil leads to good effects.
After the bath, make the God wear sweet scented cloth with zari border, It should be new and should not have human hair in it. He who worships Lord Shiva with sacred thread, sandal paste , ornaments and flowers shines in the world of Shiva.
Lord Shiva should be worshipped by forest flowers , Bilwa leaves and flowers from or own garden. Pandanus flower (thazham poo) is not suitable for worship of Lord Shiva. Offering Bilwa leaves with chanting of Panchakshara (Om Nama Shivaya) would take you to the presence of Lord Shiva.
Afterwards he should be worshipped with incense , light and later should be given the food offering (Naivedyam). He would live in the heaven for as many thousands of Yugas as the number of rice in the Naivedyam. He who prepares Naivedyam with Jaggery, Ghee and also offers foods prepared in ghee, would get benefit more than giving very costly things as alms. After this Thamboola (betel leaf) should be offered and Dheepa Aradhanai (worship with lamp ) done. Then Pradakshina (perambulations) , Namaskara (offering of salute), Stotra (reciting of prayers) narthana (offering of dance) etc should be done
The thought that Guru (teacher) is after all a man, Linga is after all a stone and manthras are after all sound should never occur. If it occurs it would be a great sin.
XXXIII .Vaiswa deva homa
(Offering in the fire)
A Brahmin after worshipping God using Purusha suktha , should perform Vaiswadeva homa and Bali Karmas daily.
That fire which has been used for cooking should be used to perform Vaiswa deva. The man who takes food without doing Vaiswa deva eats sins.
Vaiswadeva is more important than Pancha Maha Yagnas (the five great sacrifices). It is an entirely different ritual. Both these are dealt differently in Vedas.
The householder has five points of causing harm. That is Khandini (that which is used to powder and cut), Peshini (that which is used to grind), Chullee (the stove) , Jala Kumbha (pot used to store water) and Upaskara (that which is used to winnow).These are the five points which can cause harm. These are used daily to cook food. Because these are used , daily human beings are subject to sin. So they definitely have to do Pancha Maha Yagnas (Five great sacrifices)
The householders should do Vaiswadeva and Bali harana daily to get rid of sins accumulated by use of the five points of harm.
The elders first consecrate fire, do Vaiswadeva sacrifice and offer Samith (dried sticks) chanting the eight mantras starting with “Deva kruthasya”. Because of this they get rid of their sins.
In the Oupasana fire or the fire used for cooking Annam (cooked rice) should be taken by hand and offered to the fire six times chanting
2. Somaya swaha
3. Viswebhyo devebhyo swaha
4. Druvaya bhoomaya swaha .
5.Druvakshithaye swaha and
Afterwards once more chanting Swishtakruthaye swaha
People who follow Sama Veda should do five Homas in the fire used for cooking for Agni, Dhanvanthari, Viswadeva , Prajapathi and Swishtakruth.
We have to do five homas for Brahma, Prajapathi, Gruhya , Kasyapa and Anumathi along with chanting of Swaha.
Vaiswadeva sacrifice should be performed according to the rules laid for our branch-nothing more and nothing less, thus says Veda Vyasa.
If the flames do not come in the Homa fire, Vaiswadeva should not be performed. If it is done otherwise , Manu tells that the eye sight of the performer will be affected.
The Havis (cooked rice) should be mixed with ghee or it could be either mixed with curd or milk. If these are not available even water can be mixed. Oil or other pungent articles should never be mixed. If you are dong Homa with cooked vegetables ,, some people do it at the northern side.
10. Chathur vimsathi pratha:-
If Havis in the form of rice is not available , fruits , vegetables , water, milk , curd and ghee can be used to do Vaiswa deva sacrifice. While the solids should be taken by hands the liquids should be taken by spoons made of leaves, But if water is being used , then the Homa should only be performed in water.
The people who prepare rice for Vaiswadeva sacrifice should be neat and respected. Women can cook for Vaiswadeva.
The Baliharana should be performed at the top side of the fire. The procedure should be as per the practice of our branch.
Bhootha bali dhana should be performed by rice remaining after the homa for devas. Bali harana is meant for all beings. For the dog , debased human beings and crow, the bali harana should be kept on the floor. At last the vessel holding the rice should be washed and the water poured in the north eastern corner,
Daily Vaiswadeva has to be performed. This is Devi Yagna. With rice remaining after the Homa we have to do Bali Harana. This is a Bhootha Yagna. This causes good to all beings. Performing Bali with manes (Pithrus) in mind or feeding a Brahmin for pleasing The Pithrus is Pithru Yagna. So there are three yagnas in Vaiswa deva, Since Manushya Yagna and Brahma Yagna are also performed during the Bali, it is really Pancha Maha Yagna (Five great sacrifices).
A Brahmin should begin the ritual of Vaiswadeva during day time. This is considered to improve our soul as well as our food.
For a family which is not divided al these need to be performed only as a family unit and not individually. But once the assets are divided, the brothers have to perform all rituals individually and separately.
Even on the Sradha day after worshipping the Brahmins , Vaiswadeva has to be performed after the Sradha ceremony, with separately cooked rice.
After performing Vaiswadeva and Bali Harana , we have to wait for five minutes in our gate for the guest. Once the guest comes, he has to be worshipped and fed.
Daily we have to give to grass to the cow of some one else before taking meals. This called Gavahni. If we do not do this, we will not reach heaven.
The one whose family and Gothra we do not know, the one who is tired after travel, the one who is hungry and one who came at the end of Vaiswadeva is termed as the guest
. If one gets a guest like this, he would attain heaven at the end of this life.
The one who is known to us but comes at this time is called Abhyagatha. The one who is stranger is called Athithi.
We have to take food only after feeding the guest , children, old people, sick people, and pregnant women.
After performing Vaisva deva , we have to make Sumangalis(married women with husbands living) , people who have attained sorrow . pregnant women , old people and children to take meals first.
Sanyasis and Brahmacharis are entitled to a portion of the cooked food. So if we take meals without feeding them, a redemption ceremony called Chandrayanam should be done.
Alms should be given three times to Sanyasis and Brahmacharis. If we can afford we can give more times also.
First you have to give water , then give food and then again water to the Sanyasi. The alms is equivalent to the Meru mountain and the water equivalent to sea.
Daily after worshipping Lord Vishnu , we should give alms to the Sanyasis. We should give alms to Brahmacharis also. We should think the Sanyasi as Lord Vishnu , The shastras say that the house where a Sanyasi takes his food, Lord Vishnu takes his food .If Lord Vishnu takes food, please understand that all the three worlds take their food.
He who gives a full vessel alms to a Yati (Sanyasi) , gets rid of all sins committed by him. He would never become poor.
He who gives Gold to Sanyasi, uncooked rice to a Brahmachari and cooked rice to a householder will suffer.
The guest who comes after Vaisva deva should be welcomed with good words and then worshipped. He should then be given a seat and his feet washed. Later food should be served with sweet and polite words, When he goes back, we should follow him for little distance, You should never enquire from a guest about his learning , clan or Gothra,. We should think that the guest is our God. All Shastras consider guests as God like.
People with less means should not neglect the guest. If you do not have seat , you can request him to sit on Dhurba grass. If we do not have bed, he can be requested to sleep on the floor. If we do not have oil, water can be given instead. If we do not have food , sweet words can be talked to him.
In the house where a guest feels “Why did I come here?” , the Pithrus (manes) would not partake the food offered to them for the next 15 years. The man who disregards guests, would not get rid of his sin even if offers 1000 bundles of holy sticks and 100 pots of Ghee in the Homa fire.
He who with devotion takes care of the guest , who comes dead tired because of the travel and is a stranger to him, gets the benefit of giving away 100 cows which are as big as an elephant .
XXXV. Bhojana Niyama
(Rules of taking food)
Taking food once in the morning and another at night is the rule for the Brahmins. So he should not take food more than two times. This is equivalent to Agni Hothra.
Food should not be taken late at night or at midnight. Even in the morning and night food should not be taken twice.
Veda says that men should take food only twice in a day.
Wash both hands, legs and face and sit silently facing east to take your meals,
After washing both hands and legs , and after doing Aachamana twice, we have to sit on a seat facing east to take our meals.
Meals should be taken only after doing Aachamana. If you happen to take food without doing Aachamana, then redemption should be done. That is we have to chant Gayathri Manthra 1008times.
In a clean place , after applying cow dung in a figure with four corners (called Mandala), we have to make a design to keep the plate or leaf . You have to eat keeping the plate or leaf on that design.
The Adithyas, Vasus , Rudras, Brahma and manes depend on the Mandala. So you have to take food after making Mandala,
A Brahmin should sit on a seat keeping his feet on earth. One who sits like that and eats in silence gets the same effect of not taking food for three days.
A Brahmin who keeps his legs on a seat, and puffs air by mouth on the food to cool it down, gets the sin of eating the meat of a cow.
He who eats facing east gets long life. He who eats facing south gets fame. He who eats facing west gets wealth. He who desires truth should face north while eating. He who has his Pithrus (manes ) alive should not face the south while eating. Facing north, while eating is dear to the manes. You should not eat food wearing a turban or with slippers. This would be classified as Aasuram(demonic) .
A Brahmin should wear Pavithram in his right hand while eating food. The man who eats with pavithram will not be affected by bad effects of food. A pavithram made of gold is much better, It could be made of Durbha grass also.
XXXVI. Bhojana Pathrani
(Vessels for eating food)
Food can be taken in leaf, or vessels made of Brass, Silver or Gold. Depending on the financial status people can make their choice.
Brass Vessel is prescribed only for a house holder. A sanyasi or a Brahmachari should not take food in a brass vessel. They also should not take oil bath or eat Thamboola (Betel leaf).
A householder can take food in a brass vessel or leaves of Jack fruit tree, Mango tree, Banana tree or Bilwa tree and would attain the effect of performing Chandrayana.
He should not take food in leaves of Palasa tree or lotus. If he eats in such leaves , he has to observe Chandrayana.
Sanyasi and Brahmachari can take food in Palasa leaf or lotus leaf. They would get the effect of observing Chandrayana by doing that.
A householder can take food in a clean brass vessel with weight less than 20 palas. He can take food of any quantity in plates weighing above 20 Palas.
If we take food in our hand, cloth , steel vessel, copper vessel or leaves of Banyan, Peepal or Vata(Yerukku in Tamil ) leaf he has to observe Chandrayana.
XXXVII Bhojana Karana Vidhanam
(The method of taking food).
Food should always be worshipped. We should never find fault with food. The Food that has been worshipped increases the strength and virility of people.
Food should be served with a ladle and not with hand. You have to worship the served food and do aposanam.
We have to first salute the food and then with folded hands pray “Let me get food like this for ever.”
After worshipping food with Vyahruthis and Gayathri , in the morning we should circle it with water telling “Ruthanthwa sathyena Parishanchayami” and in the evening “Sathyam thwarthena Parishanchayami.”
The remnant of the water which is used to circle the food, should not be taken in. If by mistake we drink it , then we have to do Chndrayana.
If we touch the food and spread it without doing Aaposanam (taking a sip of water), , then the food is equivalent to meat. If you eat then, then we have observe Chandrayanam.
We have to swallow (not bite) cooked rice five times chanting the five names of Vayu(air) each with Om in the beginning and Swaha at the end .We can push the food inside with the toungue but not bite with teeth.
We have to take small quantities of rice with thumb, centre finger and ring finger and perform Homa to our face along with the chants. Om Pranaya Swaha, On Apanaya Swaha, Om Vyanaya Swaha, Om Udanaya Swaha and Om Samanaya Swaha.
After Parishechanam (sprinkling water round the leaf or plate) and after washing the hand with Udharani (spoon) , holding the plate or leaf with the left hand , and after doing aapochana (drinking small quantity of water) , you have to perform Prana ahuthi(worship of our own soul) to the five Vayu devathas, You have to be silent and should not bite the rice with your teeth.
8. Ahnikasara Sangaraha by Krishna Bhatta
The Pranahuthi (worship of the soul) should be performed with the left hand touching the leaf or plate .Pranahuthis are five in number ,followed by one Athma ahuthi and seventh is Ahuthi to Brahman The six ahuthis are addressed to Surya , Soma, Agni, Vayu and Parjanya,. This was got from a dilapidated palm leaf and is not being practiced presently.
Drinking water , Payasa or Aapochana with sound is equivalent to drinking alcohol.
Silence means not talking. We should not talk in any language including Sanskrit. We can sing or meditate on Lord Vishnu but not any other Gods.
The words of Apasthamba are that we should not chant God’s name when we are unclean. When we are eating we are Uchishta(half eating) and so we should not think of any other Gods.
When we are eating every hand full of rice we have to say Govinda, Govinda. There need not be any doubt, whether we can chant it when we are unclean. For Lord Vishnu is greatly pure. A householder need not remain silent during entire meals but only till he completes the Pranahuthi. But we should talk according to Dharma and should not talk anything which leads to stoppage of taking food.
Householders need not observe silence during meals. They should do upachara (pleasant words requesting to eat more) for those who are taking food with them.
With concentration first we have to eat a sweet dish. Salty and sour food should be taken in the middle and bitter and Thuvarpu (Tamil word) things afterwards. You have to first take fluids , in the middle hard things and in the end liquids. A man who takes food like this would be healthy and strong.
Sanyasi should take eight hand full of food, Vanaprastha sixteen handful of food and householder 32 hand full of food. There is no limit to Brahmachari.
You have to do Uthrapochanam(taking small quantity of water after meals) , chanting “Brhamani mama Amruthathwaya” . This indicates we are joining the soul to the body, He who does this is greater than one who performs all rituals.
The food taken by one wearing a turban, or eaten facing the south or keeping his hand to the left side or eaten standing is eaten by Asuras.
He who eats food keeping it in his own hand or eats with great sound or eats with spread fingers is eating food similar to beef.
You should not take food sitting on elephant , horses. Chariot , vehicle and camel You should not eat food in the middle of a cremation ground, temple or in bed. We should not take food which is kept in hand or is on the seat, You should not eat with wet cloths, wet head and without sacred thread.
You should not take food with stretched legs , or keeping on hand on the thigh or keeping hands on the leg or sitting on a cot.
You should not take food with head covered with a cloth or keeping food on our lap or wearing only one cloth or wearing slippers and sandals or sitting on an animal hide or sitting on a seat covered with leather.
Suppose we take one handful of rice and eat half of it, the other half should not be taken, You should not drink water that is left out in the vessel. We should not eat vegetables and fruits cutting them with teeth.
When we are taking food in a company you should not eat faster than others but adjust your speed of eating. You should not waste rice. When we are in the process of eating, we should not go anywhere. If we happen to eat food which is fallen in the ground, we have to observe Chandrayana.
We should not eat food along with our wife. We should not see our wife while she is eating. We should not see her while she is sneezing or yawning or when she is sitting listlessly.
If Ghee is not added to the Pranahuthi , it should not be added later. But if it was added before Pranahuthi, it can be again added later.
When a company of people are taking food together if for reason of love or fear or due to financial status , food is served differently to people by an individual, then he will be subject to Brahma Hathi dosha (Sin of killing a Brahmin)
If when people are taking food together, even if one man leaves off touching the food and gets up, all others should stop eating and get up.
When people are eating together the sin committed even by one sinner is transferred to every one. There is no sin committed in splitting the group in to more than one.
People say that a company of people taking food can be split by fire , ash, pillar , water , door and way.
We should not eat on the bed. We should not eat food keeping it on hand or on a seat.. You should not blow our nose while eating .We should not angry or shout or turn attention some where else or chide children or see dog or Chandala while eating. We should not ea in the middle of dirty people or eat when others who are not eating food are seeing us or at unseemly time or the food mixed with poison.
We should not take food without performing Vaiswadeva.
If some body spits on our plate or half eaten food of others fall on our plate , then the food in our plate should be thrown out, the area cleaned with cow dung , and then we can take food in another plate after doing Parishechanam again. There is no sin in doing like this.
When Brahmins are taking food together, if one Brahmin touches another, then that food should be thrown out . If we do not do it, later we have to chant Gayathri 108 times.
If we become thirsty while taking food, we can drink water with the left hand. But at that time we should touch our leaf or plate with right hand. If we do like this that water is equivalent to nectar. . If we do not touch the plate with right hand , then the water is equivalent to blood.
Cooked rice and other vegetables are to be served only by ladles. But fried food and fruits can be served with hand.
When we are eating or worshipping God or carrying out good functions or meditating or doing Homa or in the middle of a crowd, then we should not blow our nose nor spit from the mouth.
A wise man should not take food without leaving a little bit. He should keep remains of every food that he eats .But Curd, flour, Ghee , fruits or milk should be completely eaten.
If we find that the food that is affected with worms, fly or hair, they should be removed , water sprinkled on them and ash sprinkled over it and then the food can be taken.
XXXVIII. Bhakshya abhakshya viveka
Food those can be eaten and those which cannot be eaten
A Brahmin is killed by the God of death due to his not learning Veda, not practicing rituals , laziness and due to sin in eating.
Some food belong to bad species, some have bad effects , some become bad over time, some become bad due to company , doubtful food and some have bad character,. These types of food should not be eaten.
Garlic, Drum Stick , onion , mushrooms , brinjal , stem of lotus and Bottle gourd belong to bad species.
Just because a food is seen by a debased human being it does not become bad.
All food in which ghee or oil is not added , get spoiled over time. Cooked rice also becomes bad over time. Curd. Fried food and honey , do not get spoiled over time.
Food in which toddy or garlic is added and food in which the first ten days milk of a cow is added are bad food. They should not be eaten.
Those food which are doubtful, should not be eaten. The cow’s milk of the first ten days has a bad character .
Milk of the first ten days , white garlic , white brinjal , Grunjanam (?) , onion, gum of a tree, property of a temple , mushroom , milk of a camel , and goats milk should not be eaten or drunk. If taken without knowledge, we have to starve for three days and on the fourth day take Panchagavyam.
If White Garlic or white Brinjal is eaten , we have to starve for three days and take Panchagavya on the fourth day. But if we eat black Brinjal or red onion, we have to only starve.
Even though it is resin , we can eat Asofotida and incense in our food. A man who eats Coccinea , Kalinga (?) , lotus stem and Iluppai Poo(?) would not think of Lord Vishnu when he is about to die.
Garlic, Onion and Grunjana are different forms of onion. If you eat them you have to Chant Gayatri Mantra 1008 times. If again done, this should increase.
Any savory or rice to which ghee or oil is added can be eaten , even if it becomes olds. Similary the remnant of the Havis can be eaten, even if it is old.
Any food which has become sour over time should not be eaten by a Brahmin.. But if it is washed with water, it can be eaten. This is told in cases when no other food is available. But the sourness will not make curd unfit.
We can drink the milk of cow , goat and Buffalo . If you happen to drink the milk of any other animal you have to starve.
To the man who eats Gooseberry fruit at night , fame , wisdom and passion will reduce. So Gooseberry should not be taken at night.
Fried grain should not be eaten in the day time. In the night curd, Paddy , fried flour and food prepared by Gingelly should not be eaten.
Sour food, Ginger, curd , gruel , gingelly and Saaka(?) , should not be eaten at night. If he eats, then he would get the sin of making love to women in periods and his form , words and wealth would be affected.
Tender coconut water and Sugarcane juice which is kept in a bronze vessel should not be drunk. Milk and curd kept in a copper vessel should not be consumed. Milk or ghee in which salt is added should not be consumed, because they are equal to toddy. You should not put salt when others are seeing but it can be added by adding it with some other food.
If Agasi leaf (Agathi keerai) , Thulasi (ocimum) , Gooseberry and Chundakay (A species of brinjal) are in the stomach of a person , Lord Vishnu is near him.
He who eats Savories, food and Chutneys after touching them and chanting “Om Namo Narayanaya” would reach heaven.
If you happen to eat the food given by Sanyasi, or which is in the vessel of a saint or which is sent by a saint , then you have do Chandrayana.
People eating the food of a proud man, a foolish one , man without character , man with a crooked mind or man who does not bother about anything, gets Sin of Brahma Hathya (killing of a Brahmin). So we should not accept food from such people.
People who do not wear sacred thread , blind man , sinner , man who has not learned Vedas , man who sells virgins, poor man , fool , man who insults a Sanyasi, man who performs rituals to those who do not have right to perform, Man who does not have respect, man who tills the ground , Man who does bad acts towards Gods, Man who finds fault with Vedas , Man who wears iron ornaments belonging to Gods and man who sells Soma latha are debased people, So their food should not be eaten.
If you eat food from ,a Man who does not do rituals and man who does banned acts , then you have to observe fast for one day.
If you eat food from one who follows all rituals and one who has learned Vedas , then the sin committed by us during one day is removed.
You should not eat food from a householder who does not do Homa in Oupasana fire. He is a sinner,
Six Pranayamas is the redemption for eating meals in Sradha.
One who eats food in Sradha , should chant Gayathri and drink water 10 times before doing evening Sandhyavadana.
In case of solar eclipse food should not be taken within four yamas of the start of eclipse. In case of Lunar eclipse , it is three yamas. This rule is not applicable to children, old people and patients.
In the day before a lunar eclipse we should not take food. In case of Solar eclipse, we should not take food in the previous night.
If a Brahmin due to ignorance takes food in a place where he should not take food , he should observe Kruchram(?) for one year.
IXXXX.. Bhojanathara Karyani
(After meals activities)
After taking half the water in the hand chanting “Amruthabhidanamasi (Let everything become nectar)” , the other half of water should be poured on the Bali Chanting the mantra “Rourave.
Rourave Punya nilaye padmarbhudhani vaasinaam,
Ardhinaamudhakam datham akshayaa mupathishtathu.
To those people who live in the hell called Rourava for a long time,
This water is poured so that they would get undying satisfaction.
After this we have to move away from that place and gargle 16 times The water should be spit towards our left side because the Gods live on the right side of the Brahmins. So gargled water should never be spit on the right side.
After doing Aachamana, we have to again do Aachamana and three times chant the Rik “Ayangou “ or “Thruptha” . Then we have to rub our hands on each other and touch our eyes with the thumbs of both the hands.
He who remembers the king Saryathi , his Daughter Sukanya, , his son in law sage Chyavana, Indra and Aswini devathas after the meals will not get any disease of the eye.
After eating food, we should assume a comfortable pose and then pray to the food. Then we should read, Puranas and Vedas.
Between 1.30 Pm to 4.30 Pm we have to read and learn Vedas , Puranas and Sastras. Then only we should think of the problems of our family. ,After this we should go to the river bank to do evening Sandhyavandana.
While learning Vedas, Puranas and Shastras , we should meditate on Lord Vishnu in the physical form as well the spiritual form.
We should never sleep in the afternoon. We should not make love with a woman in the day time. By such sleep your life span would be reduced. Making love in the morning destroys the effect of good deeds done by you. We should not unnecessarily talk and never talk bad about others.
You should offer good betel leaf, good betel nut and lime to other Brahmins and also take it yourself. This has to be done after meals.
Taking Thamboola always would cause bad effects on the body .Also life span, wisdom , strength , alacrity and power of passion would be reduced. Also the toungue will become insensitive to the taste of food.
XXXX. Rathrou Karthavyani
Duties at night.
After offering Homa in the fire, do Vaisvadeva and divide the food remnant of the Yagna among family members . dry both feet and then go to sleep.
One Ahuthi in the Oupasana fire done in the evening is equal to giving in charity Mountain equivalent gold , performing hundreds of Vajapeya sacrifices and performing the marriage of one crore virgin girls.
The God should be worshipped with large quantity of variety of food both in the morning and evening and various offerings should be made to the God.
In the first part of the night , meditation, yagna and worship of God etc can be done. We can also practice Vedas and take meals. But practice of Vedas and taking meals should not be done in the dead of night.
Similarly in the last part of the night i.e in the early morning , meditation, yagna, practicing Vedas and worship of God can be carried out. But you should not take meals.
The early part of night and the last part of night should be spent on learning Vedas . The middle period can be spent on sleep. The one who does like this , reaches the world of Brahma.
You should sleep in the bed which is comfortable to you turning to your left side. Sleeping with left hand below oneself gives long life. Sleeping with face upwards gives strength. In our own house our head should face east while sleeping. In father in law’s house the head should face south and in places other than our home, we have to keep the head facing west. We should never sleep with our head pointing towards north.
We should keep water in a pretty pot up o the rim on the side of our head. Before sleeping we should protect ourselves by using Veda Mantras and Garuda Mantras .
In the night we have to chant Rathri Suktha , remember about the saints who sleep well, do salutations to Lord Vishnu and then sleep.
The householder should make love to his wife in the period when she will conceive. (Ruthu Kala) . If he has desire to make love other than this time, it can be done during all time except during her periods.
We can make love to our wife in the later part of the night also.
When we are sleeping we should think of Agasthya, Madhava, Muchukunda , Kapila and Astheeka who are the great sages who sleep well.
We should wash our feet dry it, do Aachamana twice , think of Lord Vishnu and then sleep,
These rules of procedure and rituals should be performed daily. This would lead to all good things in the world.
He who does not observe these rules due to non belief or due to laziness will be born as a crow in the next life and also would suffer in many types of hell.
For getting a pleasant life , no special Dharma other than these Varnashrama Dharmas have been mentioned in the Sastras. So for pleasing God these rules of life should be observed without fail. This is what has been told in the Sastras.
Thus ends The Ahnika Prakarana in the Samkshepa Dharma Sasthra.
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